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November 30, 2016
Crude Science

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed technology that can convert human waste into sustainable biofuel.

November 23, 2016
Forestry residues, switchgrass, and corn stalks are all examples of non-food biomass that can be used to make biofuels and bioproducts.
There Is a Cornucopia of Feedstock Options for Making Biofuels

Right now, biofuels and consumer products made from biomass are not commercially widespread. However, the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is funding research and development to help lower their costs so that private industry can produce and sell them on the commercial market.

November 10, 2016
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory conducted biobased, high-octane fuel experiments using this modified turbocharged Cadillac. | Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Achieving the Best of Both Worlds—Improved Vehicle Performance with Fuel that's Better for the Environment

Is it possible to increase your vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency while also slowing climate change through reduced greenhouse gas emissions? New research says yes.

October 27, 2016
Bioenergy Blog
“Witchgrass” Switchgrass: A Feedstock for Future Flights

You might think it would take a Halloween trick to transform grasses, corn husks, and other plants and organic waste into fuel you can use to power your car or an airplane. But scientists are already figuring out how to use chemical processes at a biorefinery to cost-effectively convert the sugars from non-food plants and wastes into biofuel. Biofuels are already powering some airplanes—and that’s no trick!

October 24, 2016
Aerial photograph of the company’s algae test ponds in Kauai, Hawaii. | Photo courtesy of Global Algae Innovations, Inc.
Algae Hard at Work in Hawaii

The beautiful island of Kauai, Hawaii, is known for its pristine beaches and dramatic mountain ranges. But Kauai is not just a vacation spot; it is also the location of one of the largest algae biofuel production facilities in the United States.

October 19, 2016
Bioenergy: Renewable, Sustainable, Attainable

Happy Bioenergy Day! Today, bioenergy organizations across North America are celebrating the benefits of bioenergy by holding events and open houses in their local communities. Here at the Energy Department we’re celebrating as well, with extra coverage of bioenergy successes and news all month.

October 14, 2016
Renewing Forests in Colorado: Opportunities for Bioenergy

Decomposition of dead trees occurs naturally and is healthy for a forest ecosystem. However, too many dead trees makes the region prone to forest fires that are costly and dangerous to contain. Recent advances in biofuel technologies are bringing us closer to turning those dead trees into biofuels.

October 5, 2016
Innovations are moving the bioenergy industry forward. Photos courtesy of Virgin Atlantic (left), Sapphire Energy, Inc. (center), and DC Water’s Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (right). Watch the video <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9HONJ0g9Dc" target="_blank">Bioenergy Innovation</a> to hear bioenergy researchers explain what “bioenergy innovation” means to them.
3 Breakthroughs Show How Bioenergy Innovations are Energizing the Energy Landscape

Learn about three bioenergy innovations that are helping to provide Americans with sustainable, renewable energy and alternatives to fossil fuels and chemicals.

September 23, 2016
Engineer studies modification of algae for biofuel production. | Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories
What’s in Your Algae Toolbox?

Across the nation, scientists are on a mission to produce affordable and sustainable biofuels and products from algae, including jet fuel and plastics. Algae scientists funded by the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office have been busy expanding the tools available to support breakthroughs in biology that could lead to major improvements in algae growth and productivity.

August 30, 2016
The Algae Technology Education Consortium (ATEC) is developing opportunities for education and training for next-generation jobs in the algal industry. | <em>Photo courtesy of ATEC</em>
Algae Education Helping Grow Jobs of the Future

Algae are coming out of the pond and into the classroom, thanks to the significant efforts of the Algae Technology Education Consortium (ATEC) this past year. The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office is funding ATEC’s project to strengthen workforce capabilities in the algal biofuels industry.

August 24, 2016
Clockwise from top left: A commercial airplane, a Navy aircraft carrier, and a researcher (photos courtesy of LanzaTech, the U.S. Navy, and the Energy Department, respectively). Commercial aviation, the U.S. military, and organic waste streams are all compelling opportunities for biofuel.
Who Needs Biofuels? Cost-Competitive Renewable Fuels are in Demand

A large part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector could be uniquely filled by biofuels and bioproducts. The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), in partnership with the national laboratories, academia, and private companies, is pursuing biofuel research and development to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and secure our energy independence.

August 17, 2016
A new White House report outlines the federal government’s plans to lower the cost of alternative jet fuel. | Photo courtesy of Flickr user <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/44082489@N00/7762037662/">H. Michael Miley </a> via <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode">Creative Commons</a>.
Charting A Path for Sustainable Jet Fuels

A new White House report outlines the federal government’s plans to lower the cost of alternative jet fuel.

August 11, 2016
In June 2015, United Airlines announced a partnership with biofuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy to invest in future commercial-scale aviation biofuel plants. The company’s innovative technology converts household trash into low-cost, sustainable aviation biofuel. This investment adds to their agreement to purchase up to 15 million gallons of sustainable aviation biofuel from AltAir, over a three-year period. | <em>Photo courtesy of United Airlines</em>
Changing the Way We Fly: Renewable Jet Fuels Made from Waste Gases Reaching New Heights with Airline Industry

Booking a flight soon? You may be leaving on a plane powered by renewable jet fuel that was made from industrial waste gases.

August 5, 2016
2016 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge Winning Team: (From left to right) Maria Zeitlin (advisor), Lexington Zografakis, Sydney Bracht, and Sidney Davis were recognized by Jonathan Male, Director of the Bioenergy Technologies Office. The team and their advisor from Smithtown High School East in St. James, New York, were recognized at the Bioenergy 2016 conference for their winning infographic “Cellulosic Ethanol: Fuel of the Future.”
Winning BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge Students Recognized in Washington, D.C.

A team of students from New York were recognized in Washington, D.C., as the winners of the first national run of the BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge, which provides high school students an opportunity to combine research, graphic design, and social media to learn about bioenergy and share their knowledge.

July 6, 2016
Come to Bioenergy 2016 to Support Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation

This summer, we’ll be gathering for our conference, Bioenergy 2016: Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation, on July 12–14, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Clean Energy Research & Education Foundation.

June 30, 2016
First-Ever Sustainable Transportation Summit to Talk Future of Transportation, Energy, and Mobility

The inaugural 2016 Sustainable Transportation Summit will serve as a forum to share ideas and perspectives on opportunities to accelerate the commercialization and deployment of advanced transportation technologies and smart mobility systems over the next decade.

June 27, 2016
The just-released 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review captures the exciting achievements of the field of algal biofuels, as well as articulates new challenges, lessons learned, and critical next steps. | Photo courtesy of Sapphire, Las Cruces
Release of the 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review Charts Path Forward for Algae

The 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review, which was just released today, captures the exciting achievements of the field of algal biofuels, as well as articulates new challenges, lessons learned, and critical next steps.

June 8, 2016
Energy crops planted for use at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The Energy Department hosted a five-day Bioenergy Study Tour of the southeastern United States to highlight innovations that are bringing the region one step closer to a sustainable bioenergy industry.| Photos courtesy of DOE
Take a Tour of the Bioenergy Ecosystem in the Southeastern U.S.

The Energy Department's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) works to enable a sustainable bioenergy industry that protects natural resources and advances environmental, economic, and social benefits. BETO recently sponsored a five-day Bioenergy Study Tour of the southeastern United States to highlight innovations that are bringing the industry one step closer to these goals.

May 4, 2016
As part of the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines initiative, researchers are exploring synergies among new bio-based fuels, engines, powertrains, and fueling infrastructure. Image by Loren Stacks, Sandia National Laboratories
Co-Optimized Fuel-Engine Systems to Transform Our Nation’s Vehicles

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) recent Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines Initiative (Co-Optima) seeks to combine previously independent areas of biofuels and engine-combustion research and development to design new fuels and engines that are co-optimized—designed in tandem to maximize vehicle performance and carbon efficiency.

April 28, 2016
Non-food biomass such as the crop residue (the leftover material from crops like stalks, leaves, and husks of corn plants following harvest) pictured above can be converted to biofuels as well as high-value products such as plastics, chemicals, and fertilizers.
Integrating the Production of Biofuels and Bioproducts

A new biomass production strategy offers a more efficient, cost-effective, and integrated approach to the utilization of our nation’s biomass resources.

April 27, 2016
Rice hulls and other samples used for demonstrating the capabilities of the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Rapid Biomass Analysis System. Researchers have found a way to produce silicon structures for lithium-ion batteries using rice husks. | Photo courtesy of NREL
From Rice Paddies to the Road: Transforming Rice Husks into Lithium-ion Anodes for Plug-in Electric Vehicles

Through a project supported by the Energy Department’s Vehicle Technologies Office, researchers at Stanford University have been able to produce silicon structures for lithium-ion batteries from rice husks, a waste product of this ubiquitous agricultural crop.

April 12, 2016
Improving Access to Energy-Rich Sugars. Ning Sun is part of a team of researchers in the Energy Department's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) Deconstruction Division exploring methods to pretreat biomass. | Image courtesy of JBEI
Harnessing Biotechnology to Accelerate Advanced Biofuels Production

Advances in synthetic biology—which involves engineering biological systems for new uses—can offer innovative solutions to improve advanced biofuel production. This, in turn, can speed up the development and commercialization of biofuels, making them attractive and affordable to industrial manufacturers.

March 22, 2016
Bioenergy Blog
Energy Department Charting New Future for Wastewater Treatment

It will cost about $600 billion over the next 20 years to continue reliably transporting and treating wastewater, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Find out how the Department of Energy collaborated with the National Science Foundation and EPA to explore a smarter future for water treatment.

February 24, 2016
Researchers take laser-based velocity measurements at the Sandia National Laboratory's Combustion Research Facility. The measurements are used to help understand the flow features involved in the creation of in-cylinder carbon monoxide distributions in order to improve automotive diesel engines. | Photo by Randy Wong, Sandia National Laboratory
New Vehicle Initiative Aims to Make Fuel and Engines Work Together More Efficiently

Recently I had the pleasure of briefing members of Congress on EERE’s groundbreaking fuel-engine co-optimization initiative. The new, multi-year project combines previously independent areas of biofuels and engine combustion research and development (R&D) to design new fuels and engines that are co-optimized—designed in tandem to both maximize vehicle performance and carbon efficiency.

February 22, 2016
Bioenergy Blog
Federal Agencies Outline Bioeconomy Vision and Current Activities

This week at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Chief Scientist, Dr. Catherine Woteki, announced the release of the Federal Activities Report on the Bioeconomy. This report was developed to inform Americans of current federal agency activities that are helping to develop and support what we call the "bioeconomy"--an emerging part of the U.S. economy that relies on renewable biological resources to produce fuels, power, and bio-based products.