Selling corn stover—the non-edible corn stalks, husks, and leaves of a corn plant—after the corn harvest has generated a new revenue stream for many farmers. Biorefineries buy the corn plant residue from farmers and turn it into cellulosic ethanol, allowing farmers to "add revenue without adding acres."
Energy Department technology Offices showcase how EERE’s strategic investments in sustainable transportation technologies are improving vehicle efficiency and advancing the use of alternative fuel vehicles.
At the Bioenergy Technologies Office, we’re working with public and private partners to develop an industry of advanced biofuels and bioproducts from non-food biomass sources that is commercially and environmentally sustainable. In the United States, our energy landscape is changing, and biofuels can play an important role since it is the only near-term liquid transportation fuel alternative to petroleum.
We are very excited to announce our first ever bioenergy quiz—an online, interactive tool that’s both enlightening and entertaining! Interested in participating? Just click the link in the photo above and let the game begin.
Energy Department-funded scientists at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) California Center for Algae Biotechnology have successfully demonstrated a uniquely Californian solution to replacing fossil fuels—surfboards made from algae.
I was honored to speak at the Agricultural Outlook Forum this spring, hosted by our friends at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This year’s theme was “Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century.” The smart solution when it comes to establishing a bioeconomy—renewable, biomass resources as a solid part of our nation’s energy mix—is working together.
Engaging and supporting the next generation of renewable energy researchers and innovators is one of the important roles the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) plays in advancing bioenergy and biofuels. BETO provides numerous resources from biomass basics to information about lesson plans and tools for educators. Our materials are suitable for K–12 students, undergraduates and graduates, scientists and engineers, high school teachers and college professors, and anyone interested in learning about the future of energy.
It may look like ordinary farm equipment, but take a second look. This innovative machinery was developed with Energy Department funding to help biofuels become more affordable. Looking more closely at this image and accompanying infographic, you can see that this combination harvester both harvests and bales corn cobs, husks, stalks, and residue all in one step. Its purpose is to save the time and money required to harvest corn stover feedstock for biofuel production, ultimately helping make biofuel from non-food sources cost-competitive with petroleum gasoline.
U.S. gasoline prices are currently at their lowest point since 2009, saving you money at the pump. The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is looking beyond current gas prices and working to lower the cost of biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol—which can be blended with gasoline—and “drop-in” hydrocarbon fuels—which can directly replace gasoline.
Widely recognized as the “Oscars of Invention,” the 52nd R&D 100 Awards ceremony took place last week. These awards identify and honor major technological breakthroughs each year. The categories cover industry, academia, and government research. This year, EERE-funded projects won six awards across four of our technology areas: Bioenergy, Fuel Cells/Solar, and Vehicles.
For years, farmers have been using cornstalks to make scarecrows, preventing crows and other predators from destroying their crops. This fall, the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office is using cornstalks for a different purpose—bioenergy production.
Earlier this month, on September 19, 2014, Energy Department (DOE) Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman joined Secretary Tom Vilsack of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Secretary Ray Mabus of the Department of Navy (Navy) to announce three projects that will produce renewable jet and diesel for the military. DOE, USDA, and Navy are working with private industry to produce advanced drop-in biofuels that can be used by the Department of Defense and the private transportation sector.
Today, the nation's first ever commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol biorefinery to use corn waste as a feedstock officially opened for business in Emmetsburg, Iowa. POET-DSM’s Project LIBERTY is the second of two Energy Department-funded cellulosic ethanol biorefineries to come on line within the past year. Learn more about how the Energy Department is helping the nation reduce its dependence on foreign oil and move the clean energy economy forward.
The United States airline industry uses 23 billion gallons of fuels on passenger and cargo airlines annually, and globally, the international airline industry was the source of 777 million tons of carbon emissions in 2013.
Biomass is the most abundant biological material on the planet. It is renewable; it grows almost everywhere; and it provides fuel, power, chemicals, and many other products. Find out how biomass is helping grow America's clean energy economy.
Are you a recent college graduate looking to jump-start your career? Whether you majored in engineering or English, science or political science, business or biology, there are numerous opportunities to use your skills and education in the emerging bioenergy industry.
For this year’s Imagine Tomorrow competition, the Bioenergy Technologies Office will select a student team to present their idea and project at the Biomass 2014 conference in July. Learn more about the competition, which will take place this weekend at Washington State University.
Spero Energy, started by researchers at Purdue University, has created a cost effective process that converts sustainable wood sources into chemicals that improve the production of biofuels and are used in the flavor and fragrance industry.
Tiny algae can play a big role in tackling America's energy challenges. Recent scientific breakthroughs and projects, funded by the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, have resulted in a number of advancements that are helping make algal biofuel more cost competitive and widely available.
The Energy Department is working to cut the cost of biofuel production by supporting advanced development and demonstration facilities throughout the country that enable researchers to fully examine their efforts on a large scale without having to maintain an expensive pilot plant.