The Energy Department today announced up to $15 million in funding to develop technologies that are likely to succeed in producing 3,700 gallons of algal biofuel intermediate (or equivalent dry weight basis) per acre per year (gal/acre/yr) on an annualized average basis (not peak or projected) through multiple batch campaigns or on a semi-continuous or continuous basis, in an outdoor test environment by 2020.
To enable cost-competitive algal biofuels and bioproducts, improvements and advancements are needed across the entire algae-to-biofuels and bioproducts process. Under this funding opportunity, applicants must address one comprehensive topic area with three main priority areas:
- Strain/productivity improvement
- Improvements in pre-processing technologies (harvesting, dewatering, and extraction and/or equivalent processes)
- Integration of cultivation with pre-processing technologies.
In general, “biofuel intermediates” are biomass-based feedstocks that can replace petroleum-based feedstocks in downstream refining. Biofuel intermediates should be able to be treated as commodities and passed from a producer to a refiner through the supply chain. Biofuel intermediates can be refined into a variety of liquid transportation fuels such as, but not limited to ethanol, renewable diesel, and renewable jet fuel. The average yield target of 3,700 gal/acre/yr of intermediate must be achieved under conditions that result in favorable life-cycle greenhouse gas reductions and techno-economic analyses.
Learn more information about this funding opportunity and application requirements at the EERE Exchange website. Applicants must submit a concept paper by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Feb. 12, 2016, to be eligible to submit a full application. The full application is due 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Mar. 25, 2016.