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Bioenergy News

March 30, 2015
BETO Deputy Director Publishes Commentary on Development of Algae as Renewable Energy Source

Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Deputy Director Dr. Valerie Sarisky-Reed’s commentary, “Algal Progress Report,” was published in the February edition of the bimonthly research journal Industrial Biotechnology. Her commentary details the promise of algae as a renewable energy source and describes how many BETO-funded research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects have resulted in significant technological advances to help overcome challenge of using algae for biofuel production.

March 11, 2015
Fermenter used in the scale-up of malonic acid.| Photo courtesy of Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab
Valuable Chemical Produced from Renewables Instead of Petroleum

Researchers at Lygos, Inc., an industrial biotechnology company, achieved a critical breakthrough in the cleaner production of malonic acid, a valuable chemical used to manufacture many products, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, and specialty materials. More than a decade ago, a report prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy identified malonic acid as one of the top 30 value-added chemicals to be produced from biomass-derived sugar.

March 3, 2015
Department of Agriculture and Energy Department Announce Up to $8.7 Million through the Interagency Biomass Research and Development Initiative

The U.S. Department Agriculture in collaboration with the Energy Department announced that up to $8.7 million in funding will be made available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil by supporting the development of bioenergy feedstocks, biofuels, and biobased products.

February 25, 2015
NREL Report Provides Documentation of the Advanced Biorefinery Landscape

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a report in January 2015 on the status of the non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels industry in the United States. The report, “2013 Survey of Non-Starch Ethanol and Renewable Hydrocarbon Biofuels Producers,” is the first of its kind to provide publically available, open source documentation on the state of the advanced biorefinery landscape.

February 24, 2015
Innovative Bioenergy Process Recognized for Excellence in Technology Transfer

The Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) recently won a 2015 Excellence in Technology Transfer Award for developing an innovative process that uses heat and pressure to convert

February 20, 2015
Energy Department Announces $10 Million to Develop Innovative Bioenergy Technologies

The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announces the selection of seven projects across the country to receive up to $10 million to support innovative technologies and solutions to help advance bioenergy development.

February 19, 2015
DOE Announces Webinars on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's FY2016 Budget Request, and More

EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to training for the clean energy workforce. Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts.

February 6, 2015
BETO Ranks High in Biofuels Digest’s Top 125 in the Advanced Bioeconomy

Biofuels Digest recently released its “Top 125 in the Advanced Bioeconomy,” ranking Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Director Dr. Jonathan Male, Deputy Director Dr. Valerie Reed, Technology Manager Dr. Joyce Yang, and Lead Analyst Zia Haq at number 20.

February 6, 2015
President Obama’s FY16 Budget Request Proposes Increased Funding for BETO

President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request was released Monday, proposing funding levels for the U.S. Department of Energy, including $246 million for the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).

January 28, 2015
New Enzyme Speeds Up Biomass-to-Sugar Conversion

Scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed an enzyme—called CelA—that can convert biomass such as trees, grasses, and agricultural residue to sugars up to 14 times faster and much more cheaply than competing catalysts used in biofuel production.

January 23, 2015
New Online Tool Expands Analysis of Biofuels’ Water Impact

Last week, Argonne National Laboratory released a new version of the Water Assessment for Transportation Energy Resources (WATER) online tool. As with the previous two versions, WATER 3.0 quantifies the water footprint of various biofuel pathways, providing details of the water consumption required for the production of biofuels.

December 18, 2014
BETO Partner Secures Strategic Financing Commitment

On December 11, 2014, biomass supply company Genera Energy Inc., announced that it received a strategic financing commitment from energy investment firm, WindSail Capital Group.

December 17, 2014
Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework Recognized at National Conference

The paper and poster presentation "Bioenergy KDF: Enabling Spatiotemporal Data Synthesis and Research Collaboration" was awarded second place for best paper at the ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, held November 4–7 in Dallas, Texas.

December 4, 2014
Energy Department Announces $7 Million to Develop Advanced Logistics for Bioenergy Feedstocks

The Energy Department announced today up to $7 million for two projects aimed at developing and demonstrating ways to reduce the cost of delivering bioenergy feedstocks to biorefineries.

November 20, 2014
Biopower Report Presents Methodology for Assessing the Value of Co-Firing Biomass in Pulverized Coal Plants

A joint Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) report presents the results of an evaluation funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office that examines the effects of substituting up to 20% renewable biomass for coal in electricity production. This report is the first publically available assessment of its kind to investigate the impacts of co-firing biomass with coal at concentrations greater than 10% biomass without modification to the pulverized coal plant or its feed system. Findings have expanded the methodology that communities and energy providers can use to evaluate the potential economic and environmental benefits of using biomass in their coal plants.

November 20, 2014
Why Bio-Oil Turns to Gunk - 90 Seconds of Discovery
Lab Discovery: Water Leads to Chemical that “Gunks Up” Biofuels Production
Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have determined that water—a prevalent component of biofuel conversion processes—turns the pyrolysis oil component, phenol, into a highly reactive molecular structure that polymerizes, or “gunks up” the conversion process, thereby slowing down  key chemical reactions. 
November 20, 2014
BETO Announces Updated Multi-Year Program Plan: November 2014 Update

This MYPP sets forth the goals and structure of the Bioenergy Technologies Office. It identifies the research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities the Office will focus on over the next five years and outlines why these activities are important to meeting the energy and sustainability challenges facing the nation. The latest version includes updates to the terrestrial feedstocks and supply logistics, algal feedstock, and thermochemical conversion research and development sections.

October 27, 2014
Energy Department Announces New Grant Topics to Help Small Businesses Develop Clean Energy Technologies

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) today announced nine topics and 26 new subtopics under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Technology Transfer (STTR) programs that will help small businesses develop and deliver market-driven clean energy technologies.

October 20, 2014
Energy Department Announces Up to $14 Million for Applying Landscape Design to Cellulosic Bioenergy

The Energy Department today announced up to $14 million to support landscape design approaches that maintain or enhance the environmental and socio-economic sustainability of cellulosic bioenergy through the improvement of feedstock production, logistics systems, and technology development.

October 17, 2014
Secretary Moniz Dedicates Innovative Commercial-Scale Cellulosic Biofuel Plant

WASHINGTON — Marking another milestone in the Administration’s support of clean energy technologies that will diversify our energy portfolio and help transition the U.S. toward a low-carbon future, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will deliver remarks today at the grand opening of Abengoa’s second-generation cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas as part of Energy Action Month.

October 17, 2014
Photo courtesy of Abengoa
Grand Opening of Abengoa’s Biorefinery: Nation’s Third Commercial-Scale Facility

The nation’s third commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol biorefinery celebrates its grand opening on October 17, 2014, in Hugoton, Kansas. The Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas (ABBK) facility is the first of its kind to use a proprietary enzymatic hydrolysis process which turns cellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars that are then converted into transportation fuels.

October 14, 2014
National Bioenergy Day 2014

Bioenergy, the use of agricultural waste and forestry byproducts to generate heat and energy, will be celebrated during the second annual National Bioenergy Day on October 22, 2014. This is an opportunity to showcase bioenergy facilities and the bioenergy supply chain around the United States. The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) will celebrate National Bioenergy Day with an educational display about the bioenergy supply chain and the bioeconomy in the lobby of the Energy Department’s Forrestal building in downtown Washington, D.C.

October 9, 2014
Energy Department Announces $13.4 Million to Develop Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

The Energy Department announced today up to $13.4 million for five projects to develop advanced biofuels and bioproducts that will help drive down the cost of producing gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from biomass.

October 1, 2014
DOE Announces Webinars on Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing, Algal Biomass and Bioproducts Funding Opportunity, and More

EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to training for the clean energy workforce. Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts.

September 30, 2014
Energy Department Announces Up to $25 Million to Reduce Costs of Algal Biofuels

In support of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced up to $25 million in funding to reduce the cost of algal biofuels to less than $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) by 2019. This funding supports the development of a bioeconomy that can help create green jobs, spur innovation, improve the environment, and achieve national energy security.