Battelle—a nonprofit research and development organization that operates many of the national laboratories—reached an Energy Department project milestone to demonstrate at least 1,000 hours of bio-oil hydrotreatment on a single catalyst charge. Typically, it takes many catalysts to convert a bio-oil intermediate into biofuel, making the conversion process expensive. Battelle’s new process substantially reduces the cost and risk of biofuel production and helps make the process more commercially viable.
According to an international report on bioenergy and land use, informed management of bioenergy crops can actually alleviate factors contributing to food insecurity, as well as provide practical avenues to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote sustainable energy production, and preserve biodiversity.
The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) hosted the 2015 Project Peer Review from March 23–27, 2015 in Alexandria, Virginia. The individual project and plenary presentations from the week are now available online.
Two Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) scientists were part of a team honored at the 249th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting & Exposition on March 25, 2015. The team, which consisted of John Frye and Alan Zacher of PNNL and Todd Werpy of Archer Daniels Midland Company, received the ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry for creating a safe, commercial process for producing propylene glycol from renewable sources.
The Bioenergy Technologies Office is pleased to announce the release of its newly updated Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP). The MYPP sets forth the goals and structure of the Office. This latest version presents a merged conversion research and development (R&D) section, the renaming of the demonstration and market transformation area, and emerging work in wet waste-to-energy feedstocks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.