You are here

Bioenergy News

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
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.

September 25, 2014
Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy
Energy Department Joins Navy and Agriculture Departments to Invest in Drop-In Biofuel for Military

Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman joined Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Secretary Ray Mabus of the U.S. Department of Navy, on September 19, 2014, to announce awards for three commercial-scale biorefinery projects that will help meet the transportation needs of the U.S. military and private sector.

September 19, 2014
Departments of the Navy, Energy and Agriculture Invest in Construction of Three Biorefineries to Produce Drop-In Biofuel for Military

As part of a 2011 Presidential directive, the Departments of Navy, Energy, and Agriculture announced today that three companies have been awarded contracts to construct and commission biorefineries capable of producing “drop-in” biofuels to meet the transportation needs of the military and private sector.

September 17, 2014
EERE Assistant Secretary and BETO Director Confirmed Speakers for Algae Biomass Summit

Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Jonathan Male, Director of the Bioenergy Technologies Office, will be speaking at the Algae Biomass Summit, September 29–October 2, 2014 in San Diego, California.

August 28, 2014
Grand Opening for Project LIBERTY: Nation’s First Plant to Use Corn Waste as a Feedstock

POET-DSM’s Project LIBERTY in Emmetsburg, Iowa, will celebrate its grand opening September 3, 2014, becoming the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant to use corn waste as a feedstock. Developed through a joint venture between POET LLC in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and DSM Royal, a Dutch enzyme manufacturer, the project uses biochemical conversion technologies (yeast and enzymes) to convert cellulosic biomass into transportation fuels.

August 20, 2014
Energy Department Announces Notice of Intent to Issue Funding Opportunity Announcement for Targeted Algal Biofuels and Bioproducts

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy intends to issue, on behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), a funding opportunity announcement (FOA),“Targeted Algal Biofuels and Bioproducts.”

August 19, 2014
BETO Announces Request for Information on Landscape Design for Sustainable Bioenergy Systems

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) invites public comment on its request for information (RFI) regarding landscape design for sustainable bioenergy systems. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from bioenergy stakeholders on landscape design approaches that integrate cellulosic bioenergy feedstock production into existing agricultural and forestry systems while maintaining or enhancing environmental and socio-economic sustainability.

August 12, 2014
Energy Department Joins Farm to Fly 2.0

During Biomass 2014, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson announced that the Energy Department is joining Farm to Fly 2.0 to support the development of sustainable biofuels that require no jet engine modifications.

July 30, 2014
Energy Department Announces $11 Million to Advance Renewable Carbon Fiber Production from Biomass

The Energy Department announced today up to $11.3 million for two projects that aim to advance the production of cost-competitive, high-performance carbon fiber material from renewable, non-food-based feedstocks, such as agricultural residues and woody biomass.

July 23, 2014
BETO Announces Updated Multi-Year Program Plan

The Bioenergy Technologies Office is pleased to announce the release of its newly updated Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP).

July 23, 2014
BETO-Funded Invention Wins R&D 100 Award

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers won an R&D Magazine R&D 100 award this month for their Bioenergy Technologies Office-funded invention of a new class of membranes that could help reduce the price of bio-ethanol, ethanol-gasoline blend fuels, and drop-in fuels from bio-oil processing.