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May 20, 2015
DOE Announces Webinars on Biofuel Affordability and Tools for Evaluating Tribal Energy Efficiency

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.

May 6, 2015
Battelle’s hydrotreatment system converts bio-oil into biofuel. Photo courtesy of Battelle.
Milestone Reached: New Process Reduces Cost and Risk of Biofuel Production from Bio-Oil Upgrading

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.

May 4, 2015
Agave sisilana growing in East Africa. Image courtesy of Jeff Cameron.
Report Explains How Bioenergy Supports Global Sustainability Goals

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.

April 29, 2015
Peer Review Presentations Now Available Online

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.

April 20, 2015
BETO-Funded Team Honored by the American Chemical Society

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.

April 3, 2015
Update Released to BETO’s Multi-Year Program Plan

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.

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.