This page archives the Bioenergy Technologies Office's (BETO's) past solicitations and awardees—from 2007 to the present. Click the links below to go directly to specific solicitations or years. To view announcements related to BETO projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), visit the Recovery Act Web page.

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2022

Department Of Energy Announces $13.4 Million Investment to Combat Plastic Waste and Reduce Emissions Across The Plastics Industry

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $13.4 million to seven projects for research and development of novel recycling processes and technologies that that will cut plastic waste and reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of single-use plastics at every stage of their lifecycle.  

Single-use plastics – plastic bags, wraps, and films – are incredibly energy-intensive to make. In fact, plastic production accounts for more than 3% of total U.S. energy consumption and uses approximately the same amount of oil around the world as the aviation industry. Yet despite their high embodied energy use, many of these materials follow a linear supply chain that ends abruptly in our landfills or our environment. This investment in plastics recycling technologies will help to break this linear model by directing plastics and their valuable building blocks back into the economy.   

“The detrimental impact of single-use plastics on our environment is unignorable,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These materials are among the most challenging plastics to recycle, with far too many winding up in our landfills or being downgraded into less valuable products. By capturing the value of single-use plastics, these projects will reduce carbon emissions across the industry and help the U.S. transition to an economically competitive, circular economy.”   

These seven projects will work to develop affordable solutions for “upcycling,” or transforming plastic films into more valuable materials, and to design new plastics that are more recyclable and biodegradable – innovating both the processes of single-use plastics recycling, and the single-use plastics themselves.  
 
Projects selected for negotiation were chosen from the following areas:  

  • Novel Approaches to Recycling and Upcycling Films: Plastic films pose unique technical and economic challenges to recycling compared to similar materials in other form factors. Applications were sought to develop novel degradation, upcycling, and/or recycling pathways for post-consumer films that are energy efficient, cost effective, and that reduce lifecycle emissions. 
     
  • Redesign of Multi-layer Films for Infinite Recyclability or Biodegradability: This topic aimed to identify and develop new materials that are infinitely recyclable or biodegradable and meet all the required properties to replace multi-layered films. This increases multi-layered films’ reusability, extending product lives, and keeping plastic films out of landfills and the environment.  

The following projects were selected:

Topic Area #

Selectee

Project Title

Federal Cost Share

1

 

Iowa State University of Science and Technology

A Closed Loop Upcycling of Single-Use Plastic Films to Biodegradable Polymers

$2,500,000

1

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Integrated Chemolytic Delamination and Plasma Carbonization for the Upcycling of Single-Use Multi-layer Plastic Films

$1,600,276

1

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Catalytic Deconstruction of Plasma treated Single-Use Plastics to Value-added Chemicals and Novel Materials

$2,499,994

1

West Virginia University Research Corporation

Process Intensified Modular Upcycling of Plastic Films to Monomers by Microwave Catalysis

$1,500,001

2

Michigan State University

All-Polyester Multilayer Plastics (All Polyester MLFs): A Redesign for Inherently Recyclable Plastics

$1,705,811

2

Braskem

Development of Infinitely Recyclable Single-Polymer Chemistry Bio-Based Multilayer Films Using Ethylene/Carbon Monoxide Copolymers

$2,000,000

2

TDA Research Inc.

Infinitely Recyclable and Biodegradable Films for Improved Food Packaging

$1,609,056

 

This funding opportunity builds on DOE investments, including the Bio-Optimized Technologies to keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment (BOTTLE) Consortium and the Reducing EMbodied energy And Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute.  

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and Bioenergy Technologies Office oversee these investments. DOE’s Office of Science, Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management and ARPA-e also play key roles in supporting plastic research and development efforts.

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U.S. Department of Energy Announces $19 Million for Carbon Utilization Funding Opportunity

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s (FECM's) Carbon Utilization Program announced up to $19 million in federal funding for the advancement of technologies that utilize waste carbon to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and produce reliable feedstocks for biotechnologies.

The funding opportunity announcement (FOA), entitled “Carbon Utilization Technology: Improving Efficient Systems for Algae,” specifically aims to increase the capability of algal systems to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) and put it to productive use. Capturing this waste carbon then allows for algae to be cultivated into a variety of biofuels and bioproducts. The deployment of algal technologies in these projects will help lower algal system cost, while decreasing GHG emissions. Additionally, this FOA will contribute to BETO’s goal of producing at least 3 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuels by 2030.

“This funding opportunity is a great example of the Department’s offices working together on a holistic approach to GHG management and reduction,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for EERE, Kelly Speakes-Backman. “Algae technology provides not only an exceptional carbon sink, but a versatile material product which offers solutions to sustainability challenges from fuel to plastics.”

The FOA has two topic areas:

  • Topic Area 1: Carbon utilization efficiency from biomass- or atmospheric-based sources of CO2
  • Topic Area 2: Algae-based technology to utilize anthropogenic CO2 from utility and industrial sources

The FOA combines the complementary objectives in algal research of both funding offices (EERE and FECM) to further the government-wide approach to the climate crisis by driving the innovation that can lead to the deployment of clean energy technologies by utilizing waste CO2. These technologies will work towards achieving the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Creating conventional petroleum-derived products requires a lot of energy and emissions. The carbon footprint of plastics alone, 2.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent in 2015, shows the need for carbon neutral replacements. Algae can grow on waste CO2, functioning as a carbon sink, and that algae biomass can then be used to create low or no-emissions biofuels and bioproducts which displace GHGs. Biofuels and bioproducts made from algae such as plastics, foams, and chemicals can be direct replacements for so many different everyday products from flip flops to water bottles.

Informational Webinar

On February 17, 2022 at 3 p.m. ET an informational webinar will be held in which participants can hear about the objectives and requirements of the funding opportunity. DOE staff will give a presentation on the topic areas and application process. Participants will be able to submit written questions that may be answered, time permitting. The webinar will be recorded and the recording will be available shortly afterwards. All questions and answers will be posted after the webinar in EERE Exchange. The webinar is optional and attendance is not a requirement to submit a concept paper. Attend this webinar.

FOA Due Dates

Concept papers for this FOA are due by March 18, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET. Applications for this FOA are due by May 27, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET. For questions, email FY22CarbonUtilizationFOA@ee.doe.gov. View the full FOA on EERE Exchange or Grants.gov.

This FOA follows the recent announcement of the new AlgaePrize competition from BETO, a competition that encourages students to pursue innovative ideas for the development, design, and invention of technologies within the commercial algae value chain. Find more information about the competition on BETO’s website.

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Department of Energy Announces $34.5 Million for Improved Bioenergy Resource Recovery and Conversion Systems

New funding opportunity helps underserved communities turn waste into a resource for a clean and equitable energy economy

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new $34.5 million funding opportunity to improve the current science and infrastructure for converting waste streams, often disproportionately located in underserved communities, into valuable biofuels and bioproducts that can benefit the local energy economy. This effort will advance the Biden Administration’s goals to deliver an equitable, clean energy future, and put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050.

“This investment represents DOE’s commitment to finding solutions that directly support historically underserved communities,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “We recognize the everyday economic and logistical burden that waste disposal can have on these communities. Through this investment, we see an opportunity to support the bioeconomy and the equitable transition to a clean energy economy.”

Waste streams, including municipal solid waste, animal manure, wastewater residuals, and other organic wastes, are a key feedstock for producing biofuels and bioproducts. However, these waste streams can be an economic liability to the communities managing them and often lead to a multitude of health impacts on surrounding populations.

The FY22 Waste Feedstock and Conversion R&D Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is for the development of improved organisms and inorganic catalysts to support the next generation of low-carbon biofuels and bioproducts. It supports the development of high-impact R&D to accelerate the growth of the bioeconomy and improve the economic and technical viability for turning burdensome and costly waste streams into valuable bioenergy resources.

In particular, DOE will fund projects that help enable waste feedstocks utilization and robust conversion processes to produce low-carbon biofuels that reduce emissions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as aviation. This effort is complementary to the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge, a government-wide effort which aims to achieve a zero-carbon aviation sector by 2050.

The FOA has four topic areas:

  1. Municipal Solid Waste Feedstock Technologies
  2. Robust Microbial Cells
  3. Robust Catalytic Processes
  4. Community Scale Resource and Energy Recovery from Organic Wastes

Concept papers for this FOA are due by April 18, 2022, at 5 p.m. ET. Applications are due by June 07, 2022, at 5 p.m. ET. An informational webinar will be held on March 31, 2022 (registration link coming soon). View more information about this FOA on Grants.Gov or EERE exchange, or email FY22FeedstockConversionFOA@ee.doe.gov with questions.

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U.S. Department of Energy Announces $59 Million to Expand Biofuels Production and Decarbonize Transportation Sector

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $59 million to accelerate the production of biofuels and bioproducts to reduce emissions in hard-to-decarbonize sectors and create good-paying jobs in rural America. DOE is focused on applied research, development, and demonstration to improve the performance and reduce the cost of biofuel production technologies and scale-up production systems in partnership with industry. By reducing costs and technical risks, these efforts can help pave the way for the biofuels industry to deploy commercial-scale integrated biorefineries. The breakthroughs from this funding will support President Biden’s and DOE’s goals of advancing the use of bioenergy, achieving cost-competitive biofuels, and reaching a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

“Energy harnessed from plants and waste presents a huge opportunity to reduce emissions from hard to decarbonize sectors such as aviation, rail, and shipping, while supporting high-quality jobs across rural America," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. "DOE’s investment in biofuels is a key component of the Biden Administration’s effort to support clean energy technologies that increase our energy independence and move us closer to a net-zero carbon economy."

Marine and aviation sectors require higher energy densities to avoid frequent stops to refuel for long flights, international shipping routes, and cross-country rail routes, making these industries hard to decarbonize. Electrification is currently unable to meet these requirements, but sustainable, energy-dense, liquid biofuels are becoming a strong alternative to address these needs.

The “Scale-Up of Integrated Biorefineries” funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will advance biorefinery development and feedstocks improvement projects in alignment with a broader DOE strategy to support biorefinery projects that can produce sustainable renewable diesel and aviation, marine, and rail fuel at every stage of development. Fostering innovation from the lab to the market helps develop biofuel technologies on a production scale and create economic incentives for companies to adopt them. 

The funding also supports DOE’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge goal of enabling the production of three billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel annually by 2030 and 35 billion gallons annually by 2050, enough to meet 100% of U.S. aviation fuel demand. This is the second in a series of “Scale-Up” FOAs. In September 2021, DOE awarded $64 million to 22 projects focused on developing technologies and processes that produce low-cost, low-carbon biofuels. This FOA is expected to fund between four and 20 projects.

Applicants of the Scale-Up of Integrated Biorefineries FOA must submit a concept paper by 5:00 pm EST on or before July 8, 2022, to be eligible to submit a full application. To apply, applicants must register with and submit application materials through a DOE online application portal at https://eere-Exchange.energy.gov. An informational webinar for potential applicants will be held on June 15, 2022, at 3:00 pm EST. The full solicitation is also available on Grants.gov.

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DOE Announces $2 Million to Help Bring Clean Energy Technologies to Market

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has announced the selection of two projects totaling more than $2 million for its Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). The TCF facilitates stronger partnerships among DOE facilities, private sector companies, and other entities with the goal of getting more clean energy technologies to the marketplace.

The projects were chosen from one of two topic areas:

  1. DOE Facility-developed technologies that have commercial promise and the potential to attract a private partner.
  2. Technologies for which DOE Facilities have already identified a commercial partner willing to execute a partnership agreement.

Both projects were selected from the second topic area and will work to develop technology pathways that include a specific feedstock or feedstocks and conversion technology combination to produce a product slate of biofuels and/or bioproducts.

Priority for BETO TCF project selections were given to:  

  • Commercialization of technology pathways leading to the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with low carbon intensity as the primary product.
  • Other technologies producing chemicals or other products with the potential for near-term commercialization and significant greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.

The activities funded through this opportunity will mobilize public clean energy investment in the biofuel, chemical, and agricultural industries, accelerate the deployment of bioenergy technologies, and support the Biden Administration’s goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The following projects were selected:

TOPIC AREA # SELECTEE PROJECT TITLE FEDERAL COST SHARE
2 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), CogniTek Management Systems, Inc., and Evoqua Water Technologies

Converting lignocellulosic agricultural waste into sustainable aviation fuels and hydrogen

$1,260,000
2

National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and BioPrincipia

Scale up NREL's 2,3-butanediol fermentation process for low-carbon biopolymers

$849,999

 

The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) supports research, development, and demonstration to enable the sustainable use of domestic biomass and waste resources for the production of biofuels and bioproducts. BETO is part of DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

BETO coordinated with DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) to make funding available for 2022 through the Technology Commercialization Fund. OTT coordinates the TCF and plays a vital role in strengthening DOE’s commercialization partnerships.

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U.S. Department of Energy Announces $16.5 Million in Funding for Carbon Utilization Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s (FECM’s) Carbon Utilization Program announced the selection of seven projects totaling $16.5 million in federal funding. This investment will advance technologies that utilize waste carbon to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and produce reliable feedstocks and biotechnologies.

The selected projects will:

  • Increase the capability of algal systems to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) and put it to productive use. Capturing this waste carbon then allows for algae to be cultivated into a variety of biofuels and bioproducts.
  • Deploy algal technologies that will help lower algal system cost, while decreasing GHG emissions

 “It is our responsibility to lift burdens from communities and help them achieve a safer and more sustainable future while we continue to set the global standard for environmental stewardship,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These investments in bioenergy waste and carbon conversion technologies will transform an economic and environmental hardship into a clean energy asset.”

The funding opportunity announcement (FOA), entitled “Carbon Utilization Technology: Improving Efficient Systems for Algae,” combines the complementary objectives in algal research of both funding offices (EERE and FECM). The projects selected further the government-wide approach to the climate crisis by driving innovation that can lead to the deployment of clean energy technologies by utilizing waste CO2. These technologies will work towards achieving the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and contribute to BETO’s goal of producing at least 3 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuels by 2030.

The selected projects fall into two topic areas:

  1. Carbon utilization efficiency from biomass- or atmospheric-based sources of CO2
  2. Algae-based technology to utilize anthropogenic CO2 from utility and industrial sources

Creating conventional petroleum-derived products requires significant energy and emissions. The carbon footprint of plastics alone, 2.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent in 2015, shows the need for carbon neutral replacements.[1] Algae can grow on waste CO2, functioning as a carbon sink.  This algae biomass can then be used to create low or no-emissions biofuels and bioproducts which displace GHGs. Biofuels and bioproducts made from algae--such as plastics, foams, and chemicals--can be direct replacements for so many different everyday products from flip flops to water bottles.

The following projects were selected:

Topic Area 1: Carbon utilization efficiency from biomass- or atmospheric-based sources of CO2

    Topic Area 2: Algae-based technology to utilize anthropogenic CO2 from utility and industrial sources

      SELECTEE

      LOCATION (CITY, STATE)

      PROJECT TITLE

      FEDERAL COST SHARE

      Topic Area 1: Carbon Utilization Efficiency

      Colorado School of Mines

      Golden, CO

      Efficient CO2 Use for Robust Marine Microalgae Biomass Yields (MASS)

      3,000,000

      Colorado State University 

      Fort Collins, CO

      Algal Turf Scrubbers: Improving Carbon Utilization and Productivity (ATS:CUP)

      2,998,499

      Washington University in St. Louis

      St. Louis, MO

      Enhancing Carbon Utilization by Algal Systems via Integrated Biogas Purification, Nitrogen Reuse, and Innovative Carbon Dioxide Delivery

      2,522,518

      Topic Area 2: Algae Based Technology

      Dioxide Materials

      Boca Raton, FL

      Improved Microalgal Carbon Utilization Efficiency via Integrated CO2 Electro-conversion to Formate and Microalgal Sequestration

      2,000,000

      Global Algae Innovations

      San Diego, CA

      Spirulina Production on Flue Gas

      2,000,000

      University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

      Baltimore, MD

      Photosynthesis-driven Microalgal Systems to Mitigate Carbon Dioxide Emission from Power Plan Flue Gases

      2,000,000

      MicroBio Engineering

      San Luis Obispo, CA

      Cultivation-Ready Improved Algae Strains (CRIAS) for Increased Carbon Utilization Efficiency

      1,999,938

      [1] Growing environmental footprint of plastics driven by coal combustion (nature.com)

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      Department of Energy Announces $29.5 Million for Improved Bioenergy Resource Recovery and Conversion Systems

      The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $29.5 million to 15 projects to improve the current science and infrastructure for utilizing waste streams, often disproportionately located in underserved communities, and support the development of improved organisms and inorganic catalysts for the production of valuable biofuels and bioproducts that can benefit the local energy economy. This effort will advance the Biden Administration’s goals to deliver an equitable, clean energy future, and put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050.

       “It is our responsibility to lift burdens from communities and help them achieve a safer and more sustainable future while we continue to set the global standard for environmental stewardship,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These investments in bioenergy waste and carbon conversion technologies will transform an economic and environmental hardship into a clean energy asset.”

      Waste streams, including municipal solid waste, animal manure, wastewater residuals, and other organic wastes, are a key feedstock for producing biofuels and bioproducts. However, these waste streams can be an economic liability to the communities managing them and often lead to a multitude of health impacts on surrounding populations.

      The selected projects will:

      • Research and develop valuable bioenergy resources: Awardees across 5 projects will look into the development of improved organisms and inorganic catalysts to support the next generation of low-carbon biofuels and bioproducts.
      • Improve science and infrastructure for converting waste streams: Awardees across 10 projects will help enable waste feedstocks utilization and robust conversion processes to produce low-carbon biofuels that reduce emissions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as aviation. This effort is complementary to the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge, a government-wide effort which aims to achieve a zero-carbon aviation sector by 2050.

      These projects fall into four topic areas for the “FY22 Waste Feedstocks and Conversion R&D” funding opportunity:

      1. Municipal Solid Waste Feedstock Technologies
      2. Robust Microbial Cells
      3. Robust Catalytic Processes
      4. Community Scale Resource and Energy Recovery from Organic Wastes

      These investments are administered by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), which is focused on developing technologies that convert domestic biomass and other waste resources into low-carbon biofuels and bioproducts. BETO is part of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

      The following topics were selected:

      SELECTEE

      LOCATION (CITY, STATE)

      PROJECT TITLE

      FEDERAL COST SHARE

      Topic Area 1: Municipal Solid Waste Feedstock Technologies

      University of Kentucky

      Lexington, KY

      Surface Enhanced Preprocessing of MSW for Year-Round Supply of Conversion-Ready Feedstocks

       $2,116,749

      Worcester Polytechnic Institute

      Worcester, MA

      Removing Physical and Chemical Bottlenecks for Hydrothermal Waste-to-Energy through Intensified Conditioning of Blended High Solid Waste Slurries

       $1,628,551

      Gas Technology Institute

      Des Plaines, IL

      Carbonaceous Chemistry Improvement of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Gasification

       $1,637,362

      Michigan Technical University

      Houghton, MI

      Solvent Targeted Recovery and Precipitation (STRAP) For Recovery of Biogenic Materials and Plastics from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)

      $2,250,000

      Iowa State University

      Ames, IA

      Conversion of Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) Rejected Wastes to Value-added Products for Various Material Applications

       $2,250,000

      North Carolina State University

      Raleigh, NC

      Sargassum and Wood Waste for Aviation Fuel and Graphite (SWAG)

       $2,250,000

      Topic Area 2: Robust Microbial Cells

      Washington University in St. Louis

      St. Louis, MO

      Understanding and Controlling Cell-to-Cell Variability for Robust Bioconversion

      $2,458,134

      Washington State University

      Pullman, WA

      Improving the Longevity of Methanothermobacter wolfeii strain BSEL when Converting Biogas with Hydrogen to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)

      $2,500,000

      The Ohio State University

      Columbus, OH

      Continuous n-butanol production from lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysates

      $2,500,000

      Topic Area 3: Robust Catalytic Processes

      Tallgrass MLP Operations, LLC

      Leawood, KS

      Robust Engineered Catalyst Demonstration for Ethanol to Sustainable Aviation Fuel via Oxygenate Intermediate

      $2,500,000

      University of Alabama

      Tuscaloosa, AL

      Sustainable Aviation Fuels from Biomass Derived Ethanol

      $2,500,000

      Topic Area 4: Community Scale Resource and Energy Recovery from Organic Wastes

      City of Gainesville, Florida

      Gainesville, FL

      Anaerobic Digestion Feasibility Analysis

      $400,000

      Yolo County Division of Integrated Waste Management

      Woodland, CA

      TRIFTS Biogas to Renewable Fuel Technology Evaluation

       $1,498,904

      Great Lakes Water Authority

      Detroit, MI

      Hydrothermal Liquefaction to Convert Organic Wet Waste to Transportation Fuels

      $1,500,000

      Town of Yarmouth 

      Yarmouth, MA

      Cape Cod Municipal Solid Waste Organics Diversion & Contamination Mitigation Program

      $1,495,000

       

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      New DOE Request for Information Released on Biomass Conversion Research, Development, and Analysis Programs

      The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has released a new request for information (RFI) on several priority areas relating to activities in the Conversion Research and Development (R&D) program, including:

      • Improved Robustness of Microbial Cells (Category 1)
      • Improved Robustness of Catalytic Processes (Category 2)
      • State of Technology (SOT) Analyses in the BETO Research Portfolio (Category 3)

      The RFI, titled “Biomass Conversion Research, Development, and Analysis Programs,” seeks input from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to Microbial Cell and Catalyst Robustness, and State-of Technology Analyses.

      In the Conversion R&D Program, process robustness has been identified as a key challenge that must be addressed prior to scale-up. This includes the development of more robust organisms and catalytic processes for the conversion of sustainable feedstocks and intermediates into biofuels and bioproducts. The program is interested in feedback on barriers, capabilities, tools, and other general information needed to prioritize future research and development programs in the areas of organism (Category 1) and catalyst development (Category 2).

      The Conversion R&D Program funds techno-economic and life-cycle analysis to track progress of particular process “pathways” and unit operations. The program is interested in feedback on which analyses are most useful to the broader bioenergy research and industrial community (Category 3).

      Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to FY22ConversionRFI@ee.doe.gov no later than 5 p.m. ET on March 11, 2022. Responses must be provided as attachments to an email. View the full RFI on EERE Exchange or Grants.gov.

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      New Request for Information on Scaling and Energy Strategies for Organic Waste Streams

      The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has released a new request for information (RFI) for feedback related to community-scale resource and energy strategies from organic waste streams.

      The RFI, titled “Community-Scale Resource and Energy Recovery from Waste Solutions,” seeks input from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to community programs for organic waste.

      EERE is requesting this information to better understand which waste-related economic, environmental, and social impacts are of highest priority to communities, how to make the Conversion Research and Development program more effective in addressing these challenges, and to identify additional technical assistance needs that are most in demand by rural communities.

      Rural and urban communities face unique challenges when considering resource and energy opportunities. In many rural communities, animal manure and food waste represent the largest fractions (by mass and volume) of organic wastes that are generated. Some fraction of these streams can be used within the community as sources of fertilizer or compost. Conversely, in urban communities, municipal wastewater residuals, fats/oils/greases, and food waste are the dominant waste streams that require management. However, regardless of community size, treatment, transportation, and disposal costs for these waste streams are increasing for a variety of reasons.

      For the purposes of this RFI, BETO is particularly interested in the following organic waste streams:

      • Dairy manure
      • Swine manure
      • Food waste
      • Municipal wastewater residuals
      • Fats/oils/greases

      Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to CommunityWasteRFI@ee.doe.gov no later than 5 p.m. ET on March 11, 2022. In addition to, or in lieu of, providing written responses to this RFI, respondents may request a 30-minute individual discussion with a BETO staff member via CommunityWasteRFI@ee.doe.gov. View the full RFI on EERE Exchange or Grants.gov.

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      2021

      DOE Announces $14.5 Million to Combat Plastics Waste and Pollution

      The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an investment of up to $14.5 million for research and development to cut waste and reduce the energy used to recycle single-use plastics like plastic bags, wraps, and films. This funding directed toward plastics recycling technologies advances the DOE’s work to address the challenges of plastic waste recycling and support the Biden Administration’s efforts to build a clean energy economy and ensure the U.S. reaches net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

      “For years, single-use plastics have had a detrimental impact on the environment—clogging landfills and polluting our neighborhoods, parks, and beaches,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Innovation in plastics recycling technology is a triple win by cutting plastic waste we see in our everyday lives, reducing industrial energy use and resulting emissions, and creating clean manufacturing jobs for American workers.”

      Single-use plastics are the largest subset of plastics found in landfills and among the most challenging to recycle. Plastic production accounts for more than 3% of total U.S. energy consumption and uses roughly the same amount of oil around the world as the aviation industry. Yet, less than 10% of plastics are currently recycled, most of which are “downcycled,” or repurposed into low-value products.

      Through this funding opportunity, DOE will support a range of projects to develop economically viable solutions for converting plastic films to more valuable materials and design new plastics that are more recyclable and biodegradable. These solutions can increase investments in recycling processes and recycling jobs in the United States, reduce the amount of plastics that end up in the environment, and decarbonize the plastics industry.

      “I’m thrilled with the announcement of this substantial federal investment in researching better ways to recycle and upcycle single use plastics. This has been a top priority of mine in the United States Congress and I launched the bipartisan Congressional Plastics Task Force in 2019 to help combat the plastic waste crisis in our country,” said U.S. Representative Haley Stevens. “I applaud Secretary Granholm and the Biden Administration for taking this important step and look forward to working together to innovate recycling across America.”

      As part of the application, applicants are required to describe how diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives will be incorporated in the project.

      This funding opportunity builds on DOE investments, including the DOE Bio-Optimized Technologies to keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment (BOTTLE) Consortium and the Reducing EMbodied energy And Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute. BOTTLE consortium members have previously engineered an enzyme to better deconstruct polyethylene terephthalate, one of the most commonly used plastic packaging materials, developed a new approach to deconstruct single use polyethylene for use in new products, and developed a brand new plastic that can be easily recycled. 

      Learn more about the Single-Use Plastic Recycling Funding Opportunity Topic Areas.

      The funding opportunity announcement is available now on EERE Exchange.

      The application process will include two phases: a concept paper and a full application. Concept papers are due on June 28, 2021, and full applications are due on August 16, 2021.

      DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and Bioenergy Technologies Office oversee these investments in support of the Biden Administration’s efforts to address the climate emergency. DOE’s Office of Science and Office of Fossil Energy also play key roles in supporting plastic research and development efforts.

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      Department of Energy Announces Nearly $34 Million to Advance Waste and Algae Bioenergy Technology

      11 University- and Industry-Led Projects will Develop Biomass Resources that can be Converted to Low-Carbon Fuel for Planes and Ships

      WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced nearly $34 million in funding for 11 projects that will support high-impact research and development to improve and produce biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts. These biomass resources, otherwise known as feedstocks, can be produced by municipal solid waste (MSW) streams and algae and converted into low-carbon fuels that can significantly contribute to the decarbonization of transportation sectors that face barriers to electrification, like aviation and marine. By lowering the carbon footprint of the transportation sector, biofuels will play an important role in reaching the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

      “From food waste to yard trimmings, biomass technology is converting our everyday trash into low-carbon fuel for planes and ships while cutting costs and supporting our critical transportation sector,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “The companies and universities leading these projects will ensure that our cutting-edge biofuel technologies reduce carbon emissions, create new jobs up and down the supply chain, and are made in America by American workers.”

      Transportation accounts for approximately 30% of total U.S. energy consumption and generates the largest share of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Biofuels serve as a low-carbon alternative to petroleum and can also be used in the production of carbon-heavy products like plastics, fertilizers, lubricants, and industrial chemicals.

      “We need transformational, innovative technology to mitigate the most severe impacts of climate change,” said U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI). “Global Algae Innovations on Kauai is at work on technology that would create energy from algae, and this new federal funding will help this local company continue its groundbreaking work.”

      “The University of Toledo is a nationally-recognized leader in the research of biofuel energies and environmental resilience,” said U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-09). “This vital partnership is recognition of the important role the University of Toledo plays, and will help advance the critical technology breakthroughs necessary to power our cleaner, greener energy future.”

      “I was thrilled to learn that North Carolina State University in my district was awarded this crucial funding from the Department of Energy,” said U.S. Representative Deborah Ross (NC-02). “I am so proud of the work that NC State and its partners are doing to find novel ways to reduce municipal solid waste and explore alternative fuel sources. This award will go a long way in helping them expand their innovative research. This effort is just another example of the ingenuity the universities, startups, and small businesses in North Carolina’s 2nd district deploy to tackle our country’s greatest problems.”

      The selected projects will:

      • Research and develop waste for energy conversion ($15M) – Awardees across five projects will expand understanding of the potential for municipal solid waste (which typically consists of a complex mixture of food waste, glass, metals, yard trimmings, woody waste materials, non-recyclable paper and plastic, construction and demolition waste, rags, and sludge from wastewater treatment) to become biofuel energy. The process of converting waste into biofuel has significant potential to divert large volumes of garbage from the landfills to the refinery.
      • Improve algae farming practices to increase production ($18.7M) – Awardees across six projects will look into diverse strains and farming practices of algae and explore new ways to improve their growth. Algae uses sunlight and nutrients to grow, and then can be converted to a variety of biofuels and products.

      "The ABO is thrilled to see continued support for algae programs that have significant potential to push the bioenergy industry forward,” said Dr. Rebecca White, Executive Director of the Algae Biomass Organization (ABO). “DOE has a long history of supporting work that yields discoveries and innovation in algae production. These projects will examine a diverse portfolio of algae strains that will advance the use of algae products across market sectors and significantly contribute to reducing carbon emissions."

      “Converting waste into resources relies on continued scientific advancement and innovation to overcome the technological and economic limitations that stand in the way of lasting change,” said Dr. Bryan Staley, President & CEO of the Environmental Research & Education Foundation. “Through these projects, DOE’s significant commitment to waste conversion will move the needle substantially.”

      “Airlines for America applauds Secretary Granholm and the DOE for their continued and vital support for the development and production of environmentally friendly sustainable aviation fuel (SAF),” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “SAF currently results in an emissions savings of up to 80 percent, compared to conventional jet fuel, and it can be made from a wide array of feedstocks, ranging from woody waste to used cooking oil to municipal solid waste. Projects like these will help to further advance SAF as the U.S. airline industry works toward its goals of making 2 billion gallons of SAF available for carriers to use in 2030 and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

      More information about how DOE is working to develop industrially relevant, transformative, and revolutionary bioenergy technologies can be found on DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) website. BETO is part of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

      NAME

      LOCATION (CITY, STATE)

      PROJECT TITLE

      FEDERAL SHARE

      Topic Area 1: Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste to Enable Production of Conversion-Ready Feedstocks

      Cascadia Consulting Group

      Seattle, WA

      Statistically Rigorous Deep Dive Nationwide Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste and Selection of Technologies Enabling Production of Conversion-Ready Feedstocks

      $3,125,000

      University of Maryland: College Park

      College Park, MD

      Systematic Characterization of Variability in MSW Streams to Identify Critical Material Attributes for Fuel Production

      $3,411,838

      Lehigh University

      Bethlehem, PA

      Integrated LIBS-Raman-AI System for Real-Time, In-Situ Chemical Analysis of MSW Streams

      $2,810,431

      North Carolina State University

      Raleigh, NC

      AI-Enabled Hyperspectral Imaging Augmented with Multi-Sensory Information for Rapid/Real-time Analysis of Non-Recyclable Heterogeneous MSW for Conversion to Energy

      $2,839,819

      AMP Robotics

      Louisville, CO

      Artificial Neural Network for MSW Contamination Characterization

      $2,812,912

      Topic Area 2: Algae Productivity Exceeding Expectations (APEX)

      University of California: San Diego

      La Jolla, CA

      Enhanced Production of Algae Lipids and Carbohydrates for Fuel and Polyurethane Precursors

      $3,200,000

      Colorado State University

      Fort Collins, CO

      Advancing Algal Productivity through Innovation in Cultivation Operation and Strain Traits (ADAPT-COST)

      $3,199,990

      Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego

      La Jolla, CA

      Ecological Monitoring Technologies to Enhance Large-Scale Microalgae Cultivation, Stability, and Productivity

      $2,761,304

      Arizona State University

      Tempe, AZ

      Direct Air Capture Integration with Algae Carbon Biocatalysis

      $3,200,000

      Global Algae Innovations Inc.

      Lihue, HI

      Enhanced Algae Productivity in CO2 Direct Air Capture Cultivation

      $3,200,000

      University of Toledo

      Toledo, OH

      Minimizing Organic Carbon Losses to Improve Net Productivity in Direct Air Capture Cultivation

      $3,200,000

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      U.S. Department of Energy Announces More Than $64 Million for Biofuels Research to Reduce Transportation Emissions

      The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $64 million in funding for 22 projects focused on developing technologies and processes that produce low-cost, low-carbon biofuels. Biofuels are made up of renewable resources and can power heavy-duty vehicles that are difficult to electrify with current technologies—including airplanes and ships—to help accelerate America’s path to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

      These selected projects will support the newly announced Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge: an interagency collaboration between DOE, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reduce the cost, enhance the sustainability, and expand the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). These agencies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that lays out a commitment to achieve a minimum 50% reduction in life cycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fuel, to meet a goal of supplying sufficient SAF to meet 100% of aviation fuel demand by 2050.

      The MOU was presented at a Sustainable Aviation Roundtable hosted by the White House on September 9, 2021. More information on SAF interagency collaboration beyond the MOU can be found at the Biomass Research and Development Board website.

      These projects fall into five topic areas for the “Bioenergy Technologies Office Scale-Up and Conversion” funding opportunity:

      1. Scale-Up of Biotechnologies
      2. Affordable, Clean Cellulosic Sugars for High Yield Conversion
      3. Separations to Enable Biomass Conversion
      4. Residential Wood Heaters
      5. Renewable Natural Gas

      The topic areas include high-impact biotechnology research, development, and demonstration to bolster the body of scientific and engineering knowledge needed to produce low-carbon biofuels at a lower cost.

      “Decarbonizing transportation is an essential part of the path to a net-zero carbon future. While electrification of smaller vehicles is gaining momentum, larger vehicles like planes will still rely on liquid fuels for the near future,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “This investment will accelerate the deployment of bioenergy technologies and mobilize public clean energy investment in the biofuels, chemical, and agricultural industries, which can lead to new good-paying jobs across the bioenergy supply chain and increased investment in rural economies.”

      These investments are administered by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), which is focused on developing technologies that convert domestic biomass and other waste resources into low-carbon biofuels and bioproducts. BETO is increasing its emphasis on partnering with industry to demonstrate technologies at a large scale to recognize the urgent need to reduce risks and scale-up SAF production. 

      NAME

      LOCATION (CITY, STATE)

      PROJECT TITLE

      FEDERAL SHARE

      Topic Area 1a: Scale-Up – Pre-Pilot for Biofuels and Bioproducts

      Alder Energy

      Charleston, SC

      Field-to-Fuel Production of Carbon-Negative Sustainable Aviation Fuel from Regenerative Agriculture Biomass

      $4,000,000

      Gas Technology Institute

      Des Plaines, IL

      Novel Electric Reformer for Drop-In Fuels from Waste COor Biogas

      $3,994,252

      Gas Technology Institute

      Des Plaines, IL

      R-GAS Advanced Gasification Pre-Pilot Demonstration for Biofuels (BioRGAS)

      $3,999,898

      Global Algae Innovations

      San Diego, CA

      Direct Air Capture Algae Cultivation

      $4,000,000

      LanzaTech

      Soperton, GA

      Low-Cost Sustainable Aviation Fuel from Waste CO2

      $3,994,307

      MicroBio Engineering Inc.

      San Luis Obispo, CA

      Clean Water, Sustainable Aviation Fuel and Renewable Diesel Production from Wastewater

      $3,999,596

      Texas A&M AgriLife Research/Texas A&M University

      College Station, TX

      Scale-Up of Biodegradable Plastic Product to Enable the Economic Renewable Aviation Fuels

      $3,923,620

      University of Maryland: College Park

      College Park, MD

      Near-Critical Fluids Treatment for Liquefaction and Extraction of Biofuels

      $3,101,362

      Topic Area 1b: Scale-Up – Pilot Scale for Biofuels and Bioproducts

      D3Max LLC

      Grand Forks, ND

      Production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels from Corn Stover via NREL's Deacetylation and Mechanical Refining Technology (SAFFiRE)

      $499,988

      Topic Area 1c: Scale-Up – Demonstration for Biofuels and Bioproducts

      SkyNRG Americas Inc.

      Bend, OR

      Project LOTUS: Landfill Off-gas to Ultra-Low Carbon Intensity SAF

      $1,000,000

      T2C-Energy

      Pinellas Park, FL

      Demonstration Scale-Up: TRIFTS Biogas to Renewable Fuel

      $533,619

      Topic Area 2: Affordable, Clean Cellulosic Sugars for High Yield Conversion

      AVAPCO

      Thomaston, CA

      Sugar Is the New Crude

      $2,800,000

      National Renewable Energy Laboratory

      Golden, CO

      Production of Low-Cost and Highly Fermentable Sugar from Corn Stover via Chemical-Recovery-Free Deacetylation and Mechanical Refining Process

      $2,800,000

      Topic Area 3a: Separations to Improve Arrested Anaerobic Digestion Process Development

      Quasar Energy Group

      Independence, OH

      High Solids In Situ Product Recovery; The Next Generation of Arrested Anaerobic Digestion Technology

      $3,500,000

      Topic Area 3b: Separations to Enable Biomass Conversion (Bioprocessing Separations Consortium)

      Archer Daniels Midland

      Decatur, IL

      Demonstration of Continuous Biobutanol Fermentation Integrated with Membrane Solvent Extraction

      $3,466,844

      Lignolix

      Wilmington, DE

      Enabling Lignin Valorization with Liquid-Liquid Chromatography

      $2,499,196

      RAPID Manufacturing Institute

      New York, NY

      Physical Property Data and Models in Support of Bioprocessing Separation Technologies for Organic Acids Separation

      $2,900,000

      Topic Area 4: Residential Wood Heaters

      Oregon State University

      Corvallis, OR

      Development of Forced-Air Combustion Systems with Automated Controls to Reduce Emissions from Cordwood Room Heaters

      $2,500,000

      University of Alabama

      Tuscaloosa, AL

      Clean Combustion Technology with Efficient and Autonomous Wood Heater Operation over the Full Cycle

      $1,642,815

      Topic Area 5a: Renewable Natural Gas (R&D)

      University of Virginia

      Charlottesville, VA

      Low-Temperature CO2 Methanation for Biogas-to-Renewable Natural Gas Conversion via Advanced Ni-Based Catalysts

      $2,300,000

      Washington University – St. Louis

      St. Louis, MO

      Upgrading Biogas through In Situ Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Biomethane in Anaerobic Digesters

      $2,300,000

      Topic Area 5b: Renewable Natural Gas (Pilot Scale)

      Summit Utilities

      Yarmouth, ME

      Renewable Power-to-Gas (PtG): A Technical Feasibility and Market Demonstration of Biomethanation as a Means for Biogas Upgrading and Renewable Natural Gas Production

      $4,977,437

       

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      New Notice of Intent for the Scale-Up of Biofuel and Bioproduct Refineries Award

      The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has announced its intent to issue a second Scale-Up Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). This FOA, funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), will aim to accelerate the scale-up of biofuel and bioproduct biorefineries. This includes efforts for pre-pilot, pilot, and demonstration scale projects and will allow for projects that are in the planning phase as well as those that already have a design package and are ready to construct. This also encompasses previously funded awards that were selected under previous FOAs for design work.

      Earlier this year, BETO solicited applications for the first Scale-Up FOA which was targeted towards applicants who still needed to assemble design packages. Eleven projects were selected for awards in the Scale-Up topic areas of this FOA, totaling over $33 million.

      For more information, visit EERE Exchange or Grants.gov.

      Learn more about funding opportunities at BETO.

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      New Request for Information on Renewable Fuel Scale-Up and Demonstration Released by DOE

      The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a new Request for Information (RFI) on the scale-up and demonstration of renewable fuels. The RFI, titled “Overcoming Barriers to Renewable Fuel Scale-Up and Demonstration,” seeks input from biofuels producers and technology developers about their readiness to scale process technologies to pilot- and demonstration-scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable diesel, and renewable marine fuels. The RFI also seeks input on how the first-generation ethanol and other existing industries could be leveraged to provide low-cost feedstock and infrastructure for biofuels production, including information on practices that can reduce the carbon intensity of corn production.

      This information is necessary for DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) to chart the potential growth of domestic renewable fuels production by 2030, and to understand the barriers in scaling renewable fuel production pathways. The RFI also seeks information on how DOE can best assist biofuels production stakeholders in their research and development and scaling up of their technologies through demonstration scale.

      Constructing and operating pilot- and demonstration-scale facilities is essential to de-risk technology and ensure the success of subsequent commercial scale projects. BETO recognizes the availability of financing for first-of-a-kind process systems can be a barrier to commercializing advanced biofuels. Input is sought from bioenergy companies that are planning to scale up and demonstrate SAF, renewable diesel, and renewable marine fuel technologies from the lower Technology Readiness Levels to pilot and demonstration stage and eventual commercialization. This information will inform a multi-year scale-up strategy resulting in the construction and operation of several SAF, renewable diesel, and/or renewable marine fuel production pathways.

      Feedback is requested from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to the scale-up of renewable fuel production technologies. Specifically, the RFI has six categories in which DOE is interested in receiving information and input:

      1. Biofuel Pathway Scale-Up Forecasts – plans by developers to scale SAF, marine, and renewable diesel production
      2. Barriers to Scale-Up of SAF, Marine, and Renewable Diesel Technologies – input on technical, financial, legal, contractual, policy and other barriers
      3. Leveraging First Generation Ethanol and Other Incumbent Industries – information on technological improvements that could enhance low-carbon fuel production
      4. BETO Scale-Up of Biotechnologies Strategy – input on BETO’s strategy and other forms of financial assistance to support biofuel scale-up and commercialization
      5. Leveraging National Laboratory process development unit to Scale-Up Renewable Fuels – insight on how DOE National Laboratory capabilities can support biofuel scale-up and commercialization
      6. Feedstock Production & Supply – information on sustainable corn farming practices and challenges in establishing robust biomass feedstock supply chains

      Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to Biofuels_FY22_RFI@ee.doe.gov no later than 5p.m. ET on Jan. 31, 2022. In addition to, or in lieu of, providing written responses to this RFI, respondents may request a 30-minute individual discussion with a BETO staff member via Biofuels_FY22_RFI@ee.doe.gov. View the full RFI on EERE Exchange or Grants.gov.

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      2020

      Department of Energy Announces $35 Million for Bioenergy Research and Development

      The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $35 million in funding for bioenergy feedstock technologies and algae research and development. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) supports the White House priority for advancing the domestic bioeconomy, as well as the Bioenergy Technologies Office's (BETO’s) goals of improving the performance and lowering the cost and risk of technologies that can be used to produce biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts.

      Topic Areas include:

      • Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to Enable Production of Conversion-Ready Feedstocks (up to $15M):
        (a) Measurement of variability of key MSW characteristics within and across unique MSW streams
        (b) Development of novel methods for rapid/real-time measurements.
      • Algae Productivity Exceeding Expectations (APEX) (up to $20M):
        (a) Improvements in productivity with traditional carbon dioxide (CO2) supply
        (b) Improvements in productivity with Direct Air Capture (DAC) of CO2 from ambient air.

      The Feedstock Technologies Topic Area will focus on the characterization of MSW streams. Projects will work on understanding MSW variability and informing the steps necessary to produce conversion-ready feedstock. The Advanced Algal Systems Topic Area looks to improve seasonal productivity of algae via a diverse portfolio of strains and improvement approaches. Projects will develop tools to accelerate current and future strain and cultivation improvements.

      The application process will include two phases: a concept paper and a full application. Concept papers are due on February 3, 2021, and full applications are due on April 7, 2021.

      For more information, please visit BETO’s Funding Opportunity page, the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange and Grants.gov.

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      New Notices of Intent for Sustainable Transportation Technologies Funding Opportunities

      The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced its intent to issue three sustainable transportation technologies funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) in Spring 2021. These potential funding opportunities seek innovative research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) in the pursuit of technologies that will help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the transportation sector, the highest source of emissions in the United States[1]

      Building a clean energy economy and addressing the climate crisis is a top priority of the Biden Administration. The Administration has laid out a bold plan to lead the world in building a clean energy economy, and to address climate change and achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050 to the benefit of all Americans. The Department of Energy is committed to pushing the frontiers of science and engineering, catalyzing clean energy jobs through RDD&D, and ensuring environmental justice and inclusion of disadvantaged communities.

      The three Notices of Intent (NOI) are for the following potential FOAs:

      • Notice of Intent - SuperTruck 3: Improving the vehicle efficiency and safety of freight transportation while minimizing environmental impact is critical to helping the country decrease its petroleum use and reduce emissions as the economy grows. The Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) are interested in partnering to develop and demonstrate R&D concepts to enable higher efficiency, low-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks and freight systems. This NOI aims to take advantage of the significant opportunities for the entire freight and truck transportation system to achieve higher efficiency and electrification (battery, hydrogen fuel cell, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell range extenders).
      • Notice of Intent - Low Greenhouse Gas Vehicle Technologies Research, Development, and Deployment: VTO funds a broad portfolio of RDD&D projects to develop affordable, efficient, and clean transportation options to tackle the climate crisis and accelerate the development and widespread use of a variety of innovative transportation technologies. This NOI will invite innovative solutions for on- and off-road vehicles to support the reduction of emissions and increased efficiencies in the transportation sector. To achieve this, areas that could be explored include community-level electric vehicle (EV) demonstrations, EV infrastructure and charging, and advanced engines and fuels that reduce emissions.
      • Notice of Intent - Bioenergy Technologies Office Scale-Up and Conversion: The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is focused on developing technologies that convert domestic biomass and other waste resources into low carbon biofuels and bioproducts. These bioenergy technologies can enable a transition to a clean energy economy, create high-quality jobs, support rural economies, and spur innovation in renewable energy and chemicals production—the bioeconomy. This NOI anticipates supporting high-impact technology research, development, and demonstration to bolster the body of scientific and engineering knowledge needed to produce low-carbon biofuels at lower cost. This will involve partnerships with industry to demonstrate these technologies at industrially-relevant scales.

      DOE is working to mitigate the climate impact of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles, and the scope of the RDD&D will not be exclusive to one fuel source or vehicle type. By improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions across the entire transportation sector, DOE can help ensure that the benefits of this work are equitably distributed to all Americans.

      For more information, please visit EERE Exchange or Grants.gov.

      Learn more about Funding Opportunities at BETOHFTO, and VTO.

       

      [1] https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

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      Plastics Innovation Challenge Draft Roadmap and Request for Information

      In January, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Plastics Innovation Challenge Draft Roadmap and a Request for Information (RFI) seeking stakeholder input on the Draft Roadmap. Announced in November 2019, the Plastics Innovation Challenge is a comprehensive program to accelerate innovations in energy-efficient plastics recycling technologies. The Plastics Innovation Challenge will also position the United States as a global leader in design and implementation of advanced plastics recycling technologies and in the manufacture of new plastics that are recyclable by design.

      “The Plastics Innovation Challenge leverages the extensive expertise and capabilities of the Department of Energy and our National Labs to think beyond the status quo and make a real impact in addressing our plastic waste issues,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “Our stakeholders are an essential source of valuable direction, and we ask for their feedback as we pursue solutions for issues that affect us all.”

      The Plastics Innovation Challenge aims to make domestic processing of plastic waste economically viable and energy efficient, develop new and improved plastic materials lacking the same end-of-life concerns as incumbent materials, and ultimately reduce plastic waste accumulation. Four strategic goals define the scope of the Plastics Innovation Challenge:

      1. Deconstruction: Develop biological and chemical methods for deconstructing plastic wastes into useful chemicals.
      2. Upcycling: Develop technologies to upcycle waste chemical streams into higher-value products, encouraging increased recycling.
      3. Recycle by Design: Design new, renewable plastics and bioplastics that have the properties of today’s plastics, are easily upcycled, and can be manufactured at scale domestically.
      4. Scale and Deploy: Support an energy- and material-efficient domestic plastics supply chain by helping companies scale and deploy new technologies in domestic and global markets, while improving existing recycling technologies such as collection, sorting, and mechanical recycling.

      The Plastics Innovation Challenge Draft Roadmap identifies key research needs and opportunities for DOE-sponsored research and development. The Draft Roadmap identifies challenges and opportunities across thermal, chemical, biological, and physical recycling and upcycling methods, as well as material design strategies for recyclability. Additionally, the Draft Roadmap:

      • Provides an overview of the plastic waste problem, including the limits of current recycling technologies;
      • Identifies the initiative’s 2030 vision, mission, strategic goals, and objectives;
      • Details challenges and opportunities identified by previous DOE activities and workshops;
      • Lays out key research directions;
      • Delivers an outline of current DOE activities, capabilities, and coordination; and
      • Describes potential near-, medium-, and long-term targets for each research area.

      The Draft Roadmap also serves as a unifying document, providing structure and aligning activities across the DOE offices involved in this effort, including the Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Science, and Fossil Energy and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). This roadmap will guide DOE efforts to meet the Plastics Innovation Challenge 2030 goals by providing alignment within DOE, a framework to focus on select strategies for managing plastic waste, and research directions at every level of technical maturity.

      In addition to the Draft Roadmap, DOE also released an associated RFI. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from stakeholders to ensure the Plastics Innovation Challenge is optimally positioned to address opportunities and challenges for the discovery, development, and deployment of technologies for plastic waste management and reduction. Responses to the RFI are due March 1, 2021.

      The complete RFI document can be found on EERE Exchange.

      Download the Plastics Innovation Challenge Draft Roadmap below:

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      Joint FY20 Bioenergy and Advanced Manufacturing FOA BOTTLE: Bio-Optimized Technologies to keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment – Project Selections

      The project descriptions and factual representations provided in this table are those of the selected awardees and do not constitute the views or opinions of the U.S. Department of Energy, its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or its Bioenergy Technologies Office. Neither the United States nor the U.S. Department of Energy, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Moreover, references in the tables to any organization, entity, commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favor by the United States Government or the U.S. Department of Energy.

      SELECTEE & LOCATION PROJECT TITLE DOE SHARE
      Topic 1: Highly Recyclable or Biodegradable Plastics
      1a: Novel Bio-Based Plastics: Designing Highly Recyclable or Biodegradable Bio-Based Plastics
      Iowa State University - Ames, IA Trojan Horse Repeat Sequences for Triggered Chemical Recycling of Polyesters for Films and Bottles $2,165,000
      University of California, San Diego - La Jolla, CA Production of high-performance biodegradable polyurethane products made from algae precursors $2,000,000
      Topic 1: Highly Recyclable or Biodegradable Plastics
      1b: Novel Plastics: Designing Highly Recyclable or Biodegradable Plastics
      University of California, San Diego - La Jolla, CA Degradable Biocomposite Thermoplastic Polyurethanes $2,088,114
      The University of Akron - Akron, OH Highly Recyclable Thermosets for Lightweight Composites $2,049,242
      Topic 2: Novel Methods for Deconstructing and Upcycling Existing Plastic Waste
      IBM Almaden Research Center - San Jose, CA Upcycling PET via the VolCat process $2,495,625
      Battelle Memorial Institute - Columbus, OH Hybrid Approach to Repurpose Plastics Using Novel Engineered Processes (HARNESS) $1,999,778
      Iowa State University - Ames, IA Modular Catalytic Reactors for Single-Use Polyolefin Conversion to Lubricating Oils from Upcycled Plastics (LOUPs) $2,500,000
      Case Western Reserve University - Cleveland, OH Hybrid Chemical-Mechanical Separation & Upcycling of Mixed Plastic Waste $2,498,539
      LanzaTech Inc. - Skokie, IL Upscaling of Non-Recyclable Plastic Waste into CarbonSmart™ Monomers $1,890,001
      Topic 3: BOTTLE Consortium Collaborations to Tackle Challenges in Plastic Waste
      University of Delaware - Newark, DE Circular Economy of Composites enabled by TUFF Technology $2,499,983
      University of Minnesota: Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN BOTTLE – Recyclable and Biodegradable Manufacturing and Processing of Plastics and Polymers based on Renewable Branched Caprolactones $2,499,997
      University of Wisconsin-Madison - Madison, WI Designing Recyclable Biomass Biomass-Based Polyesters $2,500,000

      Official notices can be found at EERE Exchange or Grants.gov. To view all current solicitations for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), see the EERE Funding Opportunities page. This list is for information only—it may not be inclusive of all solicitations. Funding amounts and schedule dates are subject to change.

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      Bioenergy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2020 Multi-Topic Funding Opportunity Announcement – Project Selections

      The project descriptions and factual representations provided in this table are those of the selected awardees and do not constitute the views or opinions of the U.S. Department of Energy, its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or its Bioenergy Technologies Office. Neither the United States nor the U.S. Department of Energy, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Moreover, references in the tables to any organization, entity, commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favor by the United States Government or the U.S. Department of Energy.

      SELECTEE LOCATION (CITY, STATE) PROJECT TITLE DOE SHARE
      Topic 1: Scale-Up of Bench Applications
      University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL Innovation and optimization of the Szego Mill for reliable, efficient, and successful up-scaling of the deacetylation and mechanical refining process for biofuel production $3,053,043
      University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND Scale-Up of the Primary Conversion Reactor to Generate a Lignin-Derived Cyclohexane Jet Fuel $3,745,000
      Earth Energy Renewables, LLC Bryan, TX Scale-up and Qualification of Net-Zero Sustainable Aviation Fuels from Wet Waste $4,000,000
      Global Algae Innovations San Diego, CA Scale-up of Novel Algae Drying and Extraction Unit Operations $4,000,000
      North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC Scaling Up Biocrude Derived Anode Material (BDAM) $3,999,938
      Oregon State University Corvallis, OR Microchannel Reactor for Ethanol to n-Butene Conversion $4,000,000
      Research Triangle Institute Research Triangle Park, NC Integrated Separations to Improve Biocrude Recovery for Biofuels and Bioproducts $3,690,002
      Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA Conversion of 2,3-Butanediol to Biojet Fuel: Scale-up and Technoeconomic Analysis of Energy-Efficient Separations and Fermentative Diol Production $3,001,359
      Topic 2: Waste to Energy Strategies for the Bioeconomy
      AMP Robotics Louisville, CO Artificial Neural Network for MSW Characterization $1,886,922
      Gas Technology Institute Woodland Hills, CA Decontamination of Non-recyclable MSW and Preprocessing for Conversion to Diesel $2,500,000
      UHV Technologies Lexington, KY Advanced Sensing for Characterization and Sorting of Non-Recyclable Plastics Using Sensor Fusion with Artificial Intelligence $2,500,000
      University of Cincinnati  Cincinnati, OH High Precision Sorting, Fractionation, and Formulation of Municipal Solid Waste for Biochemical Conversion $2,089,767
      University of Maryland -
      College Park 
      College Park, MD Innovative Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) Production with Microbial Electrochemical Technology (MET) Incorporation for Community-Scale Waste Valorization $1,985,230
      Princeton University Princeton, NJ Synergistic Thermo-Microbial-Electrochemical (T-MEC) Approach for Drop-In Fuel Production from Wet Waste $2,500,000
      University of Illinois at
      Urbana-Champaign 
      Champaign, IL Process Optimization and Real-Time Control for Synergistic Microalgae Cultivation and Wastewater Treatment $2,000,000
      Utah State University Logan UT Synergistic Municipal Wastewater Treatment Using a Rotating Algae Biofilm Reactor $1,877,735
      Topic 3: Algae Bioproducts and CO2 Direct-Air-Capture Efficiency
      Global Algae Innovations San Diego, CA Production of Algae Biofuel and Bioproducts with CO2 Direct Air Capture $2,000,000
      Montana State University Bozeman, MT Transforming High pH/High Alkalinity Cultivation through Beneficial Microbiomes and Improved Pond Design $2,000,000
      Arizona State University Tempe, AZ ASU’s Polymer-enhanced Cyanobacterial Bioproductivity (AUDACity) $1,999,051
      University of California -
      San Diego 
      La Jolla, CA Biomolecular Films for Direct Air Capture of CO2 $2,000,000
      MicroBio Engineering Inc.  San Luis Obispo, CA Microalgae Commodities Production with a Direct Air Capture Process $1,999,882
      Lumen Bioscience, Incorporated Seattle, WA Alkaline Carbon Capture and Expression-Streamlined Spirulina Cultivated in Air for Reliable Bioproducts, Oil, and Nutrition $2,000,000
      Duke University Beaufort, NC Development of High Value Bioproducts and Enhancement of Direct-Air-Capture Efficiency with a Marine Algae Biofuel Production System $1,967,473
      Topic 4: Bio-Restore: Biomass to Restore Natural Resources 
      University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE EXCHANGE: Expanding the Conversion of Habitat in the Northern Great Plains Ecosystem $3,200,000
      Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS PoSIES: Populus in the Southeast for Integrated Ecosystem Services $2,035,602
      University of Florida Gainesville, FL Evaluation of Energycane for Bioenergy and Sustainable Agricultural Systems (EC-BioSALTS) $3,992,520
      Topic 5: Efficient Wood Heaters
      NTRE Tech LLC North Canton, OH Advanced Low-Emission Residential Fluid-Bed Biomass Combustor $2,431,050
      Ohio State University Columbus, OH Simulation-Driven Design Optimization and Automation for Cordwood-Fueled Room Heaters $2,500,000
      Topic 6: Biopower and Products from Urban and Suburban Wastes: North American Multi-University Partnership for Research and Education
      University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Integrated biochemical and electrochemical technologies (IBET) to convert organic waste to biopower via North American research and educational partnerships $5,000,000
      University of Wisconsin at Madison  Madison, WI Multi-University Center on Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics (CUWP) $10,000,000
      Topic 7: Scalable CO2 Electrocatalysis 
      Dioxide Materials Boca Raton, FL Electrolyzers For CO2 Conversion from BioSources $2,500,000
      University of Delaware Newark, DE Electrochemical Production of Formic Acid from Carbon Dioxide in Solid Electrolytes $2,497,686
      Opus 12 Berkeley, CA PEM CO2 Electrolyzer Scaleup to enable MW-Scale Electrochemical Modules $2,500,000

      Official notices can be found at EERE Exchange or Grants.gov. To view all current solicitations for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), see the EERE Funding Opportunities page. This list is for information only—it may not be inclusive of all solicitations. Funding amounts and schedule dates are subject to change.

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      Submission Deadlines Have Been Extended: Department of Energy Announces up to $25 Million for Plastics Recycling Research and Development

      The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy have issued a joint Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled “BOTTLE: Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment.” This FOA supports the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Plastics Innovation Challenge, a comprehensive program to accelerate innovations in energy-efficient plastics recycling technologies. The FOA will support high-impact research and development for plastics by developing new plastics that are capable of efficient recyclability and by improving recycling strategies that can break existing plastics into chemical building blocks that can be used to make higher-value products.

      In addition, the FOA will seek partners for the newly launched National Laboratory-led BOTTLE consortium, focused on designing new plastics and recycling strategies in collaboration with industry and academia.

      Topic Areas include:

      1. Highly Recyclable or Biodegradable Plastics
      2. Novel Methods for Deconstructing and Upcycling Existing Plastics
      3. BOTTLE Consortium Collaborations to Tackle Challenges in Plastic Waste

      Learn more about the full FOA on EERE Exchange and Grants.gov, as well as through the BETO Funding Opportunity Page and the DOE press release.

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      Department of Energy Announces nearly $100 Million for Bioenergy Technologies Research

      The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an investment of nearly $100 million in funding for research and development of bioenergy technologies. Issued on behalf of DOE’s Bioenergy Technology Office, topic areas within the FY20 Bioenergy Technologies Multi-Topic Funding Opportunity Announcement support the U.S. bioeconomy by reducing the price of drop-in biofuels, lowering the cost of biopower, and enabling high-value products from biomass or waste resources.

      The application process will include two phases: a concept paper submission and a full application submission. Concept papers are due on March 5, 2020 and full applications are due on May 14, 2020.

      Learn more about the full funding opportunity announcement on EERE Exchange. Additional sustainable transportation research opportunities can be found here.

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      New Notice of Intent for Joint Funding Opportunity to Advance DOE’s Plastics Innovation Challenge

      The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has published a notice of intent to issue a joint Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled “BOTTLE: Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment.” This FOA, jointly funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), supports the Department’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, a comprehensive program to accelerate innovations in energy-efficient plastics recycling technologies. This FOA will support high-impact research and development for plastics by developing new bio-based plastics that are capable of efficient recyclability and developing improved recycling strategies that can break down existing plastics into chemical building blocks that can be used to make higher-value products.

      Earlier this year, AMO and BETO jointly funded The Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment (BOTTLE) Consortium, a National Lab-led seed Consortium established to focus on designing new plastics and recycling strategies. This FOA seeks to extend that effort beyond the Consortium and to utilize the resources BOTTLE has developed through partnerships with industry, universities, and others to advance DOE’s Plastics Innovation Challenge.

      Learn more.

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      Notice of Intent: FY20 Bioenergy Technologies Multi-Topic FOA

      The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) published a notice of intent to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled "FY20 Bioenergy Technologies Multi-Topic FOA." The FOA will support high-impact technology research and development (R&D) to enable expansion of the U.S. bioeconomy. This FOA will include the highest priority R&D areas from all five BETO Programs:

      • Advanced Algal Systems
      • Feedstock Supply and Logistics
      • Conversion
      • Advanced Development and Optimization
      • Strategic Analysis and Crosscutting Sustainability

      The FOA supports BETO’s objectives to reduce the minimum fuel selling price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value products from biomass or waste resources.

      Learn more about BETO funding opportunities. 

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      2019

      Bioenergy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2019 Multi-Topic Funding Opportunity Announcement Selections – Project Selections

      The project descriptions and factual representations provided in this table are those of the selected awardees and do not constitute the views or opinions of the U.S. Department of Energy, its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or its Bioenergy Technologies Office. Neither the United States nor the U.S. Department of Energy, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Moreover, references in the tables to any organization, entity, commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favor by the United States Government or the U.S. Department of Energy.

      Selectee

      Location

      (city, state)

      Project Title

      Federal Share

      Topic Area 1: Cultivation Intensification Processes for Algae

      New Mexico Consortium

      Los Alamos, NM

      Optimizing Selection Pressures and Pest Management to Maximize Algal Biomass Yield (OSPREY)

      $4,999,475

      Global Algae Innovations

      San Diego, CA

      Innovations in Algae Cultivation

      $4,500,000

      Colorado School of Mines

      Golden, CO

      Algal Productivity Enhancements by Rapid Screening and Selection of Improved Biomass and Lipid Producing Phototrophs (APEX)

      $3,936,302

      University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

      Champaign, IL

      Improving the Productivity and Performance of Large-Scale Integrated Algal Systems for Wastewater Treatment and Biofuel Production

      $3,011,601

      Arizona State University

      Tempe, AZ

      Decision-Model Supported Algal Cultivation Process Enhancement

      $3,500,000

      Topic Area 2: Biomass Component Variability and Feedstock Conversion Interface

      Montana State University

      Bozeman, MT

      Enhanced Feedstock Characterization and Modeling to Facilitate Optimal Preprocessing and Deconstruction of Corn Stover

      $1,300,000

      University of Wisconsin-Madison

      Madison, WI

      WIFT: Single-pass, Weather Independent Fractionation Technology for Improved Property Control of Corn Stover Feedstock

      $1,248,748

      University of Kentucky

      Lexington, KY

      Sulfur Profiling in Pine Residues and Its Impact on Thermochemical Conversion

      $1,641,922

      University of South Carolina

      North Charleston, SC

      Polymer Products from Lignin Through De-aromatization and COOH Functionalization

      $879,000

      Purdue University

      West Lafayette, IN

      Modeling Feedstock Performance and Conversion Operations

      $1,378,384

      University of Georgia

      Athens, GA

      Machine Learning Based Modeling Framework to Relate Biomass Tissue Properties With Handling And Conversion Performances

      $1,451,342

      Penn State University

      University Park, PA

      Characterization of Mechanical Biomass Particle-Particle and Particle-Wall Interactions

      $707,323

      Topic Area 3: Efficient Wood Heaters

      MF Fire Inc.

      Baltimore, MD

      Swirl Stove: Swirling Combustion for Efficient Wood Burning

      $998,937

      ISB Marketing

      South Bend, IL

      Automated Wood Stove UFEC23

      $1,019,252

      MF Fire Inc.

      Baltimore, MD

      Fire MAPS - Secure Performance Monitoring and User Alerts System

      $989,644

      Topic Area 4: Systems Research of Advanced Hydrocarbon Biofuel Technologies

      T2C-Energy, LLC

      Pinellas Park, FL

      TRIFTS Catalytic Conversion of Biogas to Drop-in Renewable Diesel Fuel

      $2,327,759

      OxEon Energy LLC

      North Salt Lake, UT

      Production of Liquid Hydrocarbons from Biomass Generated Carbon Dioxide

      $1,995,389

      RTI International

      Research Triangle Park, NC

      Integrated Reactive Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis System for Advanced Hydrocarbon Biofuels

      $2,400,000

      Gas Technology Institute

      Des Plaines, IL

      Integration of IH2 with the Cool H2 Reformer for the Conversion of Cellulosic Biomass to Drop in Fuel

      $1,276,852

      Topic Area 5: Optimization of Bio-Derived Jet Fuel Blends

      Purdue University

      West Lafayette, IN

      Higher Energy-content Jet Blending Components Derived from Ethanol

      $1,774,214

      University of Colorado Boulder

      Boulder, CO

      Cellulosic Derived Advantaged Jet Fuel

      $1,791,048

      Vertimass

      Irvine, CA

      Production Of Renewable Cycloalkanes From Ethanol For Blending With Jet Fuel To Enhance Energy Density And Material Compatibility And Reduce Particulate Emissions

      $1,434,738

      Topic Area 6: Renewable Energy from Urban and Suburban Wastes

      Colorado State University

      Fort Collins, CO

      Electro-Enhanced Conversion of Wet Waste to Products Beyond Methane

      $5,067,538

      Topic Area 7: Advanced Bioprocessing and Agile BioFoundry

      Pow Genetic Solutions, Inc

      Berkeley, CA

      Tightly Regulated Separation of Growth and Production in a Contamination-Resistant Two-Chamber System for Robust Continuous Bioprocessing

      $2,468,821 

      Invizyne Technologies Inc.

      Rolling Hills Estates, CA

      Towards Economical Cell-free Isobutanol Production

      $2,078,605 

      University of California, Berkeley

      Berkeley, CA

      Accelerating Polyketide Synthase Engineering for High TRY Production of Biofuels and Bioproducts

      $2,500,000

      University of Washington

      Seattle, WA

      Developing Multi-Gene CRISPRa/i Programs to Accelerate DBTL Cycles in ABF Hosts Engineered for Chemical Production

      $1,815,906

      Topic Area 8: Plastics in the Circular Carbon Economy

      Northwestern University

      Evanston, IL

      ResIn: Responsible Innovation for Highly Recyclable Plastics

      $2,499,999

      Spero

      Goleta, CA

      Recyclable Thermoset Polymers from Lignin Derived Phenols

      $2,000,000

      University of Massachusetts Lowell

      Lowell, MA

      Bioconversion of Heterogeneous Polyester Wastes to High-Value Chemical Products

      $1,500,814

      Washington State University

      Pullman, WA

      Upcycling of CFRP Waste: Viable Eco-friendly Chemical Recycling and Manufacturing of Novel Repairable and Recyclable Composites

      $1,609,883

      Topic Area 9: Rethinking Anaerobic Digestion

      State University of New York, Albany

      Albany, NY

      Novel and Viable Technologies for Converting Wet Organic Waste Streams to High Value Products

      $2,698,542

      Washington State University

      Pullman, WA

      An Advanced Pretreatment/Anaerobic Digestion (APAD) Technology for Increased Conversion of Sewage Sludge to Bio-Natural Gas in Small-Scale Wastewater Plants of Less Than Five Dry Ton Sewage Sludge/Day

      $2,428,281

      Topic Area 10: Reducing Water, Energy, and Emissions in Bioenergy

      University of California, Berkeley

      Berkeley, CA

      Multi-Input, Multi-Output Biorefineries to Reduce Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollutant Emissions

      $1,000,000

      Colorado State University

      Fort Collins, CO

      Agent-based Modeling for the Multi-objective Optimization of Energy Production Pathways

      $1,000,000

      DOE Announces $79 Million for Bioenergy Research and Development

      WASHINGTON, D.C. – On May 3, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced over $79 million in funding for bioenergy research and development including biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. This funding supports DOE’s goal of providing consumers and businesses with a range of domestic energy options that are affordable, reliable, and secure.    

      “At DOE, we are focused on expanding America’s energy supply, growing the economy, and enhancing energy security, which will all be furthered by the significant advancements made in bioenergy technologies,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “The funding opportunities announced today will help ensure our nation’s competitive advantage in the emerging bioeconomy and allow us to continue to offer U.S. consumers and businesses more homegrown energy choices.”

      The FOA topics will advance DOE’s Bioenergy Technology Office’s (BETO) objectives to reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value products from biomass or waste resources. Topics areas for this funding opportunity include the following:

      Cultivation Intensification Processes for Algae: Develop technologies for outdoor algae systems that increase the harvest yield, reliability and quality of algae.

      Biomass Component Variability and Feedstock Conversion Interface: Research to lower the cost and improve the reliability of biomass handling and preprocessing.

      Efficient Wood Heaters: Develop technologies to reduce emissions and increase efficiency of wood heaters for residential heating.

      Systems Research of Hydrocarbon Biofuel Technologies: Integrate new technologies and processes in experimental prototype systems to improve and verify real-world performance and lower the cost of drop-in biofuels.

      Optimization of Biomass-Derived Jet Fuel Blends: Identify and develop cost-competitive drop-in renewable jet fuel with improved energy density and lower particulate matter emissions.

      Renewable Energy from Urban and Suburban Wastes: Support academic research and educational programs that focus on strategies to produce bioenergy and bioproducts from urban and suburban waste feedstocks.

      Advanced Bioprocessing and Agile BioFoundry: Reduce the time and cost of developing biological processes for biomanufacturing fuels and products through the use of synthetic biology, low capital intensity methods, and continuous production systems.

      Plastics in the Circular Carbon Economy: Develop biobased plastics with improved performance and recyclability and lower the cost and energy-intensity of recycling  existing plastics through enhanced degradation.

      Rethinking Anaerobic Digestion: Develop anaerobic processes or alternative strategies to enhance carbon conversion efficiency and lower costs of smaller scale wet waste systems.

      Reducing Water, Energy, and Emissions in Bioenergy: Identify biofuels or bioproducts technologies with the greatest potential for reducing water consumption, energy consumption, and/or emissions relative to existing conventional fuels or products.

      This FOA also supports the Water Security Grand Challenge, a White House initiated, DOE-led framework to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water. In particular, this funding will support research and development focused on anaerobic digestion, a technology that can help achieve the Grand Challenge’s goal to double resource recovery from municipal wastewater.

      2018

      Department of Energy Announces 36 Projects for Bioenergy Research and Development

      WASHINGTON, D.C. - On September 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of 36 projects totaling $80 million to support early-stage bioenergy research and development (R&D). This R&D will enable cost-competitive, drop-in renewable hydrocarbon fuels, bio-based products, and power from non-food biomass and waste feedstocks. This work supports the Department of Energy’s (DOE) goal of reducing the cost of bio-based drop-in fuels to $3/gallon by 2022 to continue to provide consumers with affordable, reliable transportation energy choices.

      “The selections announced today highlight some of the most innovative and advanced bioenergy technologies that have the potential to produce new sources of reliable and affordable energy for American families and businesses,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Perry. “Developing all of our domestic energy resources is critical to keeping our nation prosperous and secure.”

      Today’s selections stem from four funding opportunities:

      • BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis (up to $28 million): 16 selectees will create highly efficient conversion processes to increase the affordability of fuels from biomass and waste feedstocks by improving catalysts and new biological systems, identifying ways to better utilize waste streams like carbon dioxide (CO2) and biosolids, and creating high-value co-products that can improve the economic viability of biofuels production.

      • Efficient Carbon Utilization in Algal Systems (up to $15 million): 7 selections will improve the efficiency of carbon utilization and productivity of algal systems either through improving uptake and conversion of waste CO2 emissions—such as from a power plant or industrial facilities—or through the development of new, affordable technologies to capture CO2 directly from ambient air to enhance algal growth.

      • Process Development for Advanced Biofuels and Biopower (up to $22 million): 10 selections will research integrated processes for the production of biopower from biosolids and cost-competitive, renewable drop-in biofuels and bioproducts from domestic biomass feedstocks and waste resources. 

      • Affordable and Sustainable Energy Crops (up to $15 million): 3 selections will conduct early-stage R&D related to the production of affordable and sustainable non-food dedicated energy crops that can be used as feedstocks for the production of biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower.

      To learn more about the projects selected today and DOE’s work with industry, academia, and national laboratories, visit the Bioenergy Technologies Office website.

      Research Projects to Advance Biofuels, Bioenergy, and Biobased Products

      WASHINGTON – On May 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $3 million in funding for advanced biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased products available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). DOE has selected two projects from the University of Tennessee and Northwestern University that will receive between $1 million to $2 million each.
       
      Research projects funded through BRDI—a joint program organized through DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—will help develop economically and environmentally sustainable sources of biomass and increase the availability of competitively-priced renewable fuels and biobased products, all while helping to improve energy security by increasing and diversifying our domestic energy sources.
       
      Integrating science and engineering, the two DOE projects will develop diverse, cost-effective cellulosic biomass technologies for use in the production of biofuels, as well as a range of biobased products that potentially can increase the economic feasibility of fuel production in a biorefinery. The DOE selections are:
       
      • The University of Tennessee (UT), Knoxville, TN – UT will be developing an integrated biorefinery design that combines the production of liquid fuels and renewable chemicals to verify production of affordable cellulosic ethanol.
      • Northwestern University (NU), Evanston, IL – NU will be developing a rapid synthesis of next-generation biofuels and bioproducts from lignocellulosic biomass. The project will employ several strategies to reduce the timeframe of discovering biosynthetic pathways to optimize fuel and chemical production, including bottom-up engineering principles, computational models, and cell-free framework systems.

      Both these projects will lower the costs of the production of bio-based fuels, as well as co-products for chemicals and other uses. If successful, both projects will help the Bioenergy Technologies Office to meet its goal of less than $3 per gallon gasoline equivalent for advanced biofuels.

       
      The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates research and development of energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable energy technologies and solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, and boost domestic energy production, energy resilience, and energy affordability. Learn more about EERE's work with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in biomass feedstocks and conversion technologies. For more information on funding opportunities for advanced bioenergy technology projects, see the Bioenergy Technologies Office's financial opportunities.
       

      Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines

      On May 2, 2018, the Energy Department’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) released a multi-topic funding opportunity announcement (FOA). Topic five of the FOA will be jointly funded by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), as a part of BETO and VTO’s joint Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) Initiative. Co-Optima is a collaborative research and development effort between the two offices that supports research of fuel and engine innovations that work together to maximize vehicle performance and fuel efficiency. The initiative is accelerating the introduction of affordable, scalable, and sustainable biofuels and high-efficiency, low-emission vehicle engines.
       
      FOA Topic 5 has two subtopics:
       
      • Topic 5a: Multi-Mode Optimized Fuel/Engine System Development: The objective of this area of interest is to develop a co-optimized (engine and fuel) prototype light-duty, multi-cylinder reciprocating engine (minimum 150 horsepower). The first topic area will solicit multidisciplinary industry teaming projects to develop a spark-ignition/compression ignition multimode combustion regime over a broad range of engine operating conditions with a suitable co-optimized fuel. Applicant teams must include: 1) a vehicle or engine manufacturer who has produced at least 20,000 vehicles or a Tier I supplier who has provided major componentry for at least 20,000 engines; and, 2) a fuel manufacturer or fuel supplier.   
      • Topic 5b: Bioblendstocks to Optimize Mixing Controlled Compression Ignition (MCCI) Engines: The objective of this area of interest is to develop and demonstrate single component or multi-component bioblendstocks for use in medium- and heavy-duty mixing controlled, compression ignition engines blended into a base diesel fuel at no less than 5% by volume that achieves greenhouse gas reductions of at least 50% compared to conventional petroleum-derived diesel.  Applicant teams should include university and/or industry members and could include a vehicle or engine manufacturer.
      • Successful applicant teams for both topic areas will work closely with the national laboratories and universities that are currently a part of the Co-Optima Initiative. Projects awarded under this FOA will complement ongoing work at the national labs and universities and will enable a deeper engagement with industry.
       
      Funding for the Co-Optima portion of the FOA will total up to $12 million, combined, from VTO and BETO.  Concept papers are due May 29, 2018, and full applications will be due July 13, 2018. For more information and application requirements, please visit the EERE Exchange website.
       

      2017

      Advancements in Algal Biomass Yield, Phase 2 (ABY2) Additional Selection

      The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of one additional project, for up to $3.5 million, as part of the Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) Advanced Algal Systems Program funding opportunity announcement (FOA). For Algal Biomass Yield, Phase 2 (ABY2), in Fiscal Year 2016, DOE awarded $15 million for three projects. In Fiscal Year 2017, DOE has selected one more project: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 
       
      The funding will help BETO support a project 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. This amount will be produced through multiple batch campaigns or on a semi-continuous or continuous basis, in an outdoor test environment, by 2020. BETO expects that projects selected under this ABY2 FOA will help demonstrate a reasonable and realistic plan to produce 3,700 gal/acre/yr by the end of the performance period.

      NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY, “REWIRING ALGAL CARBON ENERGETICS FOR RENEWABLES (RACER)”

      This national laboratory team also includes members from Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines, Arizona State University, POS Bio-Sciences, and Sapphire Energy. The team’s goal is to more than double the productivity of biofuel precursors from algae by making improvements at many stages of the project. These improvements include increasing algal cultivation productivity, optimizing biomass composition, and extracting and separating different types of algal lipids to reduce the cost for lipid upgrading to renewable diesel. The team has chosen one highly promising algal species, and they will focus on fundamental cell carbon bioenergetics to most efficiently channel the carbon dioxide taken in from the atmosphere into useful intermediate products. 
       
      DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) supports early-stage research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that make energy more affordable and strengthen the reliability, resilience, and security of the U.S. electric grid. BETO contributes to EERE’s mission by working with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in algal biofuels technologies.
       

      Integrated Biorefinery Optimization

      On September 20, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) has selected eight projects to negotiate for up to $15 million in total DOE funding to optimize integrated biorefineries. These projects will work to solve critical research and developmental challenges encountered for the successful scale-up and reliable operations of integrated biorefineries (IBRs), decrease capital and operating expenses, and focus on the manufacture of advanced or cellulosic biofuels and higher-value bioproducts. These investments support the development of bioproducts, a workforce in bioenergy, and help to spur the creation of a sustainable domestic bioeconomy. 

      The selected projects include the following:

      • Thermochemical Recovery International Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland)—Thermochemical Recovery International (TRI) will study and improve feedstock and residual solids handling systems targeted to commercial pyrolysis and gasification reactors. TRI’s work in these systems will promote feedstock flexibility and enable the processing of low-cost feedstock to enhance IBRs’ economic viability.
      • Texas A&M AgriLife Research (College Station, Texas)—Texas A&M will work on achieving a multi-stream integrated biorefinery (MIBR), where lignin-containing IBR waste will be fractionated to produce lipid for biodiesel, asphalt binder modifier, and quality carbon fiber. The MIBR will improve IBR sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
      • White Dog Labs (New Castle, Delaware)—White Dog Labs’ project will use the residual cellulosic sugars in cellulosic stillage syrup to produce single-cell protein (SCP) for aquaculture feed. Currently, the syrup content is used for biogas production and as the solid fuel for boilers. The SCP is a higher-value product that could be generated from an existing stream and could enhance the economic feasibility of IBRs.
      • South Dakota School of Mines (Rapid City, South Dakota)—The South Dakota School of Mines will demonstrate the cost-effective production of biocarbon, carbon nanofibers, polylactic acid, and phenol from the waste streams generated from the biochemical platform technology. These products will generate revenue for IBRs and help lower the fuel cost from these facilities.
      • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colorado)—The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will leverage and extend state-of-the-art modeling and simulation tools to develop integrated simulations for feed handling and reactor feeding systems. The experimentally validated simulation toolkit will be generalized to aid in optimizing and de-risking biomass conversion processes that use these common feed handling and reactor feeding units. The toolkit will also provide correlations to adjust optimal operating conditions based on feedstock parameters.
      • Clemson University (Clemson, South Carolina)—Clemson University will develop analytical tools to identify an optimal IBR process design for the reliable, cost-effective, sustainable, and continuous feeding of biomass feedstocks into a reactor.
      • Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana)—Purdue University aims to develop strong, innovative computational and empirical models that rigorously detail the multiphase flow of biomass materials. Purdue University will characterize physical, structural, and compositional properties of biomass feedstocks, and compare results of these models with actual flow behavior of biomass materials within a biorefinery.
      • Forest Concepts (Auburn, Washington) —Forest Concepts proposes to develop robust feedstock handling modeling and simulation tools based on systematic analysis. The team will develop and validate a comprehensive computational model to predict mechanical and rheological behavior of biomass flow to enable reliable design of biomass handling systems.

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