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In addition to the significant risks involved with scale-up of new biorefinery technology, other market barriers related to distribution infrastructure and end use also limit the amount of advanced biofuels distributed. 

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) closely collaborates with DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration, the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuel Initiative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other agencies. Together they work to:

  • Identify the opportunities and challenges associated with the development of new fuel specifications
  • Assist stakeholders in the development and demonstration of optimized vehicle systems, new fuel compositions, and compatible infrastructure
  • Evaluate performance and material compatibility, as well as the environmental, health, and safety impacts of advanced biofuels and biofuel blends.

These efforts also include co-development of engines and fuels to optimize vehicle performance, which is needed to achieve increased use of advanced biofuels in the U.S. transportation system.

Activities

Fuel development and blend testing: BETO is currently collaborating with VTO, nine national laboratories, and more than 25 university and industry partners on a research and development (R&D) effort to combine biofuels and combustion R&D, building on decades of advances in both fuels and engines. The Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative aims to simultaneously transform both transportation fuels and vehicles in order to maximize performance and energy efficiency, minimize environmental impact, and accelerate widespread adoption of innovative combustion strategies.

BETO also works closely with EPA, DOE national laboratories, and the Coordinating Research Council on fuel blend testing and research. More information on EPA's E15 waiver decision can be found on EPA's website

The BioEnergy Atlas: The BioEnergy Atlas is an interactive map used to compare existing and potential biomass feedstock locations with potential biorefinery locations and major product demand centers.

Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework (KDF): The Bioenergy KDF is an online data resource that provides access to the latest bioenergy research. In the KDF, you can:

  • Search the Bioenergy Library to find data sets and publications
  • Explore key topics in bioenergy research
  • Browse bioenergy-related models and tools
  • Apply the data specific tools to visualize, analyze, download, and export relevant data.

For more information on Bioenergy Technologies Office infrastructure activities, please visit the BETO's Peer Review site.

Partnerships

BETO coordinates with federal agency stakeholders and state, industry, and academic experts to develop a safe, reliable, and cost-effective infrastructure for renewable fuels. BETO also works with the Clean Cities Program, uniting private and public sector stakeholders through outreach focused on the deployment of alternative fuels and infrastructure.