Event Date

The Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Grand Challenge is the result of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other federal government agencies working together to develop a comprehensive strategy for scaling up new technologies to produce SAF on a commercial scale. To meet the goal of supplying 100% of projected domestic aviation jet fuel by 2050, purpose-grown energy crops, including algae, will need to be cultivated on a large scale.

On June 6-7, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri, the DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting a workshop titled Deploying Purpose-Grown Energy Crops for Sustainable Aviation Fuel. The workshop will discuss successes, challenges, information gaps, and opportunities for deploying these energy crops and novel ideas will be encouraged.


The SAF Grand Challenge will guide recent federal actions to support industry in reducing the cost, enhancing the sustainability, and expanding the production and use of SAF to:

  • Produce 3 billion gallons per year of domestic SAF production that achieve a minimum of a 50% reduction in life cycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fuel by 2030, and
  • Meet a goal of supplying 100% of projected domestic aviation jet fuel use, or 35 billion gallons of annual production, by 2050.

To meet these objectives, there will be a need for development and widespread adoption of purpose-grown energy crops, including algae, on a large scale. These energy crops may include, but are not limited to, algae (e.g. microalgae, cyanobacteria), herbaceous crops (e.g. switchgrass, miscanthus, energy cane, high-biomass sorghum), short-rotation woody crops (e.g. hybrid poplar, shrub willow), and overwintering secondary crops (e.g. carinata, pennycress, and other oilseed crops). 

Desired Workshop Outcomes:

  • Determine challenges and barriers to deploying purpose-grown energy crops and implementing climate-smart agricultural practices
  • Develop potential strategies to overcome the above challenges
  • Identify innovative solutions in the collection of reliable, long-term growth data and specific sustainability metrics of success
  • Establish and understand how to expand stakeholder networks in energy crops deployment

Vital results from this workshop will help guide future research and development directions in feedstock innovation to reduce the cost, improve the quality, increase the quantity, and maximize the environmental benefits of purpose-grown energy crops and renewable carbon resources. This work is critical to help achieve the Biden-Harris administration’s SAF goals and to advance a vibrant U.S. bioeconomy.  

Discussion and stakeholder feedback will be facilitated through interactive breakout sessions, and BETO will develop a summary of findings from the workshop with a public report.


Presenters will be given up to five minutes and three slides (in addition to a title slide) to share their perspectives on deploying purpose-grown energy crops. Topics will include successes and challenges deploying purpose-grown energy crops, recent promising innovations, and visions for future work in this field, among others. If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please email your slides to Dana Mitchell at Dana.Mitchell@ee.doe.gov by May 19th, 2023. If we are not able to accommodate all interested speakers, the speakers will be chosen based on relevance of content, and all submitted presentations will be made available after the workshop.


Download the agenda (subject to change) for this workshop.


View the speaker bios for this workshop.


The workshop will take place in-person at the Embassy Suites by Hilton – Kansas City International Airport, Missouri, June 6-7, 2023. There is no cost to attend this event.

To guarantee you receive the hotel group rate, reservations must be made by Thursday, May 25, 2023. After this date, reservations are based on availability and cannot be guaranteed. Register and view accommodation details for the workshop today.

*Pre-registration is required as there are a limited number of seats for the event.  We will be unable to accept any on-site registrations at the venue.


Please direct any questions regarding this workshop to Dana Mitchell (Dana.Mitchell@ee.doe.gov) and Alexander Jansen (Alexander.Jansen@ee.doe.gov).

NOTICE: This meeting, including all audio and images of participants and presentation materials, may be recorded, saved, edited, distributed, used internally, posted on DOE’s website, or otherwise made publicly available. If you continue to access this meeting and provide such audio or image content, you consent to such use by or on behalf of DOE and the Government for Government purposes and acknowledge that you will not inspect or approve, or be compensated for, such use.