Technology Pathways

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The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) pursues a pathway approach for advancing research and development (R&D) of converting biomass into renewable fuels and products. Following the BETO's successful demonstration of cost-competitive cellulosic ethanol production technologies—R&D efforts now focus on the conversion of biomass into hydrocarbon fuels and intermediates that lead to "drop-in" replacements for gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other petroleum-based products. BETO recently selected several priority pathways—covering thermochemical, biochemical, and algal conversion technologies—that will guide its R&D strategy in the near term.

More information about each of the pathways can be found in the individual fact sheet links below:

Working with scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and other national laboratories—BETO completed initial techno-economic analyses on each of the pathways. The results of these analyses were compiled into individual technical reports, which outline the technical barriers and key research needs to reduce conversion costs.

The individual technology pathway memos can be accessed below:

Detailed design reports are in progress for each of the technology pathways; published design reports can be accessed below: