The US Department of Energy (DOE) on Thursday (26 January) announced USD 118 million in funding for 17 projects to accelerate the production of sustainable biofuels for America’s transportation and manufacturing needs.
The selected projects, located at universities and private companies, will drive the domestic production of biofuels and bioproducts by advancing biorefinery development, from pre-pilot to demonstration, to create sustainable fuels that reduce emissions associated with fossil fuels. Funding for this opportunity supports President Joe Biden’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.
Projects selected as part of this funding opportunity will contribute to meeting DOE’s goal to achieve cost-competitive biofuels and at least a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.
“Biofuels are a versatile tool because they have the immediate potential to power our ships, trains, airlines and heavy-duty vehicles—a huge contributor to total carbon emissions—with a significantly reduced carbon footprint,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE investments are helping to build out a domestic bioenergy supply chain that increases America’s energy independence, creates jobs, and accelerates the adoption of cleaner fuels for our transportation needs.”
Made from widely available domestic feedstocks and advanced refining technologies, energy-dense biofuels provide a pathway for low-carbon fuels that can lower greenhouse gas emissions throughout the transportation sector and accelerate the bioeconomy. Financing for novel biorefinery process systems can be a barrier to commercialising advanced biofuels, and this funding will reduce technological uncertainties and enable industry deployment.
The selected projects include pre-pilot, pilot, and demonstration projects that will scale-up existing biomass to fuel technologies that will eventually create millions of gallons low-carbon fuel annually. By investing in these technologies, the projects will create good-paying jobs in rural and underserved communities in nine states.
Award amounts range from USD 500,000 to USD 80 million, with most receiving at least USD2 million. The selections, which are subject to final award negotiations and additional eligibility vetting, will be administered by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO). Over the past two years, DOE has invested more than USD 500 million in bioenergy and biorefinery research and development through BETO.
Photo credit: CHUTTERSNAP from Unsplash
Published: 2 February, 2023
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