Biobased and Renewable Products News: DOE

July 6, 2018
BETO Issues Workshop Summary Report On Performance-Advantaged Biobased Chemicals
On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) issued a new report, Moving Beyond Drop-In Replacements: Performance-Advantaged Biobased Chemicals Workshop Summary Report, that summarizes presentations and discussions from a workshop BETO held in June 2017 to gather stakeholder input on the research and development necessary for novel biobased compounds and functional replacements.  DOE states that performance-advantaged biobased products and functional replacements can offer many advantages to the U.S. bioeconomy.  The conclusion ... read more >
June 29, 2018
BETO Announces Octane Workshop Series To Review Current Research On The Role Of Octane
On June 20, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced that the Fuels Institute and the national laboratories that comprise the DOE Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines initiative would be co-hosting a series of collaborative, single-day stakeholder meetings entitled the Octane Workshop Series across multiple locations from July 9-12, 2018, to “review current research on the role of octane and other fuel properties relevant to producing fuels that could enable the design of more efficient spark ignition, internal combustion ... read more >
June 29, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
DOE, "EERE Success Story -- from Breakfast to Biocrude:  Study Identifies Production Potential across Nation"  Avantium, “Avantium Starts Construction of Bio-MEG Demonstration Plant in the Netherlands” Triple Pundit, “US EPA Drops the Biofuel Ball, Energy Dept. Picks It ... read more >
June 22, 2018
DOE Announces Funding For 31 Projects To Help Advance Fundamental Science For Bioenergy
On June 18, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it would be releasing $40 million in funding for “31 projects to advance research in the development of microbes as practical platforms for the production of biofuels and other bioproducts from renewable resources.”  Projects were chosen by competitive peer review under two separate DOE Funding Opportunity Announcements, one for Systems Biology of Bioenergy-Relevant Microbes and another for Bioimaging Research for Bioenergy, both sponsored by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research within the ... read more >
June 22, 2018
Algae Technology Educational Consortium Announces First Graduates
On June 18, 2018, DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO)-funded Algae Technology Educational Consortium (ATEC) announced its first graduates from the algal certificate program at Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  DOE states that these first ATEC graduates “received their Associate Applied Science Degree in Controlled Environment Agriculture with a certificate in Algae Cultivation” on May 12, 2018. The program was conceptualized and designed by ATEC members, including professors, algal commercial leaders, community college instructors, and the ... read more >
June 15, 2018
BETO To Host Catalyst Development Cycle Webinar
On June 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced that it would be hosting the Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy (ChemCatBio) Consortium’s Webinar titled “Accelerating the Catalyst Development Cycle” on June 27, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. (EDT).  ChemCatBio Consortium is a research and development consortium dedicated to identifying and overcoming catalysis challenges for biomass conversion processes.  BETO states that the webinar will “highlight transition metal carbides as a class of materials” and ... read more >
June 8, 2018
DOE Seeks Nominations For Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee
On May 29, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it was seeking nominations for candidates to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (Committee).  The Federal Register notice states that: The committee members may serve two, three-year terms and committee membership must include: (A) An individual affiliated with the biofuels industry; (B) an individual affiliated with the biobased industrial and commercial products industry; (C) an individual affiliated with an institution of higher education that has expertise in biofuels and ... read more >
June 1, 2018
DOE Awards $2 Million To 13 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Grants
On May 24, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that, as part of the DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO) support to small businesses, BETO has awarded approximately $2 million, out of $13 million awarded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), to 13 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants.  DOE states that these small businesses are “improving the state of technology for algae crop development and harvesting, driving down the cost of converting wet organic waste streams to biofuels ... read more >
May 25, 2018
DOE EERE To Fund 87 New Projects, 13 Of Them For Bioenergy
On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that it will fund 87 new projects across 34 states, totaling nearly $13 million in funding.  This funding is part of the 219 grants totaling $34 million awarded to 183 small businesses in 41 states through the DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Nine EERE technology offices are funding ten Phase I topic areas (Advanced Manufacturing I & II, Bioenergy, Buildings, Fuel Cells, Geothermal. ... read more >
May 11, 2018
DOE’s BETO And VTO Announce $12 Million In Available Funding For Co-Optima Projects
On May 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced a joint multi-topic funding opportunity for $12 million as part of the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) initiative. This collaborative research and development effort supports the research of fuel and engine innovation that maximize vehicle performance and fuel efficiency, and is accelerating the introduction of affordable, scalable, and sustainable biofuels and high-efficiency, low-emission vehicle engines. The current funding ... read more >
May 11, 2018
DOE To Award Up To $78 Million To Support Bioenergy Research
On May 3, 2018, DOE’s BETO announced four funding opportunities totaling up to $78 million to support early-stage bioenergy research and development. The Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) include: BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis (up to $28 million); Efficient Carbon Utilization in Algal Systems (up to $15 million); Process Development for Advanced Biofuels and Biopower (up to $20 million); and Affordable and Sustainable Energy Crops (up to $15 million). DOE Secretary of Energy Rick Perry stated that through these funding opportunities, “U.S. bioenergy ... read more >
May 11, 2018
DOE To Sponsor Advanced Algal Systems Listening Session
On May 8, 2018, DOE’s BETO announced that it was sponsoring an Advanced Algal Systems Listening Session in Seattle, Washington on June 13, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is being held in conjunction with the 8th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels, and Bioproducts,   BETO states it is seeking feedback “from experts in algal biology, cultivation, and conversion on how to address early stage research and development barriers and opportunities for cost-competitive algal biofuels and bioproducts,” and the agenda will focus on “opportunities ... read more >
May 11, 2018
DOE Announces $3 Million In Funding For Two Biofuel And Bioproduct Projects Through BRDI
On May 9, 2018, DOE announced up to $3 million in funding for advanced biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased products available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). This funding will go to two selected projects, with $1 million going to The University of Tennessee to develop an integrated biorefinery design that combines the production of liquid fuels and renewable chemicals, and $2 million funding a Northwestern University project to develop a rapid synthesis of next generation biofuels and bioproducts from lignocellulosic biomass. Both projects will lower the cost of ... read more >
May 4, 2018
IEA TCP Presents Webinar On Biofuels For The Marine Sector
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office has announced that the International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP) will present a webinar titled “Biofuels for the Marine Sector: New Opportunities and New Challenges” on May 8, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (EDT) that will “give an overview of the maritime transportation sector, including its fuel and engine types, the fuel supply infrastructure, and the regulations on fuel specifications and [carbon dioxide (CO2)] emissions” and include ... read more >
May 4, 2018
DOE EERE To Make $68.5 Million Available In Funding For Advanced Vehicle Technologies
On May 1, 2018, DOE Secretary Rick Perry announced that up to $68.5 million in funding will be available for early-stage research of advanced vehicle technologies through DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).  The announcement states that the available funding “will enable more affordable mobility, strengthen domestic energy security, and enhance U.S. economic growth.”  Projects selected through this Vehicle Technologies Office funding opportunity will address the following: Priorities in advanced batteries and electrification, including ... read more >
April 20, 2018
DOE Releases Co-Optimization Of Fuels & Engines FY17 Year In Review
On April 18, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of the Co-Optima FY2017 Year in Review.  The Co-Optima initiative is accelerating the introduction of efficient, clean, affordable, and scalable high-performance fuels by bringing together DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), national laboratories, universities, and industry and government stakeholders to collaborate on improvements to biofuels and the development of new technologies.  This report covers significant accomplishments made by Co-Optima in fiscal year 2017 ... read more >
April 13, 2018
DOE Announces Call For Proposals For BIRD Energy Funding
On April 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a funding opportunity for 2018 through Binational Industrial Research & Development (BIRD) Energy, a joint U.S.-Israel industrial research and development (R&D) program for renewable and energy efficiency technologies. To qualify for BIRD energy funding, a project must include: R&D cooperation between two companies or cooperation between a company and a university/research institution (one from the United States and one from Israel); innovation in any areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, such as solar and ... read more >
March 9, 2018
DOE Awards $10.6 Million In Funding For Bioenergy Crop Research
On February 25, 2018, the University of Illinois announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a $10.6 million grant for the Renewable Oil Generated with Ultra-productive Energycane (ROGUE) project.  The project is a collaborative effort between researchers from the University of Illinois, Brookhaven National Lab, University of Florida, and Mississippi State University.  ROGUE aims to transform sugarcane and Miscanthus into sustainable sources of biodiesel and biojet fuel by engineering the crops to produce oil rather than sugar.  Researchers anticipate that the ... read more >
March 2, 2018
NREL Seeks Biorefinery Survey Respondents
Researchers at the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are seeking responses to a survey on biorefinery operations.  Yimin Zhang, an environmental engineer at NREL, and Marshall Goldberg, a subcontractor for NREL, developed the brief survey to improve the NREL’s understanding of the next generation biofuel industry and its contribution to the local, state, and national economy.  Industry stakeholders in the planning, construction, or operation stage of a biorefinery are asked to complete the survey by March 8, 2018.  The aggregate data will be used to report ... read more >
March 2, 2018
DOE Advanced Algal Systems Listening Session
The DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting an Advanced Algal Systems Listening Session from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. (PDT) on June 13, 2018, in Seattle, Washington.  During the listening session, BETO will seek feedback from experts in algal biology, cultivation, and conversion on ways to address near-term research and development barriers and opportunities for cost-competitive algal biofuels and bioproducts.  The discussion will focus on opportunities and challenges in integrating algal productivity and biomass yield improvements in scalable algae cultivation systems to ... read more >
February 23, 2018
DOE Releases Study On Optimization Of Engine Performance With Fuel Blendstocks
On February 15, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of the Co-Optimization of Engines & Fuels (Co-Optima) report titled Fuel Blendstocks with the Potential to Optimize Future Gasoline Engine Performance (Fuel Blendstocks report), along with the companion report on Efficiency Merit Function for Spark Ignition Engines.  The Fuel Blendstocks report identifies eight blendstocks that have the potential to improve gasoline performance.  The assessment criteria included physical properties, high-level health-impacts, the ability to improve advanced ... read more >
February 16, 2018
DOE Announces Release Of Peer Review Report
On February 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the release of its 2017 Project Peer Review Report.  The report contains recommendations provided during the March 2017 Project Peer Review.  The biennial Peer Review process aims to gather feedback and recommendations from stakeholders on BETO’s research and development portfolio to help BETO identify the most efficient and effective ways to accelerate the development of an advanced bioenergy industry.  BETO will use the results of the 2017 Peer Review to ... read more >
February 2, 2018
PNNL Researchers Convert Ethanol To Butadiene In Single Step
On January 23, 2018, DOE announced that researchers at PNNL have developed a catalyst capable of converting ethanol directly into butadiene.  Butadiene is the building block for nearly every major synthetic plastic or rubber in the U.S, including tires, fuel hoses, and children’s toys.  The project, which is sponsored by BETO, aimed to generate butadiene from renewable sources by developing a new catalyst that can convert ethanol into butadiene.  The current ethanol-to-butadiene catalysts required pure ethanol, free of water, to be passed through multiple times to achieve ... read more >
January 26, 2018
USDA Announces $6 Million In Funding For Bioenergy Feedstock Genomics
On January 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of up to $6 million in funding to support research in plant feedstock genomics for bioenergy.  Support is provided in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) through the Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy program, which aims to improve the use of biomass and plant feedstocks for the production of fuels or renewable chemical feedstocks.  Research projects ... read more >
January 12, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
DOE, “Researchers Find Bioenergy Crops Provide Critical Ecosystem Services” Anellotech, “Anellotech Announces Commencement of Key R&D Program at TCat-8®” Co.Design, “The Creators Of This Algae Plastic Want To Start A Maker Revolution” Financial Express, “Eco-Friendly Method Turns Raw Biomass Into High Value ... read more >
January 5, 2018
DOE Awards $1.5 Million Grant For Algae Biofuel Production
On December 14, 2017, General Automation Lab Technologies (GALT) announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) a three year $3.5 million grant to improve the growth and efficiency of biofuel-producing algae.  LLNL and GALT will collaborate on the project, which also aims to reduce wasted byproducts of photosynthesis by targeting microbiomes that can more efficiently recycle it back to carbon dioxide for the algae to grow better.  GALT’s novel high-throughput microbiome research technology will be used to screen ... read more >
December 22, 2017
DOE Announces $100 Million In Funding For Transformative Energy Projects
On December 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the availability of up to $100 million in funding to support innovators through early-stage research and development (R&D) projects focused on technologies to transform the nation’s energy system.  The funding will be provided through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) OPEN funding opportunity.  OPEN funding opportunity announcements (FOA), which are typically issued on a triennial basis, allow ARPA-E to support projects outside the scope of existing ARPA-E focused programs.  The ... read more >
December 22, 2017
FCIC Intends To Issue Funding Opportunity For Biomass Processing
On December 11, 2017, the Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium (FCIC) announced its intent to issue a Directed Funding Opportunity (DFO) aimed at accelerating innovation and adoption of new practices and technologies to determine the root cause of biomass handling failures and designing solutions.  FCIC is a collaborative network of eight DOE national laboratories dedicated to understanding and addressing technical risks in developing and scaling up biomass harvest, storage, preprocessing, and conversion technologies.   The DFO is open to industrial and academic partners ... read more >
December 1, 2017
DOE Announces $16 Million In Funding For SBIR And STTR Programs
On November 27, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued an announcement for its second funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for fiscal year (FY) 2018.  The Phase I Release 2 FOA will provide funding for innovations that address multiple research and development programs throughout DOE, including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).  Phase I grants are six to 12 months in duration with maximum award amounts of $150,000 or $225,000, depending on ... read more >
December 1, 2017
DOE Advanced Development And Optimization Workshop
DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting an Advanced Development and Optimization (ADO) Workshop on December 12-13, 2017, in Golden, Colorado.  At the workshop, BETO intends to discuss how the new ADO program area can best serve stakeholders in developing the bioenergy industry, and to raise awareness of existing assets from past investments and discuss future needs and opportunities for maximizing these assets’ value.  The ADO program aims to remove the risk associated with bioenergy production technologies through validated proof of performance at the ... read more >
November 10, 2017
DOE Workshop On Optimizing Bioenergy Production
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technology Office (BETO) is hosting an Advanced Development and Optimization (ADO) Workshop on December 12-13, 2017, in Golden, Colorado.  At the workshop, BETO intends to discuss how the new ADO program area can best serve stakeholders in developing the bioenergy industry, and to raise awareness of existing assets from past investments and discuss future needs and opportunities for maximizing these assets’ value.  The ADO program aims to remove the risk associated with bioenergy production technologies through validated ... read more >
November 3, 2017
DOE Announces Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Meeting
On October 25, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) published a notice in the Federal Register regarding an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.  The meeting will take place November 15-16, 2017, in Washington D.C., and will focus on developing advice and guidance that promotes research and development (R&D) for the production of biobased fuels and products.  The tentative agenda includes updates on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DOE Biomass R&D ... read more >
October 27, 2017
DOE Announces $26 Million In Funding For Carbon Capture
On October 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy issued a $26 million funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for cost-shared research and development projects that support the DOE Carbon Capture Program’s goal of broad, cost-effective carbon capture deployment.  The Novel and Enabling Carbon Capture Transformational Technologies FOA consists of two areas of interest, specifically: Development of novel transformational materials and processes; and Enabling technologies to improve carbon capture systems. DOE anticipates selecting up to 14 ... read more >
October 20, 2017
American Process and Byogy Renewables Launch Phase 1 Of DOE-Funded Biofuels And Bioproducts Project
On October 9, 2017, American Process Inc. and Byogy Renewables, Inc. announced the launch of Phase 1 of its “Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts with AVAP (ABBA)” project following the completion of negotiations with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  American Process received $3.7 million in funding for ABBA from DOE under the “Project Definition for Pilot- and Demonstration-Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower” program.  The ABBA project aims to co-produce full replacement renewable jet fuel, gasoline, diesel and Bioplus® ... read more >
October 20, 2017
DOE Researchers Optimize Lignin Processing By Combining Steps
Researchers at DOE’s Ames Laboratory are experimenting with chemical reactions that will provide an economical method of deconstructing lignin into stable, readily useful components.  Lignin is the second largest renewable carbon source on the planet, making it of interest to researchers focused on developing biofuels and bioproducts.  Currently, lignin is processed via pyrolysis or the use of an acid and high heat.  Both processes are inefficient and require high energy consumption.  Igor Slowing, an expert in heterogeneous catalysis, and his team are focused on ... read more >
October 6, 2017
DOE Awards Up To $3.5 Million In Funding For Advancements In Algal Biomass Yield Project
On September 26, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of an additional project for the Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO) Advanced Algal Systems Program funding opportunity announcement (FOA).  DOE is awarding up to $3.5 million to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to more than double the productivity of biofuel precursors from algae.  Researchers aim to improve productivity by increasing algal cultivation productivity, optimizing biomass composition, and extracting and separating different types of algal lipids to reduce the cost ... read more >
September 29, 2017
DOE Announces $22 Million In Funding For Marine Biomass Production
On September 19, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced 18 projects from the Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER) program will receive $22 million in funding through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).  The MARINER projects aim to develop tools to address the technological challenges to growing and harvesting macroalgae efficiently and cost-effectively for use as a feedstock for biofuels and other bioproducts.  Such tools would support the goal of the United States becoming a leader in the production of macroalgae to improve ... read more >
September 29, 2017
DOE Announces $15 Million In Funding For Integrated Biorefinery Optimization
On September 20, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced that DOE selected eight projects related to the optimization of integrated biorefineries (IBR) to negotiate for up to $15 million in DOE funding.  The projects aim to solve critical research and developmental challenges encountered for the successful scale-up and reliable operations of IBRs, to decrease capital and operating expenses, and to focus on the manufacture of advanced or cellulosic biofuels and higher-value bioproducts.              The eight projects ... read more >
September 22, 2017
DOE Studies Impact Of Drought On Biomass Products
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have linked changes in rainfall and other environmental stressors during crop growth to potential deleterious effects on biofuel production.  The study demonstrates that the effect of weather conditions on crop yields can significantly impact the downstream processing of those crops for biofuel production.  Researchers compared the production of biofuel from switchgrass harvested after a major drought to switchgrass harvested after normal precipitation.  The switchgrass crop that experienced major drought conditions contained ... read more >
September 15, 2017
DOE Announces $8.8 Million In Funding For Algae Technology Innovation Projects
On September 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected an additional four Productivity Enhanced Algae and Toolkits (PEAK) projects to receive up to $8.8 million.  The projects aim to develop high-impact tools and techniques that will increase the productivity of algae organisms to reduce the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts.  In total, DOE has awarded over $16 million in funding to the initiative.    The project winners include: Colorado School of Mines, in partnership with Global Algae Innovations, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and ... read more >
September 8, 2017
EPA Waives RFS Requirements For States Affected By Hurricane Harvey
On August 31, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that requirements for reformulated gasoline and low volatility gasoline would be waived through September 15, 2017, for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, and the District of Columbia.  EPA exercised its emergency fuel waiver authority to help ensure an adequate supply of fuel throughout the South, Southeast, and the Mid-Atlantic in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  As required by law, EPA and the Department of ... read more >
September 1, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
DOE, “Bioprose: Building the Bioeconomy through Technology & Communication” Business Wire, “Biofuel and Biogas Innovators Unite for Stronger Cellulosic Targets” Bangor University, “Landfill Sites: Not Just a Load of Rubbish” Penn State, “Potato Waste Processing May Be the Road to Enhanced Food Waste ... read more >
August 18, 2017
Sandia National Laboratories Studying Algae To Clean Polluted Water And Produce Biofuel
Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) is investigating whether algae can be used to transform the Salton Sea, one of California’s largest and most polluted lakes, into a productive and profitable resource.  The Salton Sea Biomass Remediation project (SABRE), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), aims to use algae to rid the lake of pollutants while creating a renewable, domestic source of fuel and other chemicals.   Algae are known to thrive in environments like the Salton Sea, which contains elevated levels ... read more >
August 11, 2017
DOE Awards Additional MEGA-BIO Project
On August 2, 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that a fourth project under the MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels Funding Opportunity would be awarded up to $1.8 million.  Michigan State University was selected to manage the fourth project, which will work in partnership with the University of Wisconsin–Madison and MBI International to optimize a two-stage process for deconstruction of biomass into two clean intermediate streams, specifically sugars for the production of hydrocarbon fuels and lignins for the production of multiple value-added ... read more >
August 11, 2017
DOE Announces Open Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
On August 2, 2017, DOE published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a public meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.  The committee is comprised of approximately 30 volunteers from industry, academia, nonprofit organizations, and local government that collaborate to: Advise the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Points of Contact concerning: The technical focus and direction of requests for proposals issued under the Initiative; and Procedures for reviewing and evaluating the proposals; Facilitate ... read more >
August 4, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
The Hill, “Court Rejects 2015 EPA Biofuels Waivers” Govenors’ Biofuels Coalition, “Action on E15 Bill not Expected Before August Recess” Department of Energy, “EERE Success Story -- New Membrane Technology Will Improve Efficiency of Biofuel Production” PWashington State University, “Algae Cultivation Technique Could Advance ... read more >
July 21, 2017
DOE Awards $40 Million In Funding For Bioenergy Research Centers
On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced that $40 million in Department of Energy (DOE) awards will be used to establish four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRC) to be led by a DOE National Laboratory or top university.  Each BRC will focus on laying the scientific groundwork for a new biobased economy by providing scientific breakthroughs for a new generation of sustainable, cost-effective bioproducts and bioenergy.   The following BRCs were selected based on an open competition with external peer review:    The Great Lakes Bioenergy ... read more >
July 21, 2017
DOE Announces Up To $8 Million In Funding For Algae Biofuels Projects
On July 11, 2017, DOE announced the selection of three projects focused on reducing the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts that will receive up to $8 million in funding.    The projects aim to generate high-impact tools and techniques for increasing the productivity of algae organisms and cultures and biology-focused breakthroughs.  The project winners include: Lumen Bioscience, which will work with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the agricultural production of algae on otherwise non-productive land in rural eastern Washington State by rapidly ... read more >
June 30, 2017
DOE Announces $32 Million In Funding For Small Businesses Developing Clean Energy Technology
On June 21, 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that 32 small businesses across 18 states will receive a total of $32 million in grants to develop clean energy technologies that have a strong potential for commercialization and job creation.  The funding was provided by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.  The 32 projects were selected based on scientific and technical merit, as well as the commercial potential of the project.  Seven of the 32 proposed projects involve technology for bioenergy ... read more >
June 16, 2017
DOE Announces $9 Million In Funding For Biomass Research And Development
On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), announced that up to $9 million in funding will be available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) in fiscal year (FY) 2017.  Projects funded by BRDI will focus on developing economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass, increasing the availability of renewable fuels and biobased products, and diversifying the nation’s energy portfolio.  DOE and NIFA ... read more >
June 9, 2017
BETO Announces Availability Of Project Peer Review 2017 Presentations
On June 2, 2017, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the availability of Project Peer Review 2017 presentations.  The biennial event provides an opportunity for external stakeholders to evaluate rigorously the technical approach, progress, relevance, and overall merit of all the projects in the BETO portfolio.  The review was conducted across nine technology areas, including: Feedstock Supply and Logistics; Advanced Algal Systems; Thermochemical Conversion; Biochemical Conversion; Waste to Energy; Analysis and ... read more >
June 2, 2017
Trump Releases Proposed Budget For FY 2018
On May 23, 2017, President Trump released the Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which includes significant cuts to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) budgets.  According to the proposed budget, funding for DOE would be cut by 5.6 percent to $28 billion, with $636 million allotted for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and $56.6 million for the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).  The proposed DOE budget aims to eliminate the Advanced ... read more >
June 2, 2017
DOE Seeks Nominations For Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee
On May 23, 2017, EERE published in the Federal Register a solicitation for candidates to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory Committee.  The committee meets quarterly to advise DOE and USDA points of contact on the Biomass R&D Initiative and priority technical biomass R&D needs, and to make written recommendations to the Biomass R&D Board, while aiming to not duplicate efforts of other federal advisory committees.  Nominations are due to Dr. Mark Elless, the EERE Designated Federal Officer, by June 30, 2017.  The next ... read more >
June 2, 2017
DOE Announces $72 Million In Funding For Small Business R&D
On May 24, 2017, DOE announced that 68 small businesses across 24 states will receive a total of $72 million in grants to support innovative R&D.  The funding was provided by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.  The 68 small businesses received Phase II R&D awards after demonstrating technical feasibility for innovations during their Phase I grants and competed for funding for prototype or process development during Phase II.  Two of the 73 proposed projects involve the production of biobased ... read more >
May 25, 2017
DOE Extends Abstract Submission Deadline For Annual Bioeconomy Conference
On May 18, 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the abstract submission deadline for its tenth annual Bioeconomy 2017: Domestic Resources for a Vibrant Future conference has been extended.  Abstracts for the Bioeconomy 2017 Interactive Poster Session and Open Technical Session will be accepted until May 26, 2017.  All posters are required to feature an interactive element, such as voting or polling, social media, games and challenges, or other activity that involves the audience’s participation.   As reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products ... read more >
May 12, 2017
DOE Hosts Tenth Annual Bioeconomy Conference
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting its tenth annual Bioeconomy 2017: Domestic Resources for a Vibrant Future conference on July 11-12, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia.  As in years past, the conference will bring together government agency officials, members of Congress, industry leaders, national laboratory scientists, and academic researchers focused on moving the American bioeconomy forward.  Discussion will focus on: Innovative technologies for the emerging bioeconomy;         The ... read more >
May 12, 2017
DOE Requests Comments On EERE Environmental Questionnaire
On May 1, 2017, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) published a notice in the Federal Register regarding its intent to extend its use of the EERE Environmental Questionnaire, with changes, for three years.  The questionnaire allows EERE to collect project-specific information from federal financial assistance awardees to evaluate the potential environmental impact of projects that it is considering for funding, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. EERE is also requesting comments on the questionnaire, specifically ... read more >
May 5, 2017
DOE Workshop On Biobased Functional Replacement Chemicals
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting a Workshop on Moving Beyond Drop-In Replacements:  Performance Advantaged Bio-Based Chemicals on June 1, 2017, in Denver, Colorado.  The purpose of the workshop is to solicit stakeholder feedback on what research and development is necessary for writing a functional replacements and novel biobased compounds strategic plan.  The discussion, which will be restricted to polymers, small molecules, and other building block chemicals, will center on the following questions:​ Would a ... read more >
April 28, 2017
DOE Announces 38 Partnerships Between National Laboratories And Small Businesses
On April 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the 38 small businesses that will collaborate with researchers from eight national laboratories under the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot, which aims to foster a strong partnership between the labs and clean tech small businesses.  The 38 businesses represent the third round of SBV, which brings the total number of partnerships under the program to 114.  SBV provides small businesses with access to unique national lab facilities and experts to test, develop, and validate their innovative products.  The ... read more >
April 28, 2017
DOE Announces Open Teleconference Of The State Energy Advisory Board
On April 19, 2017, DOE announced an open teleconference of the State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB) in the Federal Register.  STEAB advises DOE and EERE on the operation of its energy efficiency programs, renewable energy programs, and grant programs for research and deployment in energy efficiency and renewable energy fields.  The tentative agenda includes: STEAB Task Force updates and objectives for fiscal year (FY) 2017;         Follow-up opportunities and engagement with EERE and other DOE staff as needed to keep Task Force work moving ... read more >
April 28, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
DOE, “BETO Launches Interactive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Projects Map” Renewable Fuels Association, “U.S. Gasoline Contained More than 10% Ethanol in 2016, Shattering the ‘Blend Wall’ Myth Once and For All” American Chemical Society, “Degradable Electronic Components Created from Corn Starch” Kobe University, “Making Oil from Algae – Towards More Efficient Biofuels” Ford Motor Company, “What's Super Strong, Fast Growing, and Potentially Part of Your Next Car? ... read more >
April 21, 2017
BETO Hosts Algae Cultivation for Carbon Capture and Utilization Workshop
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting an Algae Cultivation for Carbon Capture and Utilization Workshop on May 23-24, 2017, in Orlando, Florida.  The event will feature facilitated discussions focused on gathering stakeholder input on innovative technologies and business strategies for growing algae on waste carbon dioxide (CO2) resources.  Stakeholders will be encouraged to consider challenges and opportunities related ... read more >
April 7, 2017
DOE Publishes Report On Alternative Aviation Fuels
On March 28, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the publication of the report on the current state of alternative aviation fuels that was developed using findings from peer-reviewed studies, scientific working groups, and BETO stakeholder input from the Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop in September 2016.  The four key topic areas include:   ■  Economic and technical competitiveness;   ■   Fuel conversion and scale-up;   ■  Environmental ... read more >
March 17, 2017
DOE Announced Biomass Technical Advisory Meeting
On March 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) published a notice in the Federal Register regarding an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory Committee.  The meeting will take place March 30-31, 2017, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, and will focus on developing advice and guidance that promotes R&D for the production of biobased fuels and products.  The tentative agenda includes updates on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DOE ... read more >
March 9, 2017
DOE Publishes Report On Biorefinery Optimization Workshop
On February 27, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the publication of the Biorefinery Optimization Workshop Summary Report.  The report provides an overview of the discussion on industry challenges and opportunities that took place during the October 2016 Biorefinery Optimization Workshop in Chicago, Illinois.  The workshop, which comprised a combination of presentations and breakout sessions, focused on feedstock and materials handling; process scale-up, intensification, and cost reduction; and co-product and waste ... read more >
March 3, 2017
DOE Launches Consortium To Tackle Catalysis Challenges
On February 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the launch of its Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy Consortium (ChemCatBio), a research and development consortium focused on overcoming catalysis challenges for biomass conversion processes.  The consortium, which consists of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and five other DOE national laboratories, aims to accelerate the development of catalysts and related technologies to bring new catalytic materials to commercial ... read more >
March 3, 2017
DOE Announces Recipients Of $5.9 Million In Funding For CO2 Utilization Strategies
On February 22, 2017, the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy announced seven recipients of $5.9 million in funding to develop novel ways to use carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from coal-fired power plants.  The projects will focus on converting captured CO2 to useable products.  Recipients of the funding include:   ■  The University of Kentucky Research Foundation will receive nearly $1 million to convert CO2 to bioplastics using microalgae.  In addition to developing a strategy to maximize value from the algae biomass, researchers will aim to decrease ... read more >
January 27, 2017
DOE Releases U.S. Energy And Employment Report
On January 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER), which aims to aid in providing a more complete definition and quantification of energy employment across the economy.  The report presents direct employment data for jobs associated with traditional energy companies, with the production of renewable energy, and with energy efficiency, and an analysis of a supplemental survey sent to 30,000 energy sector employers.  According to the report, bioenergy electric generation and biofuel sub-technologies employ a total of ... read more >
January 20, 2017
DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office To Request Applications For Biomass Research And Development Initiative
On January 13, 2017, the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), announced the intent to issue a request for applications (RFA) titled “Fiscal Year 17 Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI).”  Projects funded through BRDI must address one of the foll owing topic areas:   ■   Feedstocks development :  Research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) focused on feedstocks and feedstock logistics as it relates to the ... read more >
January 13, 2017
White House Releases Updated Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology
On January 4, 2017, the White House announced the release of the 2017 Update to the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology. The 2017 Update provides a comprehensive summary of the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with respect to regulating biotechnology products. Together with the National Strategy for Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products, published in September 2016, the 2017 Update offers a “complete picture ... read more >
January 13, 2017
DOE Announces $22.7 Million Funding Opportunity For Integrated Biorefinery Optimization
On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and USDA announced a $22.7 million funding opportunity to support integrated biorefinery (IBR) optimization, with DOE providing up to $19.8 million and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) providing up to $2.9 million .  To date, there are only a limited number of pioneer-scale commercial IBRs in the early stages of start-up and production, due to the technical and non-technical challenges associated with the reliable and continuous operation of IBRs.  The funding opportunity will be jointly managed by ... read more >
January 6, 2017
DOE Announces Recipients Of $12.9 Million In Funding For Biofuels, Bioproducts, And Biopower Projects
On December 28, 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that six projects had been selected for a funding opportunity of up to $12.9 million titled “Project Definition for Pilot- and Demonstration-Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower.”  The projects, which revolve around technology development plans for the manufacture of advanced or cellulosic biofuels, bioproducts, refinery-compatible intermediates, and biopower in a pilot- or demonstration-scale integrated biorefinery, will be evaluated in two phases. DOE will evaluate Phase I projects at the ... read more >
January 6, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■   Neste, “Neste the Winner in the Industry Leader Award Biofuels Category at the 2016 Global Energy Awards”    ■   DOE, “DOE Announces $15 Million to Accelerate the Deployment of Energy Efficient Transportation Technologies”    ■   DOE, “Envisioning the Economic and Environmental Outcomes of Tripling the U.S. Bioeconomy”   ■   Plastics Today, “Bioplastics Highlights:  A Last Look Back at 2016”  ... read more >
December 23, 2016
DOE Announces $8 Million In Funding For Algae-Based Biofuel Projects
On December 15, 2016,  the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of up to $8 million dollars, subject to appropriations, for innovative technologies that assist in the advancement of algae bioenergy and bioproducts.  The FOA consists of two topic areas, including strain improvement for the development of enhanced algal strains, and algae cultivation biology improvement for the development of increased areal productivity and biofuel yield.   The objective of the FOA titled “Productivity Enhanced Algae and Tool-Kits” is ... read more >
November 4, 2016
DOE Announces Open Meeting Of Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee
On October 26, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee via notice in the Federal Register.  This meeting will work to develop advice and guidance promoting the research and development (R&D) of biobased fuels and products.  The agenda for the meeting includes an update on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) biomass R&D activities, an update on DOE biomass R&D activities, and an update on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative Annual Committee Recommendations. ... read more >
October 21, 2016
Microvi Announces DOE Grant For Biocatalytic Technology Utilizing Waste Biogas
On October 11, 2016, Microvi Biotechnologies Inc. (Microvi) announced that it had been awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for work on new biocatalytic technology that converts the methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) found in biogas into valuable liquid chemicals.  This technology utilizes the biogas created at landfills and wastewater treatment plants that is usually burned off into the atmosphere due to the current burdensome conversion process.  Microvi’s technology is expected to be much more efficient than conventional gas-to-liquid conversion processes, ... read more >
September 30, 2016
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
BioAmber , "BioAmber Achieves Important Milestone in U.S. DOE Loan Guarantee Process" BusinessWire , "JetBlue Announces One of the Largest Renewable Jet Fuel Purchase Agreements in Aviation History" WSU News , "Researchers Make Breakthrough in Biobased Materials" Times of Malta , "France Bans Plastic Plates, Cups and ... read more >
September 23, 2016
DOE Hosts Alternative Aviation Fuels Workshop, New LUC Emissions Research Discussed
On September 14-15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hosted a two-day workshop with lead experts on aviation biofuels exploring opportunities to increase competitiveness of alternative jet fuels. The Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop was organized in four parallel breakout sessions covering the economic and technical competitiveness, fuel conversion and scale-up, environmental sustainability and life-cycle benefits, and feedstock and product supply chains of lignocellulosic biomass based aviation biofuels. During the workshop, Wally Tyner, a professor of Agricultural Economics from ... read more >
August 12, 2016
Notice Of Open Meeting For Biomass Research And Development Committee
On August 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee in the Federal Register. The purpose of the meeting is to develop advice and guidance promoting research and development (R&D) for biofuel and bioproducts production. A tentative agenda includes: Update on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biomass R&D Activities   Update on DOE, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), and Biomass R&D Activities   Overview of the Commercial Aviation Alternative ... read more >
August 12, 2016
DOE Announces $11.3 Million In Funding Under MEGA-BIO:Bioproducts To Enable Biofuels
On August 2, 2016, DOE announced up to $11.3 million in funding to support the development of biomass-to-hydrocarbon biofuels conversion pathways. Three projects will receive the funding under MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels to produce high-value bioproducts as well as economically competitive biofuels. The projects selected to receive this funding are: The Dow Chemical Company, working with LanzaTech and Northwestern University, to develop a process to convert biomass-derived synthetic gas to fatty alcohols as a pathway to biofuels.   Amyris, Inc., along with Renmatix and ... read more >
August 12, 2016
DOE Releases $7 Million FOA For Co-Optimization Of Fuels And Engines Initiative
On August 1, 2016, DOE released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for $7 million to research fuel and engine co-optimization technologies. Funding will be provided through the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) initiative, a collaboration between DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), bringing together national laboratories and industry to conduct tandem fuel and engine research, development, and deployment assessments. This initiative works to improve near-term conventional spark-ignition engine efficiency and enable full ... read more >
July 29, 2016
Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, And Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program Accepting Applications For Guaranteed Loans
On July 25, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting applications for Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (the Program) funding. The Program provides guaranteed loans for projects developing, constructing, or retrofitting commercial scale biorefineries and biobased product manufacturing facilities. The developments must use eligible technology, including new commercial scale processing and manufacturing equipment. There are two application cycles for this notice, with the first ... read more >
July 22, 2016
DOE Announces $15 Million In Funding For Algae-Based Biofuels And Bioproducts Research Projects
On July 14, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), announced $15 million in funding for three projects that will work to improve algal biomass yields to reduce production costs of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts. The projects include Global Algae Innovations (San Diego, California), Algenol Biotech LLC (Ft. Myers, Florida), and MicroBio Engineering, Inc. (San Luis Obispo, California). These projects will coordinate algae strain improvements through harvesting, dewatering, and downstream processing, resulting in lower cost algae-based ... read more >
July 1, 2016
DOE Announces $70 Million Funding Opportunity For REMADE Program
On June 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requested proposals for "Reducing EMbodied energy And Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) in Materials Manufacturing." This funding opportunity is for the development of technologies that reduce life-cycle energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with the production and processing of industrial-scale materials. Up to $70 million is available through REMADE through 2020 with key focus areas including, but not limited to: Information collection, standardization, and design tools for tracking materials, reducing waste, and ... read more >
July 1, 2016
DOE Announces $23 Million In Funding For SBIR Phase II Winners
On June 21, 2016, DOE announced the 23 projects that were selected for Phase II funding through the Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) program. Each SBIR award is for $1 million over the next two years, and helps small businesses advance concepts that improve manufacturing processes, boost efficiency of buildings, increase transportation sustainability, and generate renewable electricity. Phase II winners include: Forest Concepts, LLC, for a low energy rotary shear for sub-millimeter particle production that will improve energy balance for advanced biofuels.   Manta ... read more >
July 1, 2016
Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force Requests Public Comments On U.S. Energy System
On June 21, 2016, DOE announced an upcoming deadline for comments to the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) - An Integrated Study of the Electricity System. QER was created via a Presidential Memorandum in January of 2014 to enable the federal government to translate policy goals into analysis-based actions. The QER Task Force is now asking for all energy stakeholders to comment with ideas and advice for the future of the U.S. electricity system. Public comments are due on July 1, 2016, and may be submitted via the QER comments ... read more >
July 1, 2016
Agenda Of Biotechnology For Clean Vehicles Session Released; Includes Synthetic Biotechnology, Advanced Biofuels, And Bioproducts
On June 22, 2016, DOE released the detailed agenda for the Biotechnology for Clean Vehicles: Harnessing Synthetic Biology To Enable Next-Generation Biomaterials And Biofuels session at the Sustainable Transportation Summit. The session is hosted by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and will focus on how novel biomaterials and renewable fuels can be used to improve vehicle efficiency and sustainability. The session will also discus the role of synthetic biology in enabling renewable fuels and materials. The Biotechnology for Clean Vehicles session will be held ... read more >
June 24, 2016
Open Teleconference Of The State Energy Advisory Board Announced
On June 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an open teleconference of the State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB) in the Federal Register. STEAB advises DOE and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) on the operation of its energy efficiency programs, renewable energy programs, and grant programs for research and deployment in energy efficiency and renewable energy fields. The tentative agenda includes: "Receive STEAB Task Force updates on action items and revised objectives for FY 2016, discuss follow-up opportunities and engagement with EERE and ... read more >
June 24, 2016
DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory Publishes Report Finding Bioenergy Crops Are Not A Risk To Food Security
On June 14, 2016, DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), through UT-Battelle, LLC, published a report determining that bioenergy crops do not impact food security. The report, "Reconciling food security and bioenergy: priorities for action," was put together by experts from ten institutions, including ORNL, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the World Bank, and Imperial College London. The report determined that previous studies finding bioenergy crops to blame for food shortages had underlying assumptions that lead to incorrect conclusions. The authors ... read more >
June 10, 2016
U.S. Senate Passes TSCA Reform, President’s Signature Is Expected
On June 7, 2016, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2576), after Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) dropped the hold placed on the bill. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill on May 24, 2016, with a 403-12 roll call vote. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform is now only waiting for President Obama's signature, which is expected soon, based on the White House's endorsement of the bill in May. Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) has collaborated with Chemical Watch to assemble TSCA experts to ... read more >
June 10, 2016
Extension Of Bioenergy 2016 Poster Submission Deadline
On June 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an extension for the abstract submission deadline for the Bioenergy 2016 poster session. Abstract submissions were originally due June 3, 2016, but have been extended through June 10, 2016. Poster submitters will still be notified of acceptance by June 17, 2016. Abstracts must fit the following guidelines: Not exceed the maximum of 300 words;   Explain validity and technical merit of the approach;   Discuss how the poster will be used to engage Bioenergy 2016 attendees;   Highlight applicability to the ... read more >
June 10, 2016
Solicitation Of Nominations For Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee
On May 25, 2016, DOE published a Notice For Solicitation of Nominations in the Federal Register to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee advises DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on technical and direction issues related to the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. The Committee meets quarterly, typically for two days at a time, in Washington, D.C. and other locations. This round of applications is focused on individuals with a commodity trade association affiliation, an expertise in agricultural ... read more >
May 27, 2016
Meeting Of The Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee Announced
On May 25, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. The purpose of the meeting is to develop advice and guidance that promote research and development (R&D), leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The tentative agenda covers: An update on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biomass R&D activities;   An update on DOE, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), and Biomass R&D ... read more >
May 20, 2016
DOE Providing $10 Million For Six Projects To Advance Bioenergy Development
On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that up to $10 million in funding is being given to six projects that are creating innovative solutions to advance bioenergy development. The work will support the Bioenergy Technologies Office's (BETO) goal of developing non-food biomass competitive biofuels with reduced technical investment risks. The selected projects are: Arizona State University, a project engineering cyanobacteria to produce ethyl laurate;   Arizona State University, a project developing heat-tolerant mixtrophic algae that can consume both ... read more >
May 20, 2016
Submissions Now Open For Bioenergy 2016:  Mobilizing The Bioeconomy Through Innovation Posters
On May 16, 2016, the DOE's BETO invited applications for abstracts for the poster session of the ninth annual conference Bioenergy 2016: Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation. Poster abstracts are due by June 3, 2016, and must fit the following guidelines: Not exceed the maximum of 300 words;   Explain validity and technical merit of the approach;   Discuss how the poster will be used to engage Bioenergy 2016 attendees;   Highlight applicability to BETO activities/Bioenergy 2016 theme; and   Provide clarity of motivation, methods, results, and ... read more >
May 20, 2016
ARPA-E Provides $300,000 In Third Round Funding For PETROSS Project
In May of 2016, the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) awarded the University of Illinois and the University of Florida $300,000 to continue researching ultra-productive biofuel crops. The research project is called Plants Engineered To Replace Oil in Sugarcane and Sweet Sorghum (PETROSS), and this is the third round of funding that it will receive from ARPA-E. PETROSS is engineering sugarcane and sorghum to produce 20 percent oil, compared to the 0.05 percent oil that is naturally provided. So far 13 percent oil production has been achieved, with PETROSS continuing ... read more >
May 20, 2016
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ Energy.gov, "Energy And Commerce Departments Announce Lab Partnership Opportunities for U.S. Small Businesses and Manufacturers" ■ EPA, "EPA Awards 18 Grants For Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training" ■ The New York Times, "Biofuels Plant in Hawaii Is First to Be Certified as Sustainable" ■ The Motley Fool, "Can The U.S. Military Afford to Run on Biofuels?" ■ Quad-City Times, "Guest View: for the Farmers, the Biofuel Bubble Has Already ... read more >
May 13, 2016
Biomass Research And Development Initiative Provides Seven Projects With Up To $10 Million In Funding
On May 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the recipients of up to $10 million in funding through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). BRDI is a joint program through DOE and USDA that helps develop sustainable sources of biomass and increase the availability of biobased fuels and products. DOE selected two of the grant winners to receive between $1 million and $2 million: the Ohio State University (OSU) project is "Biomass Gasification for Chemicals ... read more >
May 13, 2016
DOE Announces Project Development For Pilot And Demonstration Scale Manufacturing Of Biofuels, Bioproducts, And Biopower Funding Opportunity
On May 6, 2016, DOE announced the $90 million Project Development for Pilot and Demonstration Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower. As previously reported by BRAG, this funding opportunity is intended to support the construction of bioenergy infrastructure that utilizes advanced pretreatment, process, and convergence technologies. "The domestic bio-industry could play an important part in the growing clean energy economy and in reducing American dependence on imported oil," said Lynn Orr, DOE's Under Secretary for Science and Energy. Further, "[t]his ... read more >
May 13, 2016
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ Energy.gov, "Co-Optimized Fuel-Engine Systems to Transform Our Nation's Vehicles" ■ USDA Blog, "Bringing Up Better Biofuel" ■ Biofuels Digest, "What is the Worst Waste?" ■ Labiotech, "How the UK Is Engineering Bacteria to Produce Propane for Greener Fuels" ■ Plastics Today, "Mars Goes for Bioplastic Candy Bar Wrappers" ■ AkzoNobel, "AkzoNobel and Royal Cosun to Develop Sustainable Cellulose Products from Sugar Beet ... read more >
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