US Department of Energy awards $73M for bioenergy R&D projects

Published on October 03, 2019 by Chris Galford

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced this week that a total of 35 bioenergy research and development (R&D) projects will benefit from $73 million in DOE funds.

“The main goal of DOE’s bioenergy R&D is to produce affordable biofuels that are compatible with existing fueling infrastructure and vehicles across a range of transportation modes, including renewable-gasoline, -diesel, and -jet fuels,” Energy Secretary Rick Perry said. “These projects will reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value products from biomass or waste resources while creating American jobs and strengthening our economy and energy security.”

Currently, the DOE estimates the potential to create 1 billion dry tons of non-food biomass in the United States, without disrupting existing agricultural markets for food and animal feed. It is an underutilized resource they wish to investigate further, especially given its potential to produce up to 50 billion gallons of biofuels, which would represent about 25 percent of U.S. transportation fuels. It could also be used for 50 billion pounds of high-value chemicals and products, along with 75 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.

Funding will come from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. It will benefit everything from innovations in algae cultivation by Global Algae Innovations, to researching new technologies for converting et organic waste into high-value products, care of the State University of New York in Albany.