$786 Million for Biofuels Research & Commercialization Released by Department of Energy

algae biofuel photo

photo: Steve Jurvetson via flickr

The latest allocation of funds from the stimulus bill by the Department of Energy has been announced. This time it's for biofuels and in the amount of $786.5 million. Here's where it's all going:$480 Million for Integrated Pilot- and Demonstration-Scale Facilities

Projects selected under this Funding Opportunity Announcement will work to validate integrated biorefinery technologies that produce advanced biofuels, bioproducts, and heat and power in an integrated system, thus enabling private financing of commercial-scale replications.

DOE anticipates making 10 to 20 awards for refineries at various scales and designs, all to be operational in the next three years.  The DOE funding ceiling is $25 million for pilot-scale projects and $50 million for demonstration scale projects.

These integrated biorefineries will reduce dependence on petroleum-based transportation fuels and chemicals. They will also facilitate the development of an "advanced biofuels" industry to meet the federal Renewable Fuel Standards.

$176.5 Million for Commercial-Scale Biorefinery Projects
$176.5 million will be used to increase the federal funding ceiling on two or more demonstration- or commercial-scale biorefinery projects that were selected and awarded within the last two years.

The goal of these efforts is to reduce the risk of the development and deployment of these first-of-a-kind operations. These funds are expected to expedite the construction phase of these projects and ultimately accelerate the timeline for start up and commissioning.

$110 Million for Fundamental Research
This allocation will be further divided as follows,
Expand the resources available for sustainability research through the Office of Science Bioenergy Research Centers and establish a user-facility/small-scale integrated pilot plant ($25 million).

Create an advanced research consortium to develop technologies and facilitate subsequent demonstration of infrastructure-compatible biofuels through a competitive solicitation ($35 million).

Create an algal biofuels consortium to accelerate demonstration of algal biofuels through a competitive solicitation ($50 million).

$20 Million for Ethanol Research
The Biomass Program is planning to use $20 million of the Recovery Act funding in a competitive solicitation to achieve the following:
  • Optimize flex-fuel vehicles operating on high octane E85 fuel (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline blend).

  • Evaluate the impact of higher ethanol blends in conventional vehicles

  • Upgrade existing refueling infrastructure to be compatible with fuels up to E85.

More: Department of Energy - Recovery and Reinvestment
Biofuel Sustainability Embraced by US Department of Energy: National Biofuels Action Plan Unveiled
Duckweed Does Double Duty: Cleans Up Waste Water, Makes Great Biofuel
The US Needs a 'True' Biofuels Policy: Environmental Working Group

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