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DOE Announces $300Mn for Sustainable Transport R&D (R&D, Funding)
US DOE
Date: 2020-01-27
The US DOE has announced three separate funding opportunities totaling nearly $300 million for sustainable transportation fuels, resources and technologies R&D.

Funded through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the three FOAs will be issued on behalf of the three transportation offices: Vehicle, Fuel Cells, and Bioenergy Technology Offices. Brief summaries of the FOAs follow:

  • FY20 Vehicles Technologies Office (VTO) Multi-Topic FOA ($133M) -- Issued on behalf of DOE's VTO , topic areas within this FOA address priorities in advanced batteries and electrification; advanced engine and fuel technologies, including technologies for off-road applications; lightweight materials; new mobility technologies (energy efficient mobility systems), and alternative fuels technology demonstrations.

  • H2@Scale New Markets FOA ($64M) -- Issued on behalf of DOE's Fuel Cells Technologies Office (FCTO), topic areas within this FOA advance DOE's H2@Scale initiative. This investment will support innovative hydrogen concepts that will encourage market expansion and increase the scale of hydrogen production, storage, transport, and use, including heavy-duty trucks, data centers and steel production.

  • FY20 Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Multi-Topic FOA ($100M) -- Issued on behalf of DOE's BETO, topic areas within this FOA support the U.S. bioeconomy by reducing the price of drop-in biofuels, lowering the cost of biopower, and enabling high-value products from biomass or waste resources.(Source: USDOE, 25 Jan, 2020) Contact: US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuels,  Bioenergy,  DOE BETO,  DOE EERE,  


  • Biomass-Acetone, Light Creates Green Jet Fuel Additive (Ind Report)
    Loa Alamos National Lab
    Date: 2020-01-27
    Take biomass-derived acetone -- common nail polish remover -- use light to upgrade it to higher-mass hydrocarbons and you have a domestically generated product that can be blended with conventional jet fuel to fly while providing environmental benefits.

    There are many challenges in using acetone for fuels applications, the paper notes. Its volatility precludes its direct use as a fuel, and it requires chemical upgrading to be suitable for introduction into the fuel supply, as acetone has a nasty habit of dissolving engine parts and O-rings. So by upgrading the initial product to a cyclobutane, a potentially safer and more energy-dense fuel is created, while reducing the hydrogen input required for upgrading a bio-derived feedstock.

    "Reducing high-pressure hydrogen treatment in synthesizing renewable fuels is important, because most hydrogen is derived from using steam to reform natural gas, which generates carbon dioxide," according to the release.

    The LANL research was funded through the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) through ChemCatBio: Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy Consortium. (Source: Los Alamos National Laboratory, PR, 23 Jan., 2020) Contact: Los Alamos National Laboratory, (505) 667-5061, www.lanl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LANL,  Los Alamos National Lab,  Green Fuel,  Green Jet Fuel,  


    DOE Offering $75Mn for Bioenergy Crop R&D (R&D, Funding)
    US DOE
    Date: 2020-01-13
    In Washington, the US DOE has announced the availability of as much as $75 million in individual grants ranging from $1 million to $3 million over five years for research to develop of sustainable bioenergy crops that are "tolerant of environmental stress and resilient to changing environmental conditions." Funded research will focus on the genetic and physiological mechanisms influencing plant productivity and resource use, among other factors.

    Qualifying Universities, industry and non-profit research institutions will collaborator with DOE national laboratories and other federal agencies. (Source: USA DOE, PR, Jan., 2020)Contact: US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE BETO,  Bioenergy Crop,  Bioenergy R&D,  


    Vertimass Aviation Biofuel R&D Funded (R&D, Funding Report)
    Vertimass
    Date: 2019-11-08
    Irvine, California-based Vertimass LLC is reporting receipt of a cost-shared award of up to $1.4 million from the US DOE EERE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) to optimize and commercialize jet biofuel production compatible with the current jet fuel infrastructure.

    Existing US ethanol production plants currently have the capacity to produce approximately 16 billion gpy, a level that saturates current use as 10 pct blends with gasoline. However, the new Vertimass catalyst breaks that barrier by producing a hydrocarbon that can be blended at much higher levels. In addition, while ethanol has been traditionally considered too low in energy density for use as a jet fuel, the Vertimass catalyst can overcome that issue.

    Initial tests indicate the Vertimass fuels (Vertifuels) are compatible for blending with gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels with no engine modifications, but further tests are underway for ASTM certification.

    Vertimass is working with the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), Sandia National Laboratory (SNL), TechnipFMC, and the University of California, Riverside (UCR). (Source: Vertimass LLC, EngineerLive, 7 Nov., 2019) Contact: Vertimass LLC, John Hannon, CEO, www.vertimass.com; DOE EERE Bioenergy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov › eere › bioenergy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE Bioenergy Technologies Office,  Vertimass,  Jet Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Biofuel,  


    DOE Offers $33.5Mn for Energy-Efficient R&D Projects (Funding)
    DOE BETO
    Date: 2019-05-15
    In Washington, the US DOE reports the availability of up to $33.5 million in funding for the research and development of projects aimed at reducing energy bills through advanced building construction techniques for both existing and new, residential and commercial buildings.

    According to the DOE, commercial and residential buildings account for roughly 40 pct of the nation's total energy demand at a cost in excess of $380 billion per year.

    While an ideal project would address a combination of issues across areas such as heating, cooling, the building envelope, water heating and ventilation, funding applications should focus on one of three topics:

  • Advanced Technology Integration: including projects that concentrate on taking technologies from the laboratory to the field, in order to meet national, regional, state and local needs. Energy savings methods in this category focus on workforce training, service delivery methods and field validation of new technologies and building practices;

  • Integrated Building Retrofits: which concentrate on existing buildings, including technologies that aim to achieve greater energy-efficiency through combined space heating and cooling systems, hot water systems and light and durable, highly-insulated panels. The goal under this topic is to achieve 75 pct energy reductions;

  • New Construction Technologies which focus on innovative approaches to a building's design, construction and installation. Through advancements in robotics, digitalization, off-site manufacturing, improved modeling and automation, the goal for projects within this topic is to make buildings and homes 50 percent more energy efficient than current code requirements.

    Funding is issued through the DOE's Building Technology Office (BTO) which aims to find new, energy-efficient technologies while improving the efficiency of current technologies to help the department realize its goal for reducing the energy use of U.S. buildings by 30 pct by 2030.

    BETO programs currently include: HVAC; water heating and appliances; solid-state lighting; building energy modeling; sensors and controls; and buildings-to-grid integration. (Source: US DOE BETO, 14 May, 2019) Contact: US DOE BETO, www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/building-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  DOE BETO,  


  • Spero Renewables Announces DOE BETO R&D Funding (Ind. Report)
    Spero Renewables
    Date: 2019-05-06
    CORRECTION -- The following article appeared in our 22nd April editions with contact errors which are herein corrected. We regret any inconvenience our error may have caused.

    Goleta, California-based Spero Renewables LLC, a Green chemistry company, is reporting a $1.6 million cooperative agreement with the US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to develop and scale-up production of the company's patented SPERLU technology that produces polymers from wood pulp and similar plant-based sources.

    The grant is part of a recently announced $80 million DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) initiative supporting 36 bioenergy R&D projects. In addition to biobased products, projects include renewable hydrocarbon fuels and power from non-food Biomass and waste feedstocks.

    Spero's SPERLU™ technology converts biomass lignin, a waste byproduct of cellulosic ethanol production that is expensive to remediate, into valuable, environmentally friendly polymers and plastics. The resulting polymers are renewable, free of off-gassing emissions, and formaldehyde-free as opposed to current polymers that come from petrochemicals and are manufactured with formaldehyde, according to the company's website.

    According to the company website, "Spero Energy is a technology developer for the production of high value renewable and natural molecules from biomass. The company's novel extractive technology for the manufacture of natural ferulic acid is a game changer for the production of natural vanilla. Spero's one-step lignin conversion (SPERLU™) is key to realizing a fully integrated biorefinery." (Source: Spero Renewables LLC, Spero Website, 19 April, 2019) Contact: Spero Renewables LLC, Mahdi Abu-Omar, Ph.D. Chemistry, Pres., Joe Ramelli, VP Business Dev., (805) 696-2199 x 2001, joe@sperorenewables.com, US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE BETO,  Spero Renewables,  


    DOE Announces $79 Mn Funding for Bioenergy R&D (Funding, R&D)
    US DOE
    Date: 2019-05-06
    In Washington, the US DOE has announced over $79 million in funding for bioenergy R&D including biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. This funding supports Agency's goal of providing consumers and businesses with a range of domestic energy options that are affordable, reliable, and secure.

    The FOA topics will advance DOE's Bioenergy Technology Office's (BETO) objectives to reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value products from biomass or waste resources. Topics areas for this funding opportunity include the following:

  • Cultivation Intensification Processes for Algae -- Develop technologies for outdoor algae systems that increase the harvest yield, reliability and quality of algae;

  • Biomass Component Variability and Feedstock Conversion Interface: Research to lower the cost and improve the reliability of biomass handling and preprocessing;

  • Efficient Wood Heaters -- Develop technologies to reduce emissions and increase efficiency of wood heaters for residential heating;

  • Systems Research of Hydrocarbon Biofuel Technologies -- Integrate new technologies and processes in experimental prototype systems to improve and verify real-world performance and lower the cost of drop-in Biofuels;

  • Optimization of Biomass-Derived Jet Fuel Blends -- Identify and develop cost-competitive drop-in renewable jet fuel with improved energy density and lower particulate matter emissions;

  • Renewable Energy from Urban and Suburban Wastes: Support academic research and educational programs that focus on strategies to produce bioenergy and bioproducts from urban and suburban waste feedstocks;

  • Advanced Bioprocessing and Agile BioFoundry -- Reduce the time and cost of developing biological processes for biomanufacturing fuels and products through the use of synthetic biology, low capital intensity methods, and continuous production systems;

  • Plastics in the Circular Carbon Economy -- Develop biobased plastics with improved performance and recyclability and lower the cost and energy-intensity of recycling existing plastics through enhanced degradation;

  • Rethinking Anaerobic Digestion: Develop anaerobic processes or alternative strategies to enhance carbon conversion efficiency and lower costs of smaller scale wet waste systems;

  • Reducing Water, Energy, and Emissions in Bioenergy -- Identify biofuels or bioproducts technologies with the greatest potential for reducing water consumption, energy consumption, and/or emissions relative to existing conventional fuels or products.

    This FOA also supports the Water Security Grand Challenge, a White House initiated, DOE-led framework to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water. In particular, this funding will support R&D focused on anaerobic digestion, a technology that can help achieve the Grand Challenge's goal to double resource recovery from municipal wastewater. (Source: US DOE EERE, 3 May, 2019) Contact: US DOE EERE, www.energy.gov/eere

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE EERE,  Bioenergy,  Biofuel,  Anaerobic Digestion ,  


  • O'Rourke Floats Climate Proposal (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Beto O'Rourke
    Date: 2019-05-01
    2020 Dem. presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke has released what he's calling "the most ambitious climate plan in the history of the United States and the most comprehensive climate policy proposal put out by any 2020 contender to date."

    O'Rourke's proposal calls for halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050 through a program of: executive action; a $5 trillion over 10 years investment in a clean energy transition; and preparing vulnerable communities for the impacts of climate change.

    Although the plan is focused on climate and energy -- cutting emissions and creating alternatives -- approximately $3.5 trillion is allocated through tax incentives, loans, and other financing mechanisms for infrastructure, research, resilience, and clean energy deployment. The outlay would be funded by "structural changes to the tax code" that end tax breaks to fossil fuel companies and raise rates on corporations and top earners. Of the remaing $1.5 trillion, $1.2 trillion would go to grants for sustainable housing, transportation, public health, farming, and start-ups.

    As opposed to a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, O'Rourke is advocating a legally-binding net-zero emissions standard by 2050. The plan doesn't rule out pricing carbon but instead focuses on setting definitive goal posts. If elected, O'Rourke noted will re-enter the Paris climate agreement, implement rules to cut methane and other "super-potent" GHG emissions, tighten clean air rules, ramp up appliance efficiency standards, demand clean energy procurement from federal contractors, and end new fossil fuel leases on public lands. (Source: Vox, Various Media, 30 April, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  Methane,  Clean Air,  


    NREL, Forest Concepts Collaborate on Biofuel Feedstocks, Biomass Conversion (R&D, Ind. Report)
    Forest Concepts
    Date: 2018-12-12
    Recognizing the importance of enhancing biomass conversion processes for industry, a team of NREL scientists partnered with Auburn, Washington-based Forest Concepts to perform detailed thermochemical conversion simulations for biomass feedstocks. The simulations relate feedstock attributes to expected product yields and necessary pyrolysis conversion process conditions. The work by NREL will allow Forest Concepts to better convey the value of their feedstocks to biorefinery customers.

    Forest Concepts, a manufacturer of precision woody and herbaceous feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproduct applications, leveraged NREL's capabilities in biomass conversion modeling to help quantify the impact of their feedstock characteristics based on various particle shapes and sizes. The NREL team is part of the Consortium for Computational Physics and Chemistry (CCPC), which uses high-performance computing to support the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).

    Prior to the development of the NREL models, Forest Concepts provided feedstock pricing based on volume and size of the biomass particle. Using the NREL models, Forest Concepts can now provide information to their customers such as standardized performance, required conversion conditions, and expected yields based on the size and shape of feedstock particles.

    BETO recognized early on the value of developing detailed biomass feedstock particle models to understand how the properties of each particle impact the yield and composition products from the conversion process. Moving forward, these capabilities will be leveraged by the newly established Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium (FCIC) whose mission is to quantify, understand, and manage variability in biomass from field through downstream conversion and to understand how biomass composition, structure, and behavior impact system performance.

    FCIC is an integrated and collaborative network of eight national laboratories dedicated to addressing technical risks and understanding how biomass properties influence collection, storage, handling, preprocessing and conversion technologies with the goal of improving the overall operational reliability of integrated pioneer biorefineries. (Source: NREL, PR, 10 Dec., 2018) Contact: NREL, Peter Ciesielski, Scientist, www.nrel.gov; US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office; Forest Concepts, James H. Dooley, CTO, (253) 333-9663, www.forestconcepts.com; Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium, https://fcic.inl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NREL,  Forest Concepts,  Bioenergy,  Biofuel,  Biomass,  BETO ,  


    CSU, NREL Lead $2.1Mn CO2 Utilization for Algae Biofuels R&D (R&D)
    Colorado State University,NREL
    Date: 2018-10-31
    Following up on our October 4, 2017 coverage, a team of five Colorado State University (CSU) and three National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) researchers are reporting a $2.1 million, 3-year effort to increase algae yield for biofuel production by improving carbon dioxide utilization. For the research, New Belgium Brewing will provide CO2 from their fermentation processes, and Qualitas Health, a producer of omega-3 nutraceuticals from algae, will help test the improved CO2 delivery technology. The aim is to improve delivery of CO2 to algae and enhance algae's consumption of the CO2.

    The project is being funded by the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy in a collaborative effort to improve the cost-competitiveness and environmental sustainability of microalgae-based fuels and products. (Source: CSU, NREL, Various Media, Oct., 2018) Contact: Colorado State University, Prof. Ken Reardon, kenneth.reardon@colostate.edu, www.colostate.edu; US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Colorado State University,  NREL,  Algae,  CO2,  Biofuel,  


    Texas A&M Awarded $2.2 Mn for Biofuel R&D (R&D, Funding)
    Texas A&M
    Date: 2018-10-15
    In College State, Texas A&M AgriLife Research is reporting receipt of $2.2 million in grant funding from grant from the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office to support investigation of waste products used in lignocellulosic biofuel production, turning them into valuable agents used in producing commercial products such as biodiesel and asphalt binding agents.

    According to Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist and project leader Dr. Joshua Yuan, "The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass has been around for many years, but many of the waste products can not be commercialized due to the configuration of these biorefineries. What we are trying to accomplish is developing a streamlined process where the biomass waste at these refineries can be fractionated to produce lipids for biodiesel, asphalt binder modifier and quality carbon fiber. All of these bioproducts can add great value to the economy and enhance their market value."

    Yuan noted that lignocellulose bioconversion refineries burn off 60 pct of the lignin produced. Utilizing this lignin offers incentives such as improving the efficiencies of a biorefinery, reducing costs and lowering emissions. The work will include developing an integrated biorefinery program or "a blueprint for future biorefinery development," Yuan added. (Source: Texas A&M AgriLife Research, PR, Oct., 2018) Contact: Dr. Joshua Yuan, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Dr. Joshua Yuan, Dir. Synthetic and Systems Biology Hub, people.tamu.edu/~syuan, www.tamu.edu; US DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Texas A&M,  US DOE BETO,  lignocellulosic ,  biofuel,  


    LLNL Funded Biofuel-Producing Algae R&D (Funding, R&D)
    General Automation Lab Technologies,Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    Date: 2018-02-02
    The US DOE reports it has awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) a three-year, $1.5 million grant to improve the growth and efficiency of biofuel-producing algae through the alteration of their microbiomes. LLNL will collaborate with San Francisco-based startup General Automation Lab Technologies (GALT) whose novel technology will help the researchers to better understand how algae grow and function in different microbial conditions. This is essential to being able to increase algal production for alternative fuels.

    The project is being funded by Funded by the DOE Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). BETO works with industry, academia and national laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in algal biofuels technologies. (Source: US DOE, LLNL. Feb., 2018) Contact: LLNL, Xavier Mayali, (925) 423-3892, mayali1@llnl.gov; Ty Samo, (925) 423-5837, samo1@llnl.gov, www.llnl.gov; BETO, www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office; US DOE EERE, http://energy.gov/eere; General Automation Lab Technologies, (917) 332-7230, www.galt-inc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE,  DOE BETO,  General Automation Lab Technologies,  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,  Algae,  Algae Biofuel,  Biofuel ,  


    Biofuels Feedstock Study Supports Billion-tpy Estimate (R&D)
    North Central Regional Sun Grant Center
    Date: 2018-01-24
    Can farmers produce at least 1 billion tons of biomass per year that can be used as biofuels feedstock? That’s the question that researchers are trying to answer, according to South Dakota State University North Central Regional Sun Grant Center Director Vance Owens. The goal is to replace 30 percent of the petroleum consumed in the United States with biofuels.

    Analysis of up to seven years of production data suggests an estimated billon-tpy could be available annually by 2030.

    Field trial results and yield projections for herbaceous crops, including switchgrass, energycane, mixed perennial grasses on Conservation Reserve Program land, giant miscanthus and sorghum, as well as the woody feedstocks poplar and shrub willow, are available online in the January issue of GCB Bioenergy.

    The raw data from the field trials will be available for public use and can be accessed at Knowledge Discovery Framework at the U.S. DOE website. Among the herbaceous energy crops, field-scale trials using traditional agricultural equipment were conducted for switchgrass and mixed perennial grasses suitable for use on CRP land, while smaller individual plots were utilized for energycane and giant miscanthus due to a lack of vegetative planting materials for these species.

    South Dakota State University was the lead institution for the more than $20 million project which was funded by the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and involved researchers from the U.S. DOE and USDA, 35 land-grant universities, Heidelberg University, INL, ORNL, ANL and several industry partners.

    Report details are HERE (Source: South Dakota State University, Jan., 2018) Contact: South Dakota State Univ. North Central Regional Sun Grant Center, Vance Owens, Dir., (605) 688-5476, www.sdstate.edu/north-central-regional-sun-grant-center

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Feedstock,  


    BETO Feedstock-Conversion Consortium Launched (Ind. Report)
    U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office
    Date: 2017-12-04
    In Washingto, the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office is reporting the establishment of the Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium -- a research and development consortium dedicated to identifying and overcoming technical uncertainty in the development of biomass feedstock supply, pre-processing, and conversion technologies. The consortium aims to improve the overall operational reliability of integrated biorefineries (IBRs).

    BETO has identified inconsistent feeding, handling, and initial conversion operations at IBRs as limiting factors in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals. According to the agency, IBR development and operation have suffered from failure to account for the complexity and variability of feedstock properties and composition and from a lack of fundamental understanding of the physics and chemistry of biomass-derived feedstock pre-processing and subsequent deconstruction, combined with poor equipment design and flawed integration. Solving this significant current challenge is essential for advanced biofuels to fully reach their potential and for the economic benefits of new jobs and improved security of our fuel supply to be realized, the agency says.

    The Feedstock Conversion Interface Consortium (FCIC) is an integrated and collaborative network of eight national laboratories dedicated to addressing technical risks in developing and scaling up biomass harvest, storage, preprocessing and conversion technologies with the goal of improving the overall operational reliability of integrated pioneer biorefineries. FCIC laboratories members include, Idaho National Laboratory , National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. (Source: US DOE, BETO, Nov., 2017) Contact: FCIC, https://fcic.inl.gov; BETO Multi-Year Program Plan HERE.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Feedstock,  Bioenergy Feedstock,  


    CSU Funded for Better Algae Biofuels R&D (Funding, R&D)
    Colorado State University
    Date: 2017-10-04
    Colorado State University scientists are reporting receipt of as much as $3.5 million over three years in US DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) funding for Rewiring Algal Carbon Energetics for Renewables aimed at improving how algae-based biofuels and bioproducts are made. The overall project goal set by the Department of Energy is to double the yield of biofuel precursors from algae to about 3,700 gallons per acre per year.

    Strategies to be used by the team to meet this goal include increasing algal cultivation productivity, optimizing biomass composition, and extracting and separating different types of algal lipids to reduce the cost of upgrading them to renewable diesel.The study will be led by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

    The researchers will use an algae species called Desmodesmus armatus, and will focus on fundamental processes of efficiently channeling carbon dioxide into useful fuel intermediates. The project will work to ferment carbohydrates in the algal cells into chemicals of interest, including ethanol, as well as a fuel precursor called 2,3 butanediol.

    Other partners on the project will work on the algae-to-bioproduct life cycle, including modification of growing pond conditions, and separating algal solids from water to remove lipids.

    The multidisciplinary team includes CSU's Ken Reardon, professor of chemical and biological engineering; Graham Peers, associate professor of biology; and Jason Quinn, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; along with partners at National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado School of Mines, Arizona State University, Utah State University, and representatives from industry. San Diego-based Sapphire Energy is a project partner and has pioneered the use of D. armatus for biofuels. (Source: Colorado State University, PR, 2 Oct., 2017) Contact: Colorado State University, Prof. Ken Reardon, kenneth.reardon@colostate.edu, www.colostate.edu; US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Colorado State University,  Sapphire Energy,  Algae,  Algal Biofuel,  BETO,  


    $15Mn DOE Funding for Integrated Biorefineries R&D (Funding, R&D)
    DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, BETO
    Date: 2017-09-22
    In Washington, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA are reporting the awarding of as much as $15 million to eight projects seeking to enhance the operations of integrated biorefineries and resolve R&D challenges needed for the "successful scale-up and reliable operations" of integrated biorefineries (IBRs). Other objectives will be to cut capital and operating costs and support the production of advanced or cellulosic biofuels and higher-value bioproducts.

    The projects will focus on: continuous handling of solid materials and feeding systems to reactors under various operating conditions; high-value products from waste in an integrated biorefinery; industrial separations within an integrated biorefinery; and analytical modeling of solid materials and reactor feeding systems.

    Thermochemical Recovery International Inc, Texas A&M Agrilife Research, White Dog Labs, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the South Dakota School of Mines, Forest Concepts, Clemson University and Purdue University are among the funding recipients. (Source: US DOE, BETO, Renewables Now, Others, 21 Sept., 2017) Contact: US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office; USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, https://nifa.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biorefinery,  DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office,  BETO,  


    DOE Reports Additional $8.8Mn for Algae Tech. Innovations (R&D)
    DOE ,BETO
    Date: 2017-09-11
    The U.S. Department of Energy is reporting the selection of four additional projects from the Productivity Enhanced Algae and ToolKits funding opportunity to receive up to $8.8 million for projects that will deliver high-impact tools and techniques for increasing the productivity of algae organisms in order to reduce the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts. The funding for this initiative now totals over $16 million.

    The organizations selected include:

  • The Colorado School of Mines, in partnership with Global Algae Innovations, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Colorado State University, will improve the productivity of wild algal strains using advanced directed evolution approaches in combination with high-performance, custom-built, solar simulation bioreactors;

  • The University of California, San Diego, will develop genetic tools, high-throughput screening methods, and breeding strategies for green algae and cyanobacteria, targeting robust production strains;

  • The University of Toledo, in partnership with Montana State University and the University of North Carolina, will cultivate microalgae in high-salinity and high-alkalinity media to achieve productivities without needing to add concentrated carbon dioxide;

  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will ecologically engineer algae to encourage growth of bacteria that efficiently remineralize dissolved organic matter to improve carbon dioxide uptake and simultaneously remove excess oxygen. (Source: US DOE BETO, www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE BETO,  Algae,  Algal Biofuel,  Algae Biofuel,  


  • U.S. DOE Promoting Net-Zero Energy Schools (Ind. Report)
    US DOE, NREL
    Date: 2017-09-01
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports it is working with k-12 school districts around the country to break down barriers to zero energy schools and to create educational facilities that can produce enough renewable energy to meet their consumption needs.

    To that end, DOE has partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop a feasibility study on zero energy schools and provide specific energy usage targets to cost-effectively achieve zero energy and focused on strategies to balance energy consumption and energy supply. The pathways for managing energy consumption include optimal design of the building walls, roof, and windows, lighting systems, heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, controls, and service water heating. (Source: US DOE, NREL, ProudGreenBuilding, Aug. 31, 2017)Contact: NREL, Dr. Martin Keller, Director, www.nrel.gov; US DOE BETO, www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net Zero Energy,  NREL,  US DOE,  Energy Efficiency,  


    BETO Validates Vertimass' Catalytic Technology (Ind. Report)
    Vertimass
    Date: 2017-08-23
    Irvne, California-headquartered Vertimass LLC is reporting completion of the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technology Office's (BETO) validation of its low-cost transformative catalytic technology. BETO's verification provided progress on performance, scale-up, and reviewed Vertimass' estimated cost for their technology.

    According to Vertimass, BETO's verification paves the way for a demonstration scale of the technology for converting sustainable ethanol into fungible gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel blend stocks and the chemical building blocks benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX). This new Vertimass pathway can enhance use of biomass-derived renewable fuels that lower greenhouse gas emissions and allow ethanol producers to expand their product portfolio. The Vertimass systems can be added to existing ethanol producers' facilities at fractions of the cost of a new facility, according to the company. (Source: Vertimass LLC, 21 Aug., 2017) Contact: Vertimass, Charles Wyman, CEO, John Hannon, COO, (949) 417-4307, www.vertimass.com; US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vertimass,  Biofuel,  DOE BETO,  


    DOE BETO Announces Fourth MEGA-BIO Award (Ind. Report)
    DOE BETO,Michigan State University
    Date: 2017-08-04
    The U.S. DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has announced it will award a fourth project -- up to $1.8 million -- under the MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels Funding Opportunity. In August 2016, BETO selected three projects for an initial round of funding. The total funding for the four MEGA-BIO awards is $13.1 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: sugars for the production of hydrocarbon fuels and lignins for the production of multiple value-added chemicals and as a feedstock for renewable bichemicals.

    All four projects are supporting the development of biomass-to-hydrocarbon biofuels conversion pathways that can produce variable amounts of fuels and/or products based on external factors, such as market demand. Producing high-value bioproducts alongside cost-competitive biofuels has the potential to support a positive return on investment for a biorefinery through converting biomass to where it is most impactful. Producing value-added coproducts is an approach to achieving DOE's strategic goal of producing hydrocarbon fuels at $3 per gasoline gallon equivalent. (Source: US DOE, 2 Aug., 2017) Contact: BETO, www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office; US DOE EERE, http://energy.gov/eere

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biochemical,  BETO,  DOE EERE,  Biochemical,  Biofuel,  


    Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies Funding Announced (Funding)
    DOE Building Technologies Office
    Date: 2017-08-04
    The US DOE Building Technologies Office (BTO) reports it is investing up to $15.8 million in 13 projects that will drive innovation in early-stage R&D for advanced building technologies and systems that will serve as a foundation for future technological developments and reductions in building energy consumption.

    This years Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) awards include novel materials exploration that will lead to more efficient insulation and windows, more accurate sensors, exploration and validation of both electric- and fuel-driven hybrid vapor compression technologies for more efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R), as well as advanced control algorithms, modeling, and analytics for reducing power consumption of miscellaneous electric loads.

    The HVAC&R recipients include: Stone Mountain Technologies Inc.; University of Maryland; Arkema Inc.; Xergy; United Technologies Research Center; Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); University of California, Berkeley; Fraunhofer CSE (Boston); Stanford University, and others. (Source: DOE BETO, 3 Aug., 2017) Contact: US DOE BETO, www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Building Technologies Office,  BETO,  ,  


    PNNL Researching Time, Cost Effective Algal Biofuels (R&D)
    PNNL,BETO
    Date: 2017-06-12
    In Sequim, Washington, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Marine Sciences Laboratory are working to lower the cost of producing biofuels from algae by utilizing an indoor system that mimics the conditions of outdoor ponds. The project -- Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization, and Validation Research (DISCOVR) -- is funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and has created an integrated screening platform for the rapid discovery of high-productivity strains for resilient, year-round outdoor cultivation via crop rotation.

    BETO's Advanced Algal Systems Program aims to demonstrate an algal biofuel intermediate yield of 2,500 gpy per acre by 2018 and 5,000 gallons per acre per year by 2022. The program also aims to cut the total production costs of microalgae biofuels to $3/gasoline gallon equivalent by 2030, with or without co-products.

    Researchers are currently cultivating 30 strains of algae, which they will narrow down to the four most promising strains. Of the four strains the researchers will determine which have the highest oil, protein, and carbohydrate content, as well as other factors, such as bacterial resistance and potential for creating valuable co-products. The team will then compare the strains to two well-studied algae strains, and the top-performing strains will be further tested to identify the optimal algae strain for biofuel production. (Source: PNNL, EIN PressWire, June, 2017) Contact: PNNL, (509) 371-6989, www.pnnl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alagal Biofuel,  Algae,  Biofuel,  PNNL,  BETO,  

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