The award is part of the DOE's $10 million Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) and will provide resources to enable the CSU Energy Institute to launch the Rockies/Plains Energy Accelerator for Commercializing Hardtech (REACH) -- in collaboration with Innosphere Ventures, the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory (CERC) and 22 other ecosystem partners. REACH is tailored to the specific needs of the Rocky Mountains Great Plains region which produces 25 pct of the nation's energy.
Innosphere and CSU will plan, develop, and execute a growth strategy for clean energy innovation clusters throughout the region in partnership with public, private, non-profit, and higher education partners, and with support from CERC -- Colorado's inter-institutional partnership between CSU, University of Colorado- Boulder, Colorado School of Mines and the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
EPIC is a $10 million funding opportunity created by the DOE Office of Technology Transitions to underscore the importance of regional clusters which increase productivity of area companies, drive the direction and pace of innovation, and stimulate the formation of new businesses, further reinforcing the cluster itself.
CSU is one of 10 recipients of the EPIC funding award.
(Source: Colorado State University, PR, Website, 3 June, 2021) Contact: Colorado State University Energy Institute, Bryan Willson, Exec, Dir., Allison Vitt, Allison.Vitt@colostate.edu,
Innosphere Ventures, Mike Freeman, CEO, www.innosphereventures.org;
Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory, www.coloradocollaboratory.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Colorado State University , Clean Energy, Renewable Energy, Innosphere Ventures,
John Field, research scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at CSU, said it has been a challenge for the biofuel industry to demonstrate commercial viability for cellulosic biofuels created from switchgrass and other non-edible plants.
The research team used modeling to simulate switchgrass cultivation, cellulosic biofuel production and carbon capture and storage (CCS), tracking ecosystem and carbon flows. Scientists then compared this modeling to alternative ways to store carbon on the land, including growing forest or grassland.
CCS technology is being used by at least one facility in Illinois that is processing corn to ethanol as a conventional biofuel to create ethanol, but these systems are not yet widespread. As part of the study, researchers created models to simulate what this would look like at a cellulosic biofuel refinery. "What we found is that around half of the carbon in the switchgrass that comes into the refinery becomes a byproduct that would be available for carbon capture and storage. The resulting byproduct streams of high-purity CO2 would not require much separation or clean-up before being stored underground," the study noted.
The research team analyzed three contrasting U.S. case studies and found that on land where farmers or land managers were transitioning out of growing crops or maintaining pastures for grazing, cultivating switchgrass for cellulosic ethanol production had a per-hectare mitigation potential comparable to reforestation and several-fold greater than grassland restoration.
Using switchgrass can be particularly helpful in parts of the country where planting more trees is not an option.
This research was partially funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the US DOE via the Center for Bioenergy Innovation, and the Sao Paulo Research Foundation in Brazil.
The study illustrates how deliberate land use choices support the climate performance of present-day cellulosic ethanol technology and how technological advancements and CCS addition could produce several times the climate mitigation potential of competing land-based biological mitigation schemes. These results affirm the climate mitigation logic of biofuels, consistent with their prominent role in many climate stabilization scenarios, the study concludes.
(Source: Colorado State University, Green Car Congress, Aug., 2020) Contact: Colorado State University, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, John Field, (970) 491-1604,
More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuel, Cellulosic Biofuel, Switchgrass,
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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,