FDC Enterprises, based on Columbus, Ohio, announced today that it has won a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to develop supply systems to handle and deliver feedstocks for cellulosic biofuels production. The $21 million grant is being shared by five winners.
The government is attempting to help speed up cellulosic biofuels production, or the production of fuel that uses waste products such as switchgrass, woodchips and agricultural residues, rather than food-based products such as corn. However, with new feedstocks come new challenges, one of which is delivery and storage.
According to DOE’s press release, the selected grant winners represented, “the best projects to stimulate the design and demonstration of a comprehensive system to handle the harvesting, collection, preprocessing, transport, and storage of sufficient volumes of sustainably produced feedstock.”
Companies like POET, have also been working with manufactures to develop technologies to pick up corn cobs and stover for the production of cellulosic ethanol.
Fred Circle, President of FDC said in a press statement, “We are excited to be selected and we believe this is a great opportunity for energy and agriculture to be teamed in a way that helps America. We have a great team with unique expertise and we are looking to leverage this grant into a large-scale commercial effort that serves this emerging industry.”
FDC Enterprises is a parntering with the ANTARES Group , a renewable energy consulting and project management company, located in Landover, Maryland. Kevin Comer, Associate Principal at ANTERES commented, “If cellulosic ethanol is to become a meaningful player in the fuels market, we must demonstrate the ability to sustainably grow and harvest dedicated crops for energy. Our approach is to combine the best of agriculture and energy in a way that doesn’t adversely impact food production or land use and still provides a win-win for biofuels producers, farmers, and landowners.”