U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today an additional $100 million round of funding opportunities for transformational energy research projects that will be made available through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). This announcement was made along side Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in advance of the Copenhagen Climate Conference.
In a statement, Chu said, “I am pleased to announce ARPA-E’s second funding opportunity because it demonstrates our commitment to lead the next Industrial Revolution in clean energy technologies, creating thousands of new jobs while helping cut carbon pollution,” said Secretary Chu. “This solicitation focuses on three cutting-edge technology areas which could have a transformational impact.”
Unlike the last round which focused on supporting projects such as biofuels, carbon capture, renewable power vehicles and more, this round will focus on three key areas: new approaches for biofuels, carbon capture and batteries for electric vehicles.
In a new category coined electrofuels, “ARPA-E is seeking new ways to make liquid transportation fuels – without using petroleum or biomass – by using microorganisms to harness chemical or electrical energy to convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuels.” More specifically, they are looking at funding projects that will research, “organisms capable of extracting energy from hydrogen, from reduced earth-abundant metal ions, from robust, inexpensive, readily available organic redo active species, or directly from electric current.
It is theorized that such an approach could be 10 times more efficient than current photosynthetic-biomass approaches to liquid fuel production. Click here to learn more about submiting a proposal.