The U.S. Department of Energy is now accepting applications for up to $30 million in total funding for small-scale process integration projects that support the development of advanced biofuels that will be able to replace gasoline or diesel without requiring special upgrades or changes to the vehicle or fueling infrastructure.
“Developing the next generation of American biofuels will enhance our national energy security, expand the domestic biofuels industry, and produce new clean energy jobs. It will help America’s farmers and create vast new opportunities for wealth creation in rural communities. By investing in innovative approaches and technologies, we can continue to move the biofuels industry forward and grow our economy,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a release from the agency.
The projects will focus on optimizing and integrating process steps that convert biomass into biofuels and bioproducts that will eventually be used to support hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals. These process improvements could include pretreatment methods that alter the biomass to improve the yield of sugars in subsequent process steps, less costly and more efficient enzymes that produce sugars, and fermentation organisms and catalysts that convert the sugars into fuel and chemical intermediates. Successful applicants will demonstrate the research potential to improve the economics and efficiency of their proposed process.