September 6 (Renewables Now) - US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide USD 80 million (EUR 68.8m) to help finance 36 projects that involve early-stage bioenergy research and development (R&D).
The funds will be allocated to projects that will develop drop-in renewable hydrocarbon fuels, bio-based products, power generation from non-food biomass and waste feedstocks, and more. The schemes were selected through four separate funding initiatives.
Up to USD 28 million of the overall sum will go for the "BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis" category. The projects that will share the financing in this category are 16 and they will aim to improve catalysts and new biological systems, identify ways to better utilise waste streams like carbon dioxide (CO2) and biosolids, and create high-value co-products that can improve the economic viability of biofuels production.
Meanwhile, up to USD 15 million will be provided for seven projects aiming to boost the efficiency of carbon utilisation and productivity of algal systems by advancing the conversion of CO2 emissions or developing new technologies for capturing CO2.
As many as 10 projects focusing on research on integrated process for biopower production from biosolids and renewable drop-in biofuels will get a total of USD 22 million, while up to USD 15 million will go for three projects to conduct early-stage R&D related to the production of biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower from non-edible crops.
The largest award will be USD 5 million, going to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for its project "Next-Generation Feedstocks for the Emerging Bioeconomy". Texas A&M AgriLife Research will get USD 4.99 million for "Sustainable Herbaceous Energy Crop Production in the Southeast United States". The full list of awardees can be seen on the DOE’s website (https://www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office-fiscal-year-2018-funding-opportunity-announcement).
The projects support the DOE’s goal of cutting the cost of bio-based drop-in fuels to USD 3 per gallon (3.8 litres) by 2022.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.860)