The United States Department of Energy has stated that they would be providing financing of $118 million for 17 different projects in order to expedite the development of sustainable biofuels for the transportation and industrial requirements of the United States.These projects will be located at universities and private companies. The funding for this opportunity supports the aims of President Joe Biden to create an equitable and clean energy future and to put the United States on the road to achieving net-zero emissions throughout the economy by no later than the year 2050. The aim of the Department of Energy (DOE) is to develop cost-competitive biofuels and at least a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2030. The projects that are chosen as part of this funding opportunity will help to reaching this goal.
The United States Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm, stated that biofuels are a versatile tool because they have the immediate potential to power our ships, trains, airlines, and heavy-duty vehicles—a huge contributor to total carbon emissions—with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.
“Investments made by the DOE are assisting in the development of a domestic bioenergy supply chain, which in turn boosts the energy independence of the United States, generates new employment opportunities, and hastens the use of cleaner fuels to meet our transportation requirements.”
Energy-dense biofuels are fuels that have a high energy density and are produced using feedstocks that are widely available in the United States and advanced refining technologies. These fuels provide a pathway for low-carbon fuels, which can lower greenhouse gas emissions throughout the transportation sector and accelerate the growth of the bioeconomy. The commercialization of advanced biofuels may be hindered by a lack of financing for innovative biorefinery process systems; nonetheless, this investment will lessen the technical uncertainties and allow industrial implementation.
The projects that were chosen include pre-pilot, pilot, and demonstration projects that will scale up current technologies for converting biomass into fuel. These technologies will ultimately produce millions of gallons of low-carbon fuel on a yearly basis. The initiatives, which will be funded by investments in these technologies, will generate employment in nine different states’ rural and neglected populations that pay well. The chosen projects’ presented plans demonstrate their intention to work together with the local school systems in order to educate and train the bioenergy workforce of the future. In addition, the funded projects are in line with the renewable fuels goals outlined in the United States’ first-ever National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization. This blueprint is a multi-agency framework for reducing emissions, developing a robust transportation workforce, and ensuring the energy independence of the United States. Additionally, the projects contribute to the success of the United States Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge, which aims to enable the production of three billion gallons of environmentally friendly aviation fuel annually by the year 2030 and thirty-five billion gallons annually by the year 2050.
Award values vary from half a million dollars to eighty million dollars, with the majority of recipients getting at least two million dollars. View the complete list of projects that have been supported here. The choices, which are still open to final award negotiations and extra eligibility screening, will be managed by the Bioenergy Technologies Office of the Department of Energy (DOE) (BETO). BETO has been responsible for the Department of Energy’s investment of over $500 million in research and development related to bioenergy and biorefineries during the course of the last two years.