DOE to award funding to biorefinery projects

By Anna Austin | January 03, 2009
Web exclusive posted Dec. 29, 2008, at 12:35 p.m. CST

The U.S. DOE has announced it will fund up to $200 million to support and develop pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefineries which use feedstocks such as algae to produce advanced biofuels, including biobutanol and green gasoline.

The DOE anticipates making 5 to 12 awards under this announcement, which will be subject to annual appropriations over six years.

Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficient and Renewable Energy John Mizroch said the funding opportunity will look for the most promising technologies that can advance the potential of renewable biomass as a resource for second-generation transportation biofuels. "The Department of Energy will select breakthrough integrated biorefinery projects that have technical and economic performance data at the bench- or pilot-scale to prove they are ready to move a step closer toward commercial readiness," he said.

The DOE named two topic areas for biorefinery development, which included pilot-scale, minimum throughput of one dry ton of feedstock per day with a minimum non-federal cost-share of 30 percent, and demonstration-scale minimum throughput of 50 dry tons of feedstock per day, with a minimum non-federal cost-share of 50 percent.

The intent of the funding is to have projects at the pilot- and demonstration-scale levels operational within three to four years after applicant selection. All projects must be located within the U.S., use domestic biomass resources as feedstocks, and demonstrate significant greenhouse gas reductions on a lifecycle basis.

Mandatory letters of intent are due Feb. 20. Completed applications are due by the end of April. To learn more, visit www.grants.gov.