Energy Department’s New Funding Opportunity and Awards Move R&D Forward


Monthly News Blast August 2015

Energy Department Announces $10 Million for Innovative Technologies for Bioenergy Technologies Incubator 2 Funding Opportunity Announcement

AlgaeThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $10 million in funding to advance the production of advanced biofuels, substitutes for petroleum-based feedstocks, and bioproducts made from renewable, non-food-based biomass, such as algae, agricultural residues, and woody biomass. The funding will support projects that focus on the development of novel, non-incremental technologies that facilitate the goals of the Algae Program and the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), but are not represented in a significant way in the current portfolio. Attend the informational webinar for potential applicants on September 2, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) to learn more.


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Energy Department Awards up to $4 Million to Develop Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

Texas A&M University and Ohio University will receive up to $4 million in DOE funding to develop next-generation biofuels that will help reduce the cost of producing gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels from biomass. These projects—in addition to five projects previously selected in October 2014 under the same funding opportunity—are part of DOE’s continued effort to develop technologies that will enable the production of clean, renewable, and cost-competitive drop-in biofuels at $3 per gallon of gasoline equivalent by 2022.

Energy Department Awards up to $9 Million to Improve Sustainability of Cellulosic Bioenergy

Antares Group, Inc. will receive up to $9 million in DOE funding to design sustainable bioenergy systems that promote the environmental and socioeconomic sustainability of cellulosic bioenergy. The project will aim to enable more stable and diverse future feedstock supplies (corn stover, switchgrass, and other warm season grasses) for three cellulosic biorefineries in Iowa and Kansas, while increasing both profitability and ecological benefits in those areas.

Argonne National Laboratory Scientists Study Benefits of Bioenergy Crop Integration

Crop Integration IllustrationScientists at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory are studying how multifunctional landscapes can help farmers, improve the environment, and support the national bioeconomy. Through BETO-funded research, Dr. Cristina Negri and her team are examining how co-planting bioenergy crops with commodity crops, such as corn, can provide environmental and economic benefits in a pilot field in the Illinois Indian Creek Watershed. Watch the video to learn more.

BETO-Funded Algae Project at NREL Named a Finalist for 2015 R&D 100 Awards

Cyanobacteria CultruesWe are excited to announce that a BETO project by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a finalist in R&D Magazine’s R&D 100 Awards! The project focuses on genetically engineering ethylene—a popular petrochemical feedstock used in the manufacture of plastics and polyester—from a type of algae called cyanobacterium. Exploring a bio-based alternative to ethylene is one of the many ways BETO and our national laboratories are working to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, grow local economies, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Summary of Incorporating Bioenergy in Sustainable Landscape Designs Workshop Released

BETO recently published a report summarizing the proceedings of the second Incorporating Bioenergy in Sustainable Landscape Designs Workshop, held June 24–26, 2014, in Argonne, Illinois. The workshop focused on agricultural landscapes and convened a discussion on the usefulness and feasibility of using landscape management principles to design sustainable bioenergy crop systems that best serve industry, decision makers, and producers, while achieving environmental goals. Visit the workshop page for more information.

Speaker Presentations from Bioenergy 2015 Now Available

We now have online the available presentations from BETO’s Bioenergy 2015 conference in June! The conference brought together more than 500 stakeholders from the bioenergy industry to discuss the role that bioenergy plays in achieving a clean energy future. Check out the great plenary and breakout speaker slides on feedstocks, sustainability, biogas, and algae.

Join BETO for a Live Bioenergy Twitter Chat on September 10

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Join BETO and #SciStuChat for a live bioenergy Twitter Chat on September 10, from 9:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. EDT. The goal of this #SciStuChat is to connect high school students with scientists, science educators, and general science experts to discuss basic biomass and bioenergy topics, BETO’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, and how to learn more about bioenergy. To participate, tune in at 9:00 p.m. EDT on September 10, follow #SciStuChat and @BioenergyKDF on Twitter, and respond to the questions posed by the moderator.

Watch the Shortened Version of “Sustainability in Bioenergy: A Nation Connected” Now

Sustainabilty in Bioenergy: Cover PhotoOnly have a little time, but want to learn a lot about sustainability transportation and the bioenergy industry? We’ve got you covered with the new shortened version of the BETO video, “Sustainability in Bioenergy: A Nation Connected.” Watch it on YouTube and share it with your friends and colleagues today.


Renewable Jet Fuel is Taking Off!

United Airlines JetSince last year’s announcements of Farm to Fly 2.0 and new biorefineries, renewable jet fuel has been taking off! Our partners have received offtake agreements from FedEx, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific. Also, LanzaTech and Imperium Aviation Fuels have been teaming up with researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on jet fuel conversion. Read more about these exciting new developments for renewable jet fuel.

8 Questions for a Scientist: Molecular Biologist Dr. Amanda Barry

Dr. Amanda BarryDr. Amanda Barry from Los Alamos National Laboratory is a leading molecular biologist in algal biofuels. Recently, DOE spoke with Dr. Barry about her work in biology and biochemistry. As someone who has always been interested in the natural world and wanted to be a scientist, it is not surprising that she now focuses her research on advancing algal biofuels for a cleaner energy future. Algal biofuels have the potential to affordably fuel cars and trucks, and even jets, without using land needed to grow crops for food. Learn more about Dr. Barry’s exciting work and life, including the best science advice she received and her guidance to future scientists in the DOE Blog.

Three Reasons We’re Closer to an Algae Future than You Think

Algae PondAlgae shows great potential as a homegrown and renewable fuel source. These microscopic organisms convert sunlight into energy and store it in the form of natural oils that can be extracted to fuel planes and cars. But, just how far away is this promise from becoming a reality? Here are three reasons why we should expect algal biofuels to become a major contributor to our nation’s energy mix sooner rather than later.

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