Energy Action Month Topic 2: Conversion Technologies



Energy Action Month Topic 2: Conversion Technologies
Developing Cost-Competitive Routes to Biofuels and Bioproducts

Conversion Image - Beaker

This past fiscal year (FY), we’ve been actively developing commercially viable technologies that convert biomass feedstocks into liquid transportation fuels and products. We integrated our thermochemical and biochemical conversion activities into one conversion program and our focus is now on technology building blocks and additional technology pathways for hydrocarbon-based fuels.

Here are some recent achievements and highlights of FY 2015:


Our Bioproducts Work Is Moving Forward

The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is helping to develop and commercialize bio-based alternatives for the many uses of a whole barrel of oil, which include everyday products such as plastics and lubricants. Read more on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Blog about how we are developing conversion technologies for bioproducts and how these technologies can enable the production of advanced biofuels.

Genomatica Develops Process Improvements for Renewable Chemicals

In a BETO-funded project, Genomatica developed a better process to convert cellulosic sugars to the renewable chemical 1,4-butanediol through a biochemical conversion process. Read more on the BETO website. 


Projects Selected for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts: In October 2014, we announced our selection of five projects that will receive up to $13.4 million to develop advanced biofuels and bioproducts. In August 2015, we selected two more projects for this work.

Incubator I Funding Awarded: In February 2015, we selected seven projects to receive up to $10 million to develop innovative technologies and solutions to advance the bioenergy industry.

Bioproduct Progress: In March 2015, Lygos Inc. achieved a critical breakthrough in cleaner production of malonic acid, a valuable chemical used to manufacture many products.

Cost Reduced for Bio-Oil Upgrading: In May 2015, Battelle reached an Energy Department project milestone of demonstrating at least 1,000 hours of bio-oil hydrotreatment on a single catalyst charge.

Incubator II Funding Announced: In August 2015, we made a funding opportunity announcement for up to $10 million for innovative bioenergy technologies. The deadline for concept papers has passed, and the full application submission deadline is November 13, 2015, 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

Last week, we highlighted accomplishments from our Terrestrial Feedstock Supply and Logistics Program and our Algal Feedstocks Program. Next week, look for the highlights of our efforts this past year to scale up production of biofuels and bioproducts through our Demonstration and Market Transformation Program.


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