Energy Action Month Topic 3: Demonstration & Market Transformation



Energy Action Month Topic 3: Demonstration & Market Transformation
De-Risking and Scaling Up Biofuel Technologies

Abengoa Biorefinery Aerial Shot

In fiscal (FY) 2015, we changed the title of our “Demonstration and Deployment” Program to “Demonstration and Market Transformation”—emphasizing the role of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) in helping to de-risk advanced bioenergy production, accelerate technology adoption, and create a pathway to market. Our technology demonstration projects and validated proof of performance at pilot, demonstration, and pioneer scales help to attract private-sector investment by bolstering financial markets’ confidence in commercializing a robust biofuels industry.

Learn about recent successes and highlights of this past year:


International Consortium Produces 10,000 Gallons of Green Gasoline

A team led by Haldor Topsoe set out with Energy Department funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) to produce 10,000 gallons of gasoline from woody biomass. Through their collaborative efforts, Haldor Topsoe, with the support of The Gas Technology Institute, Andritz, UPM-Kymmene Corporation, and Phillips 66, succeeded in producing the gasoline, which passed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency engine emission test for registration as a transportation fuel. Read more on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Blog.

Pilot Plant Completes Two 1,000-Hour Ethanol Performance Runs

ICM Inc.’s pilot plant in St. Joseph, Missouri, recently completed two 1,000-hour performance runs of its cellulosic ethanol process. This is an important step toward the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass and energy sorghum. This project also received funding from the Recovery Act. Read more on the Bioenergy Technologies Office website.

Video Shows How Biorefineries Can Benefit Communities

From Vero Beach, Florida, to Hugoton, Kansas, cellulosic ethanol biorefineries have had major impacts on communities and their residents, while in cities like Seattle, bioenergy has significant potential to transform current and establish new industry. This short video illustrates how biorefineries and other bioenergy developments can benefit citizens, businesses, and organizations, helping communities grow and thrive.


Grand Opening Held for Abengoa Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery: In October 2014, the Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas cellulosic ethanol biorefinery held its grand opening in Hugoton, Kansas, made possible through $97 million in cost-shared funding from BETO and a $132 million loan guarantee from the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz delivered remarks at the grand opening.

Workshop Held for Co-Optimization of Fuels and Vehicles: In June 2015, BETO co-hosted the Optima Stakeholder Listening Day with the Energy Department’s Vehicle Technologies Office to help shape a new collaborative initiative to concurrently develop advanced fuels and more efficient engines. 

Renewable Jet Fuel Biorefineries Caught Interest from Private Industry: Several private companies have made agreements to purchase drop-in biofuel that will be produced from commercial-scale biorefinery projects:

  • FedEx and Southwest Airlines agreed to purchase fuel from Red Rock Biofuels’ biorefinery in Lakeview, Oregon
  • United Airlines and Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific invested in Fulcrum Bioenergy’s biorefinery in McCarran, Nevada
  • LanzaTech and Imperium partnered with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to advance a technology that converts ethanol from gas fermentation to drop-in jet fuel.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Projects Completed: Twenty of our 28 integrated biorefinery projects were funded in part by the Recovery Act, which drew to a close at the end of FY 2015. Watch for updates as these projects finish their final reports in the coming months.

Last week, we highlighted accomplishments from our Conversion Program. Next week, read about our efforts this past year to enhance the environmental, economic, and social benefits of bioenergy through our Analysis and Sustainability Programs. 


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