February News Blast: Advancing the Bioeconomy—New Report Outlines Federal Vision and Current Activities


Monthly News Blast February 2016

Advancing the Bioeconomy: New Report Outlines Federal Vision and Current Activities

Washington DCThe U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is not the only government office that conducts biomass research and development (R&D). This month, the Biomass R&D Board released the Federal Activities Report on the Bioeconomy to inform the public about current biomass R&D activities across the federal government and to introduce the Billion Ton Bioeconomy Vision. Read more about the report and its debut at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference in this Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) blog post.


Bioenergy Social Media
and Multimedia Corner

KDF Social Media Outlets

newslettersPast Newsletters

New Vehicle Initiative Aims to Make Fuel and Engines Work Together More Efficiently

Eco CarBETO and EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office are working together on a new project called the fuel-engine co-optimization initiative. This multi-year mission combines previously independent areas of biofuels and engine combustion research and development  to design new fuels and engine architectures that are co-optimized—designed in tandem to maximize both vehicle performance and carbon efficiency. For years, the Energy Department has been a leader in researching and developing breakthrough technologies to address energy and emissions issues, and this new initiative is yet another of our innovative efforts to advance clean, energy-efficient technologies. Read more about this initiative in the EERE blog post.

Budget Request Proposes Increased Funding for BETO in FY 2017

President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request was released earlier this month, proposing $278.9 million for BETO, which is a $53.9 million (24%) increase from the enacted budget for FY 2016. This increase for BETO is greater than the change in DOE’s requested increase as a whole, suggesting the growing importance of bioenergy in the nation’s clean energy goals. Read the BETO news release for more information about the request, the budget process, and BETO’s FY 2017 priorities.

Energy Department Announces $11.3 Million Available for Mega-Bio: Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels

Bioproducts research.Tomorrow is the last day to submit a concept paper for the Mega-Bio funding opportunity. The intent is to identify R&D projects that propose a conversion pathway that may flexibly produce bioproducts and biofuels. Bioproducts—bio-based alternatives for products that are usually made with fossil fuels, such as plastics and some chemicals—can help achieve cost-competitive biofuel production. Applicants must submit a concept paper by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Feb. 26, 2016 (tomorrow), to be eligible to submit a full application. The full application is due 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, April 15, 2016.

Energy Department Seeking Information on Biofuels & Bioproducts Process Pilot Verification Capabilities

BETO issued a request for information (RFI) about existing pilot or process development scale facilities that could be used for biofuels and bio-based products, chemicals, and intermediates. We are exclusively requesting information on capabilities that are on the scale of approximately 0.5 tons of dry biomass input per day or greater. For the full RFI and submission details, visit the EERE Exchange website. The submission deadline is March 4, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Algae Raceway Testing Facility Brings Algal Biofuels One Step Closer to Reality

Alison Goss Eng and Ben Wu at Algae Raceway Testing FaciltyA new BETO-funded algae raceway testing facility that could help bring algal biofuels one step closer to commercialization opened earlier this month at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California. Algae is an ideal source of biomass as it is one of the fastest growing microorganisms on the planet, but researchers have yet to use it to produce biofuel that is inexpensive enough to compete with petroleum fuel. This new testing facility will help researchers focus on improvements in pond cultivation necessary to achieve the goal of cost-competitive algal biofuel. Sandia hosted a ribbon cutting event on February 4 to unveil the new facility at its Livermore Valley Open Campus. The Advanced Algal Systems Program Manager, Alison Goss Eng, and Technology Manager Daniel Fishman were in attendance to help cut the ribbon.

NREL Refinery Process Shows Increased Effectiveness of Producing Ethanol from Algae

Algae research and developmentA new simplified biorefinery process developed by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with funding from BETO, has proven to be significantly more effective at producing ethanol from algae than previous methods. By skipping the solid-liquid separation process and fermenting the whole algae directly in a process called Combined Algal Processing, researchers were able to increase the algae yield and decrease the cost of algal biofuel production.

BETO Director Ranks #6 in Biofuels Digest’s Top 100 People in the Advanced Bioeconomy

Biofuels Digest released its 2016 ranking of the “Top 100 People in the Advanced Bioeconomy.” BETO Director Jonathan Male took the #6 spot, along with the Assistant Secretary for EERE, David Danielson, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation, Reuben Sarkar from EERE! Check out the other DOE leaders who made the list, including U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz.

Workshop Summary Reports

Advanced Supply System Validation Workshop Summary Report

BETO hosted the Advanced Supply System Validation Workshop last year and discussed with stakeholders how biomass processing centers called depots could address many of the barriers that currently hinder bioenergy industry growth. Learn more in the recently published workshop summary report.

Hydrogen, Hydrocarbons, and Bioproduct Precursors from Wastewaters Workshop

BETO is exploring the use of wet-waste feedstocks to produce sustainable, cost-competitive biofuels. Wet wastes—industrial, commercial, and residential food waste, as well as municipal waste water, animal manure, landfill gas, and liquid residue from sewage treatment—are potential high-impact resources for domestic production of biogas, which could eventually be used to power cars and planes, and even used to make everyday products. Last year, BETO, together with EERE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office and NREL, hosted the Hydrogen, Hydrocarbons, and Bioproduct Precursors from Wastewaters Workshop. Read the summary report and relevant presentations on the workshop Web page.

BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge: Submission Deadline Reminder!

Collage of winning infographics from the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office's 2015 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge.The submission deadline for the 2016 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge is coming to a close soon. All entries must be uploaded by March 4, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. Central Time. Put your team in the running to win a trip to Washington, D.C., to display their infographic at BETO’s annual conference. Submit now!

Register now for the Agile Biomanufacturing Industry Listening Workshop

Logo for Agile Biomanufacturing WorkshopThe Agile Biomanufacturing Industry Listening Workshop—hosted by a consortium of nine DOE national laboratories—will be held on March 15, 2016, in Berkeley, California, to increase understanding of industry needs around synthetic biology. To learn more, visit the workshop Web page.

Past and Upcoming Events with BETO Representation


To view past Monthly News Blasts, visit the BETO Newsletter page.


Update your subscriptions, modify your password or email address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your e-mail address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact support@govdelivery.com.


This service is provided to you at no charge by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE). Visit the website at http://www.eere.energy.gov