October 2016 News Blast Draft: Celebrating All Things Bioenergy


Monthly News Blast October 2016

October is Energy Action Month!

Throughout the month of October, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has been celebrating all things bioenergy! October is Energy Action Month, and October 19 marked the fourth annual National Bioenergy Day. From exciting new bioenergy breakthroughs and studies, to new videos and blogs, check out all of our October outreach below.

BETO Latest News

Algae Fractionation Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Renewable Diesel

Algae FractionationA new life-cycle analysis from Argonne National Laboratory shows the potential for almost 70% greenhouse gas emissions reductions of renewable diesel from algae fractionation compared to conventional diesel. This BETO-funded research is a step towards achieving BETO’s overall goal to develop sustainable, commercially viable biofuels.


Bioenergy Social Media
and Multimedia Corner

KDF Social Media Outlets

newslettersPast Newsletters

New Pilot Plant Demonstrates the Potential to Co-Process Biomass Streams with Petroleum

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is bringing us one step closer to renewable biofuels that are compatible with existing pipelines, blending stations, fuel pumps, and engines. Its new pilot plant (funded in part by BETO) combines biomass pyrolysis together with fluid catalytic cracking—one of the most important conversion processes used in petroleum refineries—to demonstrate the potential to co-process biomass-derived streams with petroleum, at an industrially relevant pilot scale.

Lygos Wins Innovation Award for Cutting-Edge Progress Toward Biobased Chemical Production

Lygos Wins Innovation Award for Cutting-Edge Progress Toward Biobased Chemical ProductionIndustrial biotechnology company Lygos, Inc. won the “Bio-Based Chemical Innovation of the Year” award at the inaugural Bio-Based Live conference in San Francisco, California! Lygos developed a biobased method to produce malonic acid, a versatile chemical used to make products ranging from flavorings in food to ultraviolet radiation-resistant coatings. Lygos uses microbes to produce the malonic acid from sugars that can be derived from non-food, cellulosic biomass.

BETO Establishes a Consortium of National Laboratories to Streamline Biomanufacturing

In an effort to move toward an economically competitive and environmentally sustainable bioeconomy, BETO recently announced the new Agile BioFoundry (ABF). Made up of nine DOE national laboratories, ABF was created to standardize and streamline the entire biomanufacturing pipeline. ABF hopes to achieve a 40% reduction in energy intensity and 60% reduction in carbon intensity over current manufacturing processes, as well as a 50% reduction in the time it takes to get products to the market. These reductions would ensure that the latest developments in synthetic biology are broadly accessible, enabling bio-derived products to reach the market more quickly.

NREL Lowers Biofuel Costs Through Catalyst Regeneration and Vapor-Phase Upgrading

This past summer, NREL unveiled its new regenerating recirculating riser reactor (R-Cubed). With R-Cubed, NREL’s Thermochemical Process Demonstration Unit can now add additional biomass conversion capabilities to its roster. The R-Cubed system will now allow for catalytic upgrading of biomass pyrolysis vapors—a process that can significantly improve the efficiency and reduce the costs associated with upgrading bio-oil to a finished fuel product—at an industrially relevant pilot scale.

Bioenergy Blogs

“Witchgrass” Switchgrass: A Feedstock for Future Flights

Witchgrass Switchgrass: A Feedstock for Future FlightsPeople might think it would take a Halloween trick to transform switchgrass, corn stover, and other biomass into biofuel. But scientists are already figuring out how to use chemical processes at a biorefinery to cost-effectively convert the sugars from non-food plants and wastes into biofuel. Switchgrass, especially, has advantages as a bioenergy crop, such as reducing soil erosion and improving soil fertility.

Algae Hard at Work in Hawaii

Global Algae Innovation Test PondsWith the support of three BETO funding awards, the biofuel company Global Algae Innovations has made impressive progress in its goals to increase algae growth and harvesting. The company has ramped up algae production through its algae farm design, and the way it feeds carbon dioxide from smoke stacks to algae. The company has also commercialized new equipment—the Zobi HarvesterTM—that can harvest and dewater algae with 30 times less energy than typical processes. With its strong team and great track record, Global Algae Innovations’ fuel may soon make it to a gas pump near you!

Bioenergy: Renewable, Sustainable, Attainable

Biofuels 101 Video ThumbnailBETO released this blog post right in time for Bioenergy Day, October 19, to tell the public the basics about bioenergy and BETO’s work. Many people do not know that we can make transportation fuels, products, and power from biomass resources such as forest trimmings, agricultural waste, grasses, municipal solid waste, and algae. And many people are using bioenergy already without knowing it! Read the blog post and share it with your friends and colleagues who may be interested to know how bioenergy relates to them.

Renewing Forests in Colorado: Opportunities for Bioenergy

Pine Beetle-Killed ForestsBETO is researching ways to use wood waste—like the dead trees in Colorado featured in this video—to create biofuel to power cars, trucks, and planes. These dead trees are not suitable for higher-quality lumber products and increase the risk of forest fires. By combining best management practices in forest regions with the development and use of new bioenergy technologies, we could use these woody materials for biofuel while also protecting our nation’s forests.

Three Breakthroughs Show How Bioenergy Innovations are Energizing the Energy Landscape

Three Breakthroughs Show How Bioenergy Innovations are Energizing the Energy LandscapeAt BETO, we think of innovation as a way to work towards continuously improving the world that we will leave for future generations. Read about three bioenergy innovations helping to provide America with sustainable, renewable energy and alternatives to fossil fuels and chemicals. These innovations can reduce both petroleum imports and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. Watch the video, “Bioenergy Innovation,” to hear energy researchers from various universities and national laboratories describe what bioenergy innovation means to them.

Save the Date: 2017 Project Peer Review

2017 Peer Review LogoBETO is hosting the 2017 Project Peer Review on March 5–10, 2017, in Denver, Colorado. Join us for this opportunity to learn more about innovation in bioenergy technologies and the BETO project portfolio. Accommodations are available at the meeting venue, Sheraton Denver Downtown, with a discounted rate for reservations made by Feb. 20, 2017. Online registration for the meeting will be available soon on the 2017 Peer Review web page.

Operation BioenergizeME Update

BioenergizeME Logo Circle

The 2017 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge is underway, where 9th–12th grade students can apply their knowledge of bioenergy by developing infographics and sharing them on social media. Teams must register no later than Feb. 3, 2017. Watch the Biomass Basics Webinar as a great introduction or refresher on bioenergy for classroom learning.

Visit the BioenergizeME Team at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Regional Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Oct. 27–29, at Booth 624, or participate in the session discussing creative methods to explore energy literacy on Oct. 27, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time in Room 201 A/B.

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