July 2017 News Blast: Bioenergy Technologies Office News and Events

BETO Monthly News Blast: July 2017 View in browser
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Bioenergy Technologies Office

July 2017 News Blast: BETO News and Events

July 27, 2017

Bioeconomy 2017: Here’s What You Missed!

Reuben Sarkar speaking at Bioeconomy 2017On July 11–12, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) hosted its 10th annual conference, Bioeconomy 2017: Domestic Resources for a Vibrant Future.

The event was a success, drawing more than 300 attendees from government, industry, academia, and the national laboratories to discuss the future of the U.S. bioeconomy.

Bioenergy Social Media and Multimedia Corner

KDF Social Media Outlets

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  • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar announced that DOE will award up to $8 million to three projects aimed at lowering the costs of algal biofuels and bioproducts. See below for more information.
  • Energy Secretary Rick Perry spoke during a special video message about how bioenergy can support a vibrant U.S. economy.
  • BETO honored the winners of the BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge in an awards ceremony. Check out their infographic about hydrothermal liquefaction of algae.
  • BETO debuted a 10th anniversary video, showing how far we’ve come in the last decade.
  • BETO Program Manager Alison Goss Eng went behind the scenes at Bioeconomy 2017 during a special Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Facebook Live video.

Want to relive all these exciting Bioeconomy 2017 moments and more? Check out the BioenergyKDF Twitter and Facebook accounts and the #Bioeconomy2017 hashtag to see all of the highlights from the conference.

Energy Department Announces Up to $8 Million To Enable Breakthroughs in Algae-Based Biofuels

Test tubes with algaeCongratulations to Lumen Bioscience, Global Algae Innovations, and Los Alamos National Laboratory for receiving up to $8 million for projects aimed at enabling breakthroughs in algal biofuels and bioproducts! DOE announced the selections at Bioeconomy 2017 as part of a funding opportunity intended to lower the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts. This funding supports the development of a bioeconomy that can help create jobs, spur innovation, improve quality of life, and achieve national energy security.

Hang Ten: Catch Waves with an Algae-Based Surfboard

Algae surfboardsurfboard made from algae? If this sounds like science fiction, it’s not. Two years ago, DOE-funded researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) debuted the first algae-based surfboard, and this summer, they are putting them on the market! UCSD chemists have perfected the process of converting oils from algae into polyurethane foam—the substance that forms a surfboard’s core. The cores are then shaped and coated with fiberglass and a renewable plant-based resin. If you’d like to own your own algae surfboard, you’ll have your chance soon. UCSD is currently working with manufacturers to sell their algae surfboards at prices competitive with traditional boards.

5 Everyday Products Made from Biomass: A Few May Surprise You

Everyday products made from biomassDid you know that more than 97% of gasoline in the United States contains some ethanol—a renewable fuel made from biomass? Biomass isn’t just used to make fuels, either. It’s used in cosmetics, cleaning products, nutritional supplements, and more. Check out the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s blog post, “5 Everyday Products Made from Biomass: A Few May Surprise You,” to learn more about common biobased products and BETO’s work to improve the technologies that produce these homegrown bioproducts.

New Membranes Will Improve Efficiency and Speed of Separations in Biofuel Production

MembranesResearchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) developed a new class of porous membranes that shows potential to increase the production speeds and the quality of biofuels and bioproducts, driving down the overall cost of biofuels. BETO supported the development of the new membrane technology, which is utilized during a key step in the conversion of feedstocks to fuels. Recent analysis by ORNL, in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, determined that the use of this new technology has the potential to reduce the minimum fuel selling price of biofuels up to 12%, which could help BETO meet its strategic goal!

Putting the U.S. Bioeconomy to Work: New Fact Sheet on Jobs in the Bioeconomy

The bioeconomy workforceDid you know that the U.S. bioeconomy is estimated to have created 285,000 jobs as of 2014? Even by conservative estimates, it could expand to contribute more than 1.1 million jobs by 2030! BETO’s Education and Workforce Development Program is actively working with public and private partners to meet the technology needs and facilitate the growth of a robust, domestic bioindustry. Check out BETO’s new fact sheet, “Putting the U.S. Bioeconomy to Work,” to learn more, and explore the growing network of bioenergy occupations and career pathways with BETO’s interactive Bioenergy Career Map.

BETO’s Program Management Review Highlighted Program Evaluations and Recommendations

On Thursday, July 13, BETO held its 2017 Program Management Review in Arlington, Virginia. This was the second part of BETO’s biennial peer review process, which began in March with the Project Peer Review meeting in Denver, Colorado. During the Program Management Review, third-party review panels presented evaluations for each of the nine technology areas within BETO’s project portfolio. The presentations highlighted program strengths, areas for improvement, and recommendations for responding to changing market and technology trends. Later this year, BETO expects to publish the 2017 BETO Peer Review Report, which will summarize project and programmatic evaluations.

Past and Upcoming Events with BETO Representation


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