August 2017 News Blast: Bioenergy Technologies Office News and Events

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August 2017 News Blast: Bioenergy Technologies Office News and Events

Aug. 31, 2017

DOE Announces Additional $1.8 Million Award under MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts To Enable Biofuels Funding Opportunity

MEGA-BIOThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced earlier this month that it will fund a fourth project with up to $1.8 million under the MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts To Enable Biofuels Funding Opportunity. In August 2016, the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) selected three projects for an initial round of funding. The total funding for the four MEGA-BIO awards is $13.1 million. Michigan State University will manage the fourth project, partnering with the University of Wisconsin–Madison and MBI International to optimize a two-stage process for deconstructing biomass into two clean intermediate streams: sugars for producing hydrocarbon fuels and lignins for producing multiple value-added chemicals. Read DOE’s progress alert to learn more.

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Let the Challenge Begin: BETO and Alliance for Green Heat Launch Fourth Wood Stove Design Challenge

Wood Stove Design Challenge Think you have what it takes to revolutionize the wood stove industry? BETO is excited to partner with the Alliance for Green Heat to launch the fourth Wood Stove Design Challenge. Teams from around the world will compete for up to $25,000 in prizes to design the next generation of residential biomass heaters capable of generating enough electricity to power everything from a cell phone to an entire home. The teams will then showcase their revolutionary wood stove technology on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 9–14, 2018. As part of its support for the competition, BETO will provide $125,000 for research grants on stove technology, as well as support the management of the grants. The Wood Stove Design Challenge is part of BETO’s overall goal to develop revolutionary, sustainable bioenergy technologies to convert our nation's abundant biomass resources into renewable biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts. 

INL’s Adaptive, Intelligent Control System Could Increase Reliability of Feedstock Preprocessing

INL researcherResearchers at Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL’s) bioenergy program have successfully tested an adaptive, intelligent control system that achieved a greater than 50% increase in the reliability of feedstock preprocessing equipment. The control system, developed at the Biomass Feedstock National User Facility’s Process Development Unit (PDU), will use biomass sensors, process models, artificial intelligence, and heuristic learning methods to automatically adjust PDU equipment to compensate for moisture and other types of biomass variability—enabling more efficient and reliable processing of biomass feedstocks. Optimizing how feedstocks are preprocessed—and decreasing the cost to do so—is a key step in reducing the overall cost of biofuels and helping BETO meet its strategic target of $3/gasoline gallon equivalent. 

BETO Launches New Technical Blog, Bioprose: Building the Bioeconomy through Technology & Communication!

Are you interested in learning how one state is creating a sustainable market for bioenergy crops, while saving tax payers upwards of $43,000 per year? Or how many commercial products are being developed using algal biomass? BETO’s new technical blog, Bioprose: Building the Bioeconomy through Technology & Communication, has you covered with insights from some of bioenergy’s most innovative experts. Read BETO’s news release to learn more, check out the blog posts below, and sign up for BETO’s new tech-focused listserv to get all the latest information at your fingertips:

Video: Growing Bioeconomy Markets: Farm-to-Fuel in Southside Virginia

Farm to Fuel in Southside VirginiaDid you know that biomass has the potential to supply a significant portion of America's growing energy needs, while adding over a million jobs to the workforce, increasing energy independence, and diversifying sources of domestic revenue? Join BETO on a visit to Nottoway County, Virginia, where the Piedmont General Hospital campus partnered with the Virginia Tech Conservation Management Institute, FDC Enterprises, Inc., local farmers and government, and state organizations, to establish a successful supply chain of native warm-season switchgrass to use as biofuel for steam and heat generation for the hospital and its campus. Watch this video to learn how this effort helped Nottoway County and surrounding areas achieve environmental goals through increased perennial land cover, while providing economic opportunities for communities and farmers in the region and significant savings for Virginia taxpayers.

Presentations from BETO’s Program Management Review Are Now Online!

On July 13, 2017, following Bioeconomy 2017, 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 BETO’s Project Peer Review meeting. The Program Management Review provided a summary of third-party reviewers’ evaluations from the Project Peer Review, as well as BETO’s responses. Later this year, BETO will publish a full Peer Review report outlining programmatic and project evaluations. Presentations from the Program Management Review are now online!

BETO Discusses Bioenergy Careers at DOE Professional Development Workshop

DOE Professional Development WorkshopOn August 8, DOE’s Office of Economic Development hosted a professional development workshop for DOE’s summer interns. The workshop focused on building awareness of career pathways and opportunities at DOE and encouraging the interns to pursue careers within DOE and the energy industry. After testing the interns’ knowledge with the Bioenergy Basics 101 game, BETO’s Communications team discussed exciting career opportunities in the bioeconomy. The current bioeconomy is estimated to have directly generated 285,000 jobs as of 2014, and it could contribute 1.1 million jobs to the U.S. economy by 2030. Learn more about the growing network of bioenergy occupations and potential career pathways with BETO’s interactive Bioenergy Career Map.

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