U.S. Department of Energy Awards $127 Million to Bring Innovative Clean Energy Technologies to Market

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Bioenergy Technologies Office


July 23, 2021

U.S. Department of Energy Awards $127 Million to Bring Innovative Clean Energy Technologies to Market

Scientists at NREL

More than $57 million will be awarded to American small businesses and entrepreneurs. Photo courtesy of National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Office of Energy and Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will award $57 million to 53 projects by 51 American small businesses and entrepreneurs with phase II funding based on the initial success of their phase I awards.  This includes follow-on awards to support projects closer to market.

Through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, the phase II awards support the research and development of innovative clean energy technologies toward commercialization. EERE phase II awards are awarded for a two-year project duration, with initial funding up to $1.1 million, and two potential follow-on awards of up to $1.1 million each.

The six projects funded through the Bioenergy Technologies Office are:

Near Infrared Biomass Probe and Deployment Methods for Real-time, Field-based, Biomass Quality Measurement by ANTARES Group Inc. in Edgewater, MD: This project will help further develop a novel way to identify and measure the quality of biomass. This new probe will provide more rapid assessment of biomass quality than traditional testing, thereby guiding real-time decisions on the need for additional quality improvements to produce conversion-ready feedstocks.

Conversion of Biogas to Liquid Fuels on Superior Catalysts by NexTech Materials, Ltd. Dba Nexceris, LLC in Lewis Center, OH: New CO2 reduction processes are required to efficiently convert biogas, biomass and stored CO2 to usable fuels. The Nexceris/WSU/Tonkomo team is developing a system to convert bio-methane and carbon dioxide into diesel fuel, jet fuel, and Fischer-Tropsch wax a valuable feedstock for chemicals, lubricants, and fuels production.

Removing Ammonia Contamination from Biogas Feedstock by Pancopia, Inc. in Hampton, VA: Ammonia emissions from swine farms decrease swine productivity, harm the health of surrounding communities, significantly increase pollution, and threaten the production of biogas. This project will develop low-cost, reliable treatment technology to eliminate 90% of ammonia emissions from farms thus resolving these pressing issues which are preventing the implementation of biogas projects.

Biorecovery of Nutrients from Municipal Wastewaters with Co-production of Biofuels and other Bioproducts by MicroBio Engineering in San Luis Obispo, CA: Development of technology is needed to remove phosphorus from wastewater at low-cost to very low levels to fight environmental pollution triggering harmful algal blooms. This project will reduce phosphorus contents to essentially zero level by applying conditioned filamentous algae in controlled systems allowing removal in secondary or tertiary wastewater within hours.

Advancing Optical Imaging and Classification to Enhance Biodiversity Monitoring by OceanSpace, LLC in St. Petersburg, FL: Biofuel production requires cost reduction coupled with enhanced benefits, and an important potential benefit is reduction in impacts to biodiversity. Evaluating biodiversity impacts requires a modern sampling technology that is practical and cost-effective, an excellent solution being a sensor system that is easy to use, cost-efficient, and enhances decision-making capabilities.

Upcycling Ocean-based Plastics for Sustainable Feedstock Supply Chain by RiKarbon, Inc. in Newark, DE: RiKarbon, Inc. is commercializing an enabling technology to produce low-cost waste plastic feedstock and waste plastic’s selective depolymerization to plastic’s building block chemicals for manufacturing renewable plastics. This project will mitigate health risks to ocean life and humans, improve the environment eco-system, promote future energy security and develop a circular economy.

Read more about the SBIR and SBTT programs, and read the full list of selected projects here