The Energy Department today announced up to $11.3 million in funding to develop flexible biomass-to-hydrocarbon biofuels conversion pathways that can be modified to produce advanced fuels and/or products based on external factors, such as market demand. These pathways could consist of a route to a platform chemical that could be converted to products or renewable hydrocarbon fuels or a route that co-produces chemicals and renewable hydrocarbon fuels.
In response to this need, the intent of this funding opportunity is to identify research and development (R&D) projects that propose a conversion pathway that may flexibly produce bioproducts and biofuels. The proposed pathway must illustrate a realistic approach to producing cost-competitive renewable hydrocarbon biofuels. These pathways could consist of a route to a platform chemical that could be converted to products or fuels, or a route that coproduces chemicals and fuels. Successful applications will include a clear justification for producing the target molecule(s) from biomass, a compelling narrative explaining how the target product(s) will enable biofuels, and supporting techno-economic analysis and life-cycle analysis. It is important to note that while bioproducts are seen as a valuable strategy for enabling fuels, BETO is not interested in pursuing R&D solely on bioproducts that do not contain a fuels component.
There will be two topic areas:
- Early Technology Readiness Level (TRL) (TRL 2–3) R&D to optimize one unit operation of the proposed conversion pathway.
- Middle Technology Readiness Level (TRL 4–5) R&D to optimize and integrate multiple unit operations of the proposed conversion pathway.
If successful, the anticipated outcomes are:
- Identification of promising conversion technology pathways that can be incorporated into the BETO research portfolio to demonstrate and experimentally verify a hydrocarbon fuel modeled cost of $3/gge.
- Successful R&D on unit operations or integrated pathways that further the state of technology for biomass to biofuels conversion.
- Increased private investment for biofuels and bioproducts due to improved confidence in biomass to biofuels conversion technologies.
- Replacement of fossil fuel-derived chemicals with biomass-derived chemicals.
Learn more information about this funding opportunity and application requirements at theEERE Exchange website. Applicants must submit a concept paper by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Feb. 26, 2016, to be eligible to submit a full application. The full application is due 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, April 15, 2016. An informational webinar for potential applicants will take place at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Feb. 16, 2016. A recording of the webinar will be posted on the EERE Exchange website.