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California Energy Commission selects 11 advanced biofuels projects for $43.6M in awards

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has selected 11 biofuel projects projects—including gasoline substitutes, diesel substitutes and biomethane projects—for $43,633,421 in awards under a grant solicitation released in January for the development of new, or the modification of, existing California-based biofuel production facilities that can sustainably produce low carbon transportation fuels.

The grant solicitation had announced a total of $24 million available for projects funded by the solicitation; however, the Energy Commission, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to increase or reduce the amount of funds available.

The CEC selected four diesel substitute projects for a total of $19,183,421 in funding. One of the recipients (Crimson Renewable Energy) had been selected in May as the only Round 1 awardee.

Diesel Substitutes
Lead organization Project Funding
(Match amount)
Crimson Renewable Energy LP Bakersfield Biodiesel Production Plant Expansion Project—Phase II $5,000,000
American Biodiesel, Inc. dba Community Fuels Increased efficiency for processing low carbon intensity biodiesel feedstocks at an existing biorefinery $4,183,421
AltAir Fuels, LLC Commercial Scale Biofuels Production Facility $5,000,000
UrbanX Renewables Group, Inc. Modifying and Expanding an Existing Biodiesel Facility to a Feedstock Flexible NOx-Neutral Renewable Diesel BioRefinery $5,000,000

Three gasoline substitute projects made the cut, for a total of $9,000,000 in awards.

Gasoline Substitutes
Lead organization Project Funding
(Match amount)
Calgren Renewable Fuels CALGREN: California In State Sorghum Program $3,000,000
Pacific Ethanol Development LLC Pacific Ethanol: California In State Sorghum Program $3,000,000
Aemetis, Inc. The Aemetis Low-Carbon Sorghum Ethanol Project $3,000,000

Finally, four biomethane projects were selected, for a total of $15,450,000 in funding.

Lead organization Project Funding
(Match amount)
Recology Inc. Recology Hay Road Anaerobic Digester Facility $5,000,000
City of San Mateo Wastewater Digester Gas to Biomethane for Vehicle Fuel $2,450,000
City of Napa Napa Renewable Resources Project—Anaerobic Digestion to RNG $3,000,000
Colony Energy Partners Tulare LLC Demonstration of the Colony Organic Power System (CEOPS) at the Endeavor Facility $5,000,000



CALGREN: California In State Sorghum Program

The central valley grows lots of sorghum, just the stalks could make lots of fuel.

Wastewater Digester Gas to Biomethane for Vehicle Fuel

California will need more water reclamation, so this is good.


With water supply going down in California, wouldn't it may wiser to increase food production efficiency and lower bio-fuel edible feed stock production.



The stalks are not edible by people and neither is sorghum. Even IF they enhance sorghum for more ethanol production using the grain, you end up with distillers dry grain like you do with corn, this becomes high quality animal feed.

I am advocating that they look at using the stalks to make ethanol through fermentation much like POET corporation is doing with corn stover. Then what is left can be gasified and thermo chemical conversion done to synthesize liquid hydrocarbon fuels for transportation.

They are growing the grain for animal feed anyway, so might was well use the stalks for create fuel. No extra land nor extra water, so there is your conservation in action. Now whether they use water and land to grow grain for animal feed or for orchards is a call between the public and private sectors.

Constantly referring to a supposed food versus fuel trade off that is this case does not exist is not helping. In the case of corn grain ethanol there is a point to be made. Using corn stalks or sorghum stalks for fuel does not disrupt the food production. In fact it enhances it by putting more acres in production and giving the farmers another source of income to keep them producing.

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