The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office, in coordination with the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA's) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), announced its intent to issue a Request for Applications (RFA) through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. (DE-FOA-0001711)
Projects funded through this RFA, titled “Fiscal Year 17 Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI),” will help develop economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass, and increase the availability of renewable fuels and biobased products. The BRDI program requires that funded projects address at least one of the following three legislatively mandated technical areas:
Feedstocks development. The intent of this Topic Area is to address research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities regarding feedstocks and feedstock logistics (including harvest, handling, transport, preprocessing, and storage) relevant to production of raw materials for conversion to biofuels and biobased products. The BRDI program is designed to support near-term commercial systems. Projects should emphasize development and optimization of existing feedstocks that will be available for testing and demonstration during the life of the project. Proposals that include breeding or genetic improvement of feedstocks should reconcile this work with the Program’s emphasis on near-term impacts.
Biofuels and biobased products development. The intent of this Topic Area is to address RD&D activities to support (i) development of diverse cost-effective, innovative technologies for the use of cellulosic biomass in the production of biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased products; and, (ii) product diversification through technologies relevant to the production of a range of biobased products (including chemicals, animal feeds, and cogeneration power) that potentially can increase the feasibility of fuel production in a biorefinery.
Biofuels development analysis. The intent of this Topic Area is to apply systems evaluation methods that can be used to optimize system performance and market potential and to quantify the project’s impact on sustainability; therefore, successful applications will consider the lifecycle (cradle-to-grave) impacts including environmental, social, and economic implications that are attributable to the project. Successful projects should include these sustainability data in engineering process models and be used over the life of the project to improve the system and quantify sustainability impacts.
USDA intends to issue the RFA in February 2017. Once the RFA has been released, NIFA will provide an avenue for potential applicants to submit questions.