The US Department of Energy will award 73 grants totaling $72 million to 68 small businesses in 24 states. Funded through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, the latest selections are for Phase II research and development.
Small businesses that demonstrated technical feasibility for innovations during their Phase I grants competed for funding for prototype or processes development during Phase II. In addition, prior Phase II awardees competed for sequential Phase II awards to continue prototype and process development. The median Phase II award is $1 million for a period of two years. The 73 awards are funded by Office of Science programs in Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, and Nuclear Physics.
Among the awards of interest from a fuels and transportation perspective are:
|Visolis, Inc.||Production of C5 hydrocarbons from waste biomass.|
Obtaining sustainable sources of chemicals and processing organic waste in an environmentally responsible manner remains a challenge. This proposal aims to solve these problems by converting organic waste into chemicals with widespread use in polymer and transportation industries.
|Trash2Cash-Energy LLC||Conversion of Landfill Gas to Drop-in Renewable Fuel|
This project closes the logistic loop from feedstock to end point user by allowing waste hauling trucks to unload and refuel at the same landfill site with a renewable diesel fuel derived from the very waste they hauled. This has the potential to displace over 4.2 billion gallons of petroleum based diesel and 42.4MM tons/yr of avoided CO2 emissions.
|Sepion Technologies||Polysulfide-Blocking Polymer Membrane Separators for Rechargeable Lithium-Sulfur Batteries|
The advanced energy economy will be a dominant market force in the 21st century, one driven by US demand but asymmetrically low domestic supply without immediate action. This project focuses on the development and US manufacturing of a new battery membrane that enables low-cost and long-lived Li-ion batteries.
|Reaction 35, LLC||Direct Conversion of Natural Gas Components to High Value Petrochemicals: Isobutane to High Purity Isobutylene|
Olefins are the basic building blocks of the petrochemical industry, with production well over 250 million tons/year. Reaction 35 is applying its platform technology to produce olefins from the nation’s enormous reserves of shale gas in a highly efficient, low cost and low carbon footprint manner.
|NanoSonic, Inc.||Novel Hydrocarbon Ionomers for Durable Proton Exchange Membranes|
The Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Office has identified a need for robust, affordable fuel cell membranes. Innovative, hydrocarbon membranes shall be manufactured at a small business in the United States to advance our nation’s energy savings and security.
|Tetramer Technologies, LLC||New Approaches to Improved PEM Electrolyzer Ion Exchange Membranes|
This technology will significantly lower the energy cost for production of industrial gases, transportation fuels, and renewable energy and will aid in securing the US microgrid through improved backup power energy. This knowledge based commercial enterprise will not only create > 100 high paying jobs that will stay in the US, but also demonstrate expanded American leadership in high technology products.
|Faraday Technology, Inc.||Microfluidic System for CO2 Reduction to Hydrocarbons|
In order to minimize CO2 emissions from burning of fossil fuels, enhanced technologies for the conversion of captured CO2 are needed. This program seeks to develop a process to transform CO2 to formic acid by electrochemical means as a partial solution to this challenge.
More awards from this competition may be announced in the coming weeks as additional appropriated FY 2017 funds become available to the DOE SBIR and STTR programs.