The California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program has issued a competitive grant solicitation for the research, development and demonstration of biofuel energy conversion technologies and refineries using lignocellulosic biomass (such as agricultural and forest residues, and urban waste), food waste, beverages, waste grease, purpose-grown or energy crops.
Total funding available through this solicitation is $3 million, and PIER anticipates that it will select three to four projects for funding. The maximum amount that may be requested for a single proposal under this solicitation is $1 million in PIER funding.
Technologies can either utilize thermochemical, biochemical, and physicochemical (mechanical and chemical extraction) conversion routes or the combination of two or more of these routes. The final product should be transportation fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, and biomethane and should co-produce other value-added products such as heat and power.
Proposed biofuel conversion technologies should improve the cost competitiveness and affordability of biofuel conversion technologies by:
- Lowering capital cost, operation and maintenance cost, and/or life cycle production costs; or
- Improving performance; increasing yield and conversion efficiencies
- Optimizing biofuel conversion technologies and trade-offs between fuels production and electricity production (e.g., co-location of ethanol facility to biomass power plant).
Technologies must also have a clear commercialization pathway. The deadline to submit proposals is 4 January 2007.
The PIER Program supports energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects that will help improve the quality of life in California by bringing environmentally safe, affordable and reliable energy services and products to the marketplace. PIER annually awards up to $62 million in research grants.