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DOE Selects 5 Pyrolysis Oils Projects for Funding

DOE has selected five advanced biofuels projects for awards totaling up to $7 million, subject to annual appropriations. The five projects selected will develop cost-effective, environmentally friendly ways to convert non-food feedstocks into stabilized pyrolysis oils, for the ultimate production of transport fuel.

Pyrolysis oils offer the potential of a greenhouse-gas neutral, renewable, and domestically produced alternative to petroleum-based fuels.

The five projects are:

  • UOP LLC (Des Plaines, Ill.) With partners: Ensyn Corp, DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colo.), DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.) and USDA-Agricultural Research Service.

  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Blacksburg, Va. and New Brunswick, N.J.) With partner: Rutgers University.

  • Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa and Houston, Texas) With partner: ConocoPhillips.

  • RTI International (Research Triangle Park, N.C. and Decatur, Ill.)With partner: Archer Daniel Midland Co.

  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Amherst, Mass.) With partner: Renewable Oil International.



Can these process have byproducts along the lines of biochar?

Alicia van Finverness

Yes, biochar is one of the products of various pyrolysis methods. You also get pyrolysis oils and varying amounts of gas product.

Until algal biodiesel can be produced at less than $20 a gallon, pyrolysis oils and gasification are the two leading prospects for near term biofuels and bioenergy. Co-firing biomass with coal and CHP combined cycle biomass are also going to be important bio-energy sources.

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