The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will build an advanced biofuels process development facility aimed at speeding the commercialization of advanced biofuels by allowing researchers and the private sector to test and integrate innovative technologies.
The facility—funded with nearly $18 million from the Recovery Act—will be a publicly available facility where researchers can integrate process steps and test innovative technology pathways, such as those being developed at DOE’s Office of Science Bioenergy Research Centers.
This facility will be the only one of its kind available for public use.
The Advanced Biofuels Process Development Unit (PDU) will leverage the efforts of the Department’s National Laboratories and the private sector to help move new technologies into the marketplace. The PDU will provide universities, national laboratories, and industry partners the opportunity to scale up promising processes discovered in their laboratories. Planned capabilities include unique pretreatment of biomass, enzyme production, fermentation for the production of multiple biofuels, and product purification in quantities sufficient for engine testing at partner institutions.
The PDU is scheduled to be fully operational by early 2011, and multiple possible sites for the facility are now being considered in the San Francisco East Bay region.
The Department’s Biomass Program has awarded nearly $718 million in Recovery Act funds to accelerate the commercialization of advanced biofuels and foster the growth of a sustainable US bioindustry.