The California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) announced (PON-14-602) the availability of up to $3 million in grant funds for biofuels projects that are in the early/pre-commercial technology development stage. This solicitation is emphasizing transformative technology solutions to significant biofuels industry problems that increase yields, productivity, or cost effectiveness of biofuel production; and/or that target a significant unmet need in California’s biofuels industry.
The ARFVTP has an annual budget of approximately $100 million and provides financial support for projects that increase the use of alternative and renewable fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.
The maximum award amount for this solicitation is 50% of total allowable project costs or $1.0 million, whichever is less.
For purposes of this solicitation, eligible biofuels include the following:
Diesel substitutes. These include renewable diesel, biodiesel, or other suitable substitutes, including Dimethyl Ether (DME). Eligible feedstocks for diesel substitutes include waste-based biomass, biogenic by-products, and purpose grown crops.
Gasoline substitutes. These include ethanol, biobutanol, renewable gasoline, or other suitable substitutes. Eligible feedstocks for gasoline substitutes include waste-based biomass and alternative purpose-grown crops.
Biomethane. Eligible feedstocks for biomethane are pre-landfill or landfill wastebased biomass sources including, but not limited to, agricultural residues, woody biomass and forest residues, animal manures, food waste, and municipal solid waste (MSW).
Eligible biofuels projects include projects that produce biofuels and/or projects that produce and/or use biomass feedstocks for the eventual production of biofuels. Eligible projects’ primary focus must be on biofuels production, but eligible projects are allowed to produce co-products.
Eligible activities may include, but are not limited to:
Pre-engineering, design studies, and feasibility study reports.
Performance tests, material assessments and other technical studies to verify product or equipment operating characteristics, equipment integrity, market applications, and compliance with regulations, standards and/or protocols.
Biofuel production and conversion methods or laboratory/bench-scale tests to refine or improve processes, intellectual property, and prototype construction.
Field test plots/sites to evaluate feedstock performance, conversion technologies, plant varietals, water use, per acre costs, yields, and returns, energy consumption, soil suitability, and feedstocks grown on marginal or abandoned agricultural land.
Economic, technical, and strategic plan feasibility and studies needed to evaluate biofuel production, economic, market and environmental impacts.
Corn grain is not an eligible feedstock; corn oil and corn stover are eligible feedstocks for only diesel-substitute fuel production projects.