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DOE BETO to award $61.4M for low-carbon biofuels research to reduce transportation emissions

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the availability of $61.4 million for technologies that produce low-cost, low-carbon biofuels. (DE-FOA-0002396) Topic areas for the “Bioenergy Technologies Office Scale-Up and Conversion” funding opportunity include high-impact biotechnology research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) to bolster the body of scientific and engineering knowledge needed to produce low-carbon biofuels at lower cost.

BETO is focused on developing technologies that convert domestic biomass and other waste resources (e.g., municipal solid waste, biosolids) into low-carbon biofuels and bioproducts. The activities funded through this new funding opportunity will mobilize public clean energy investment in the biofuels, chemical and agricultural industries, accelerate the deployment of bioenergy technologies, and support achieving economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050.

This FOA supports high-impact technology RDD&D to accelerate the bioeconomy and, in particular, the production of low-carbon fuels for the aviation industry.

BETO is focusing on applied RDD&D to improve the performance and reduce cost of biofuel production technologies and scale-up production systems in partnership with industry. By reducing cost and technical risk, BETO can help pave the way for industry to deploy commercial-scale integrated biorefineries and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from hard to decarbonize sectors, such as aviation.

The Program is focused on developing and demonstrating technologies that are capable of producing low-carbon drop-in biofuels at $2.50 per gallon gasoline equivalent (GGE) by 2030, as well as associated renewable chemical co-products to achieve this target. BETO is focused on biofuel production pathways that can deliver at least 70% lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum.

This FOA will support high-impact RDD&D focusing on the production of low-GHG fuels for the aviation industry, as well as the long-haul trucking and marine industries by soliciting proposals to scale-up technologies; cost-effectively produce biomass derived sugars as an intermediate for the production of biofuels and bioproducts; and support cost-effective separation technologies. In addition, the FOA will support increasing the efficiency of residential wood heaters and the production of renewable natural gas.

Approximately half of the targeting funding (up to $30.3 million) will go to the scale-up of biotechnologies.

The application process will include two phases: a concept paper and a full application. Concept papers are due on 30 April 2021, and full applications are due on 21 Jun 2021.


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