The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award nearly $34 million in funding for 11 projects that will support high-impact research and development to improve and produce biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts.
Biomass feedstocks can be produced by municipal solid waste (MSW) streams and algae and converted into low-carbon fuels that can significantly contribute to the decarbonization of transportation sectors that face barriers to electrification, such as aviation and marine.
The selected projects will:
Research and develop waste for energy conversion ($20 million). Awardees across five projects will expand understanding of the potential for municipal solid waste (which typically consists of a complex mixture of food waste, glass, metals, yard trimmings, woody waste materials, non-recyclable paper and plastic, construction and demolition waste, rags, and sludge from wastewater treatment) to become biofuel energy. The process of converting waste into biofuel has significant potential to divert large volumes of garbage from the landfills to the refinery.
Improve algae farming practices to increase production ($18.7 million). Awardees across six projects will look into diverse strains and farming practices of algae and explore new ways to improve their growth. Algae uses sunlight and nutrients to grow, and then can be converted to a variety of biofuels and products.
|Topic Area 1: Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste to Enable Production of Conversion-Ready Feedstocks|
|Cascadia Consulting Group||Statistically Rigorous Deep Dive Nationwide Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste and Selection of Technologies Enabling Production of Conversion-Ready Feedstocks||$3,125,000|
|University of Maryland: College Park||Systematic Characterization of Variability in MSW Streams to Identify Critical Material Attributes for Fuel Production||$3,411,838|
|Lehigh University||Integrated LIBS-Raman-AI System for Real-Time, In-Situ Chemical Analysis of MSW Streams||$2,810,431|
|North Carolina State University||AI-Enabled Hyperspectral Imaging Augmented with Multi-Sensory Information for Rapid/Real-time Analysis of Non-Recyclable Heterogeneous MSW for Conversion to Energy||$2,839,819|
|AMP Robotics||Artificial Neural Network for MSW Contamination Characterization||$2,812,912|
|Topic Area 2: Algae Productivity Exceeding Expectations (APEX)|
|University of California: San Diego||Enhanced Production of Algae Lipids and Carbohydrates for Fuel and Polyurethane Precursors||$3,200,000|
|Colorado State University||Advancing Algal Productivity through Innovation in Cultivation Operation and Strain Traits (ADAPT-COST)||$3,199,990|
|Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego||Ecological Monitoring Technologies to Enhance Large-Scale Microalgae Cultivation, Stability, and Productivity||$2,761,304|
|Arizona State University||Direct Air Capture Integration with Algae Carbon Biocatalysis||$3,200,000|
|Global Algae Innovations Inc.||Enhanced Algae Productivity in CO2 Direct Air Capture Cultivation||$3,200,000|
|University of Toledo||Minimizing Organic Carbon Losses to Improve Net Productivity in Direct Air Capture Cultivation||$3,200,000|