The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Clean Fuels & Products Shot, a new initiative that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from carbon-based fuels and products significantly. This is the seventh DOE Energy Earthshot, which focuses on reducing carbon emissions from the fuel and chemical industry through alternative, more sustainable sources of carbon to achieve a minimum of 85% lower GHG emissions as compared to fossil-based sources by 2035.
The Clean Fuels & Products Shot supports the national goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 by developing the sustainable feedstocks and conversion technologies necessary to produce crucial fuels, materials, and carbon-based products that are better for the environment than current petroleum-derived components. It aims to meet projected 2050 net-zero emissions demands for 100% of aviation fuel; 50% of maritime, rail, and off-road fuel; and 50% of carbon-based chemicals by using sustainable carbon resources.
To focus the research and development needed to achieve the Clean Fuels & Products ShotTM goals, DOE has identified five critical research areas:
New technologies to maximize carbon incorporation and retention for low-cost, low-emissions feedstocks at scale.
Efficient gaseous waste capture and conversion, and new technologies to improve gaseous capture and catalytic conversion efficiency, including CO2 to fuels and chemicals.
Biomass and waste conversion technologies designed to use green electricity and hydrogen to maximize carbon retention in products.
Integrated pilot and demonstration scale facilities to de-risk new feedstocks and conversion approaches.
Life cycle analysis and sustainability modeling to prioritize impactful research and development.
The Clean Fuels & Products Shot could ultimately help eliminate more than 650 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2050, according to the DOE.
This effort aligns with the interagency Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge, as well as DOE’s broader Energy Earthshots portfolio, leveraging breakthroughs in critical energy technologies from the Carbon Negative Shot, the Hydrogen Shot, and the Industrial Heat Shot.
This initiative is supported by several DOE offices, including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office; Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office; Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technologies Office; the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management; Office of Science’s Biological and Environmental Research; Basic Energy Sciences; Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations; and Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy.