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DOE to award up to $18.8M for algae and wet waste feedstocks R&D for biofuels and bioproducts

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced the MACRO: Mixed Algae Conversion Research Opportunity funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0003274). The FOA will award up to $18.8 million to address research and development (R&D) challenges in converting algae, such as seaweeds and other wet waste feedstocks, to biofuels and bioproducts that can decarbonize domestic transportation, industry, and communities.

BETO’s primary focus is on developing technologies that convert domestic biomass and/or waste resources to affordable biofuels and bioproducts that significantly reduce carbon emissions on a life-cycle basis as compared to equivalent petroleum-based products. The activities funded by BETO through this funding opportunity will mobilize public clean energy investment by addressing research and development (R&D) challenges in the conversion of various seaweeds and blends of seaweeds (with wet waste feedstocks such as waste microalgae) to low-carbon fuels and chemicals. These activities can also help develop solutions for communities that are affected by harmful algal blooms to reduce the costs associated with managing these wastes.

The priority of FECM’s Carbon Conversion Program is to develop multiple pathways by which captured and concentrated carbon dioxide (CO2) is converted into economically viable and environmentally sustainable products. The near-term objective of this program’s R&D is to accelerate deployment of carbon management technologies through the conversion of CO2 into value-added products. Under this FOA, applications are sought that use anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions in the cultivation process and then convert macro and/or micro algae into low carbon products. Conversion for agricultural products such as animal feed are of particular interest.

Algae is a promising type of renewable biomass-based feedstock with the potential to contribute to BETO’s and FECM’s missions and help meet the aggressive clean energy goals being pursued by DOE. For purposes of this FOA, “algae” includes microalgae, cyanobacteria, and macroalgae (also referred to as seaweed). All types of algae may be of interest to this FOA, subject to the topic-specific requirements described in each Topic Area.

  • Topic Area 1 (funded by BETO) - Conversion of Seaweeds to Low Carbon Fuels and Bioproducts

  • Topic Area 2 (funded by FECM) - Conversion of Algal Biomass for Low Carbon Agricultural Bioproducts


BETO anticipates making approximately five to six financial assistance awards lasting from 24 to 36 months under this FOA. FECM intends to award three to four financial assistance awards that will run up to 24 months in length.


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