Biofuel Tech Gets $118 Million Funding Boost from Energy Department

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The funding will be spread across 17 projects.

The Energy Department Thursday announced $118 million in funding for 17 projects aimed at accelerating the production of biofuels across the country.

The projects, each of which received a minimum of $500,000 in funding, have the potential to advance biorefinery technology and development and could create sustainable fuels that reduce carbon emissions typically associated with fossil fuels.

“Biofuels are a versatile tool because they have the immediate potential to power our ships, trains, airlines and heavy-duty vehicles—a huge contributor to total carbon emissions—with a significantly reduced carbon footprint,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “DOE investments are helping to build out a domestic bioenergy supply chain that increases America’s energy independence, creates jobs and accelerates the adoption of cleaner fuels for our transportation needs.”

Biofuels are made from widely available feed stocks like corn through advanced refining technologies. According to Energy, “financing for novel biorefinery process systems can be a barrier to commercializing advanced biofuels, and this funding will reduce technological uncertainties and enable industry deployment.”

The funding will be distributed and overseen by the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, or BETO. The 17 projects fall into four areas: pre-pilot scale-up of integrated biorefineries; pilot scale-up of integrated biorefineries; demonstration scale-up of integrated bio-refineries and first-generation corn ethanol emission reduction. 

The projects are located in nine states and Washington, D.C. and focus on several technologies, including anaerobic digestion, the conversion of cellulosic sugars to sustainable aviation fuel, catalytic biorefining and others.