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US DOE partners up for biorefinery optimisation

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Energy Department (DOE) and the Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) have jointly announced US$22.7 million to support the optimisation of integrated biorefineries (IBR). DOE is providing majority funding with up to US$19.8 million and USDA-NIFA is providing up to US$2.9 million in funding.

Federal support for first-of-a-kind IBRs could significantly reduce the technical and financial risks associated with the operation of commercial scale biorefineries. The DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has identified, via stakeholder engagements through a request for information (RFI) and a biorefinery optimisation workshop, areas in which DOE and USDA-NIFA can effectively support technology development and engineering solutions to economically and sustainably overcome technology barriers.

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will be coordinated and co-funded by BETO and USDA-NIFA. It seeks applications for projects focused on lowering technical and financial risk, addressing challenges encountered with the successful scale-up, and reliable, continuous operation of IBRs. Upon conclusion of the review process, meritorious proposals may be recommended for funding by either of the participating agencies.

This FOA invites applications for the following four topic areas:

  • Topic Area 1: Robust, continuous handling of solid materials (dry and wet feedstocks, biosolids, and/or residual solids remaining in the process) and feeding systems to reactors under various operating conditions.
  • Topic Area 2: High value products from waste and/or other under-valued streams in an IBR.
  • Topic Area 3: Industrial separations within an IBR.
  • Topic Area 4: Analytical modeling of solid materials (dry and wet feedstocks, and/or residual solids remaining in the process) and reactor feeding systems.

This work supports the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's mission to accelerate deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to strengthen US energy security, economic vitality, and environmental quality.

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