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US DOE announces funding for algae-based biofuels

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The US Department of Energy (US DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE's) Bioenergy Technologies Office has announced a funding opportunity of up to US$8 million, subject to appropriations, for innovative technologies and approaches to help advance bioenergy and bio-products from algae.

Projects selected with this funding will support the development of advanced biofuels and valuable co-products from algal biomass by focusing on breakthroughs in advanced biology as well as biology-based tools. Selected projects will also accelerate future innovations through data sharing within the research and development community.

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA), entitled 'Productivity Enhanced Algae and Tool-Kits', has two topic areas: (1) algal strain improvements and (2) algal cultivation biology improvements. This FOA will allow the selection of a variety of projects and approaches that overcome species-specific, ecological, and practical challenges to improved algal productivity and biomass composition – two key metrics in achieving high fuel yields. Successful projects will advance to a cultivation readiness challenge by the end of their development efforts to demonstrate their peak productivity potential in an outdoor field trial. The objective of this FOA is the development of productivity-enhancing algal biology technologies that can enable doubling the current state of technology for seasonal algal biomass productivities.

Successful projects will also conduct limited techno-economic and lifecycle analyses of their proposed approaches to help understand commercialisation pathways for their technologies.

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