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Cost competitive biofuels

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The US DOE has announced US$ 6 million for two projects to develop next generation biofuels that will hopefully help drive down the cost of producing gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels from biomass. The research and development projects are located in California and North Carolina and will focus on lowering production costs by maximising the renewable carbon and hydrogen from biomass that can be converted to fuels and improving the separation processes in bio oil production to remove non-fuel components. The projects are part of the DOE’s continued effort to develop technologies that will enable the production of clean, renewable and cost competitive drop in fuels at US$ 3/gal. by 2017.

The projects

SRI International, Menlo Park California will receive US$ 3.2 million to produce bio crude oil from algal biomass that will minimise the amount of renewable carbon recovered for use in fuel and reduce the nitrogen content of the product in order to meet fuel quality standards.

Research Triangle Institute (RTI), Research Triangle Park, North Carolina will receive US$ 3.1 million to maximise the biomass carbon and energy recovery in a low pressure process, therefore lowering production costs, to produce a bio crude oil that can be efficiently upgraded into a finished biofuel.

The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates the development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market based solutions that strengthen US energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.

Adapted by Claira Lloyd

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