DOE Awards $118 Million to Accelerate Domestic Biofuel Production
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced on January 26, 2023, $118 million in funding for 17 projects to accelerate the production of sustainable biofuels for America’s transportation and manufacturing needs. According to DOE, the selected projects, located at universities and private companies, “will drive the domestic production of biofuels and bioproducts by advancing biorefinery development, from pre-pilot to demonstration, to create sustainable fuels that reduce emissions associated with fossil fuels.” Projects selected will contribute to meeting DOE’s goal to achieve cost-competitive biofuels and at least a 70 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.
According to DOE, “[m]ade from widely available domestic feedstocks and advanced refining technologies, energy-dense biofuels provide a pathway for low-carbon fuels that can lower greenhouse gas emissions throughout the transportation sector and accelerate the bioeconomy.” DOE notes that financing for novel biorefinery process systems can be a barrier to commercializing advanced biofuels, and states that its funding will reduce technological uncertainties and enable industry deployment. The selected projects include pre-pilot, pilot, and demonstration projects that will scale-up existing biomass to fuel technologies that will eventually create millions of gallons of low-carbon fuel annually.