DOE Intends New Energy Earthshot to Decarbonize Transportation and Industrial Sectors
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced on May 24, 2023, the launch of the Clean Fuels & Products ShotTM, a new initiative that aims to reduce significantly greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from carbon-based fuels and products. DOE notes that this is its seventh DOE Energy Earthshot, which focuses on reducing carbon emissions from the fuel and chemical industry through alternative, more sustainable sources of carbon to achieve a minimum of 85 percent lower GHG emissions as compared to fossil-based sources by 2035. According to DOE, the Clean Fuels & Products ShotTM supports the national goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 by developing the sustainable feedstocks and conversion technologies necessary to produce crucial fuels, materials, and carbon-based products that are better for the environment than current petroleum-derived components. It aims to meet projected 2050 net-zero emissions demands for 100 percent of aviation fuel; 50 percent of maritime, rail, and off-road fuel; and 50 percent of carbon-based chemicals by using sustainable carbon resources.
DOE notes that a ribbon-cutting took place on May 30, 2023, for the Biofuels National User Facility, a $15 million, three-year-long facility upgrade at Idaho National Laboratory funded by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and an important asset to reach the goals of the Clean Fuels & Products ShotTM. According to DOE, the facility “is designed to solve critical biofuels production challenges associated with the feeding, handling and preprocessing of diverse biomass and waste materials.” DOE states that industry use of the facility “will enable rapid technology development and large-scale commercialization of biofuels and bioproducts, an important component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals related to clean fuels and products.”