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February 23, 2024

EPA and DOE Announce Funding to Spur Development of Advanced Biofuels

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced on February 22, 2024, the release of a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “Inflation Reduction Act Funding for Advanced Biofuels,” for up to $9.4 million for the development of advanced biofuels. According to EPA, the funding will support “high-impact biofuel technology projects to improve the performance and reduce the cost of biofuel production technologies, scale up production systems in partnership with industry, and accelerate the nation’s bioeconomy.” EPA states that when responsibly sourced, biofuel production can help strengthen the rural economy, reduce U.S. reliance on foreign sources of oil, and support domestic production of cleaner fuels that can reduce some undesirable environmental impacts of fossil fuel production and use.

The FOA will fund selected projects in two priority areas:

  • Projects aimed at scaling up key process steps in advanced biofuel production; and
  • Projects to develop and pilot-test key technology innovations for processing biointermediates, which are feedstocks that have been partially converted at one facility but are then sent to a separate facility for final processing into a renewable fuel.

Domestic businesses, educational institutions, and nonprofits are eligible to apply for the funding, which will be administered by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO). FOA applicants will be required to explain how their proposed project meets EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) definition of an advanced biofuel. According to the press release, “DOE envisions awarding one or more financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements lasting approximately 36 months.” The FOA concept paper deadline is 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on March 22, 2024, and full applications are due at 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on May 24, 2024. An informational webinar for potential applicants will be held March 4, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. (EST).