14 January 2010

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the investment of nearly $80 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for advanced biofuels research and fueling infrastructure. Up to $78 million of the funding will support two biofuels research consortia that will seek to break down critical barriers to the commercialization of algae-based and other advanced biofuels such as green aviation fuels, diesel, and gasoline that can be transported and sold using today’s existing fueling infrastructure. The remaining grants ($ 1.6 million) will support expansion of ethanol infrastructure.

The two consortia selected for funding are:

  • National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB)—$44 million

    Led by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (St. Louis, MO), NAABB will develop a systems approach for sustainable commercialization of algal biofuel (such as renewable gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel) and bioproducts. NAABB will integrate resources from companies, universities, and national laboratories to develop the technology necessary to significantly increase production of algal biomass and lipids, efficiently harvest and extract algae and algal products, and establish valuable certified co-products that scale with renewable fuel production. Co-products include animal feed, industrial feedstocks, and additional energy generation. Multiple test sites will cover diverse environmental regions.

    Other NAABB members include Los Alamos National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Arizona, Brooklyn College, Colorado State University, New Mexico State University, Texas AgriLife Research, Texas A&M University System, University of California Los Angeles, University of California San Diego, University of Washington, Washington University in St. Louis, Washington State University, AXI, Catilin, Diversified Energy, Eldorado Biofuels, Genifuel, HR BioPetroleum, Inventure, Kai BioEnergy, Palmer Labs, Solix Biofuels, Targeted Growth, Terrabon, UOP. Collectively, these consortium partners will contribute $11 million in non-federal cost share funds.

  • National Advanced Biofuels Consortium (NABC)—$33.8 million

    Led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), NABC will conduct research to develop biomass-based hydrocarbon fuels that are compatible with existing refining and distribution infrastructure.

    The NABC will spend about a year investigating six process options, including fermentation, catalytic conversion, catalytic fast pyrolysis, hydropyrolysis, hydrothermal liquefaction, and low-cost one-step syngas-to-distillates. One or two of these processes will be selected for larger-scale demonstration over the subsequent two years.

    Other members of the consortium include Albemarle Corporation, Amyris Biotechnologies, Argonne National Laboratory, BP Products North America Inc., Catchlight Energy, LLC, Colorado School of Mines, Iowa State University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Pall Corporation, RTI International, Tesoro Companies Inc., University of California-Davis, UOP, LLC, Virent Energy Systems and Washington State University. Collectively, these partners will contribute $8.4 million of non-federal cost share contributions, bringing the total NABC project size to $42.2 million.

Source: US DOE