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US DOE funding advanced biorefinery projects

7 December 2009

US Department of Energy (DOE) selected 19 integrated biorefinery projects to receive up to $564 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate the construction and operation of pilot, demonstration, and commercial scale facilities. The projects will validate refining technologies and help lay the foundation for full commercial-scale development of a biomass industry in the United States.

Of the nearly $564 million in Recovery Act funding, up to $483 million will go to 14 pilot-scale and 4 demonstration-scale biorefinery projects. The remaining $81 million will focus on accelerating the construction of a biorefinery project previously awarded funding. Collectively, these projects will be matched with more than $700 million in private and non-Federal cost-share funds, for total project investments of almost $1.3 billion.

The pilot scale projects include the following awards:

  1. Algenol Biofuels Inc., project location Freeport TX—DOE grant amount $25,000,000. This project will make ethanol directly from carbon dioxide and seawater using algae.
  2. American Process Inc., Alpena MI—$17,944,902. This project will produce ethanol and potassium acetate, a compound with many industrial applications, using processed wood generated by Decorative Panels International, an existing hardboard manufacturing facility in Alpena.
  3. Amyris Biotechnologies, Inc., Emeryville CA—$25,000,000. This project will produce a diesel substitute through the fermentation of sweet sorghum.
  4. Archer Daniels Midland, Decatur IL—$24,834,592. This project will use acid to break down biomass which can be converted to liquid fuels or energy. The ADM facility will produce ethanol and ethyl acrylate.
  5. Clearfuels Technology Inc, Commerce City CO—$23,000,000. The project will produce renewable diesel and jet fuel from woody biomass by integrating ClearFuels’ and Rentech’s conversion technologies.
  6. Elevance Renewable Sciences, Newton IA—$2,500,000. This project will complete preliminary engineering design for a future facility producing jet fuel, renewable diesel substitutes, and chemicals from plant oils and poultry fat.
  7. Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines IL—$2,500,000. This project will complete preliminary engineering design for a novel process to produce green gasoline and diesel from woody biomass, agricultural residues, and algae.
  8. Haldor Topsoe, Des Plaines IL—$25,000,000. This project will convert wood to green gasoline by fully integrating and optimizing a multi-step gasification process.
  9. ICM, Inc., Joseph MO—$25,000,000. This project will modify an existing corn-ethanol facility to produce cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass and energy sorghum using biochemical conversion processes.
  10. Logos Technologies, Visalia CA—$20,445,849. This project will convert switchgrass and woody biomass into ethanol using a biochemical conversion processes.
  11. Renewable Energy Institute International, Toledo OH—$19,980,930. This project will produce high quality diesel from agriculture and forest residues using advanced pyrolysis and steam reforming.
  12. Solazyme, Inc., Riverside PA—$21,765,738. This project will validate the projected economics of a commercial scale biorefinery producing multiple advanced biofuels from algae oil.
  13. UOP LLC, Kapolei HI—$25,000,000. This project will integrate existing technology from Ensyn and UOP to produce gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from agricultural residue, woody biomass, dedicated energy crops, and algae.
  14. ZeaChem Inc., Boardman OR—$25,000,000. This project will use purpose-grown hybrid poplar trees to produce fuel-grade ethanol using hybrid technology. Additional feedstocks such as agricultural residues and energy crops will also be evaluated.

The demonstration scale projects include the following awards:

  1. BioEnergy International, LLC, Lake Providence LA—$50,000,000. This project will biologically produce succinic acid from sorghum. The process being developed displaces petroleum based feedstocks and uses less energy per ton of succinic acid produced than its petroleum counterpart.
  2. Enerkem Corporation, Pontotoc MS—$50,000,000. This project will be sited at an existing landfill and use feedstocks such as woody biomass and biomass removed from municipal solid waste to produce ethanol and other chemicals through gasification and catalytic processes.
  3. INEOS New Planet BioEnergy, LLC, Vero Beach FL—$50,000,000. This project will produce ethanol and electricity from wood and vegetative residues and construction and demolition materials. The facility will combine biomass gasification and fermentation.
  4. Sapphire Energy, Inc, Columbus NM—$50,000,000. Additionally, the company received a loan guarantee for up to $54.5 million through the US Department of Agriculture’s Biorefinery Assistance Program. This project will cultivate algae in ponds. The algae will ultimately be converted into jet fuel and diesel using the Dynamic Fuels refining process.

One award provides increased funding to existing biorefinery projects:

Source: US DOE