Energy Department Awards $22 Million for New Biofuels Projects

The Energy Department on August 1 announced more than $22 million in new investments to help develop cost-competitive algae fuels and streamline the biomass feedstock supply chain for advanced biofuels.

Four projects in California, Hawaii, and New Mexico were awarded a total of $16.5 million to break down technical barriers and accelerate the development of sustainable, affordable algae biofuels. The projects will help boost the productivity of sustainable algae, while cutting capital and operating costs of commercial-scale production. Hawaii Bioenergy, based in Lihue, Kauai, will develop a cost-effective photosynthetic open pond system to produce algal oil. Sapphire Energy, headquartered in San Diego, California, will develop a new process to produce algae-based fuel that is compatible with existing refineries. New Mexico State University will increase the yield of a microalgae, while developing harvesting and cultivation processes that lower costs and support year-round production. California Polytechnic State University will conduct research and development work to increase the productivity of algae strains and compare two separate processing technologies.

Also, a new project led by Columbus, Ohio-based FDC Enterprises will receive $6 million to reduce harvesting, handling, and preprocessing costs across the entire biomass feedstock supply chain. The FDC Enterprises project will work with independent growers and biofuels companies in Iowa, Kansas, Virginia, and Tennessee to develop new field equipment, biorefinery conveyor designs, and improved preprocessing technologies.

Source: EERE Vehicles and Fuels

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