DOE Announces up to $200 Million in Funding for Biorefineries


WEBWIRE – Thursday, May 03, 2007

Small- and full-scale projects total up to $585 million to advance President Bush’s Twenty in Ten Initiative

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman today announced that DOE will provide up to $200 million, over five years (FY’07-’11) to support the development of small-scale cellulosic biorefineries in the United States. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) seeks projects to develop biorefineries at ten percent of commercial scale that produce liquid transportation fuels such as ethanol, as well as bio-based chemicals and bioproducts used in industrial applications. This research aims to advance President Bush’s goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline by 2012, and assist in reducing America’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years by expanding the availability of alternative and renewable transportation fuels.

“This research will provide the next necessary step toward developing cellulosic biorefineries that can transform our transportation sector in a clean and cost-effective manner,” Secretary Bodman said. “As world demand for energy continues to grow, so too must our supply of clean, domestic sources of energy – and cellulosic biofuels provide a promising way to meet President Bush’s goal of displacing twenty percent of gasoline usage within the decade.”

Today’s announcement advances DOE’s long-term strategy to reduce dependence on imported oil by encouraging development of clean, domestic and renewable sources of energy, including biofuels. This strategy includes small-scale research projects to inform long-term development of full-scale facilities.

Small-scale projects will use novel approaches and a variety of cellulosic feedstocks to test new refining processes. These projects complement DOE’s announcement earlier this year, which makes available up to $385 million over four years for the development of six full-scale biorefineries. The full-scale biorefineries focus on near-term commercial processes, while the small-scale facilities will experiment with new feedstocks and processing technologies. Combined, these small- and full-scale projects will receive up to $585 million in federal investment.

The FOA will support demonstration projects that test key refining processes and provide operational data needed to lower the technical hurdles sometimes associated with financing a full-size commercial plant. These projects are expected to be operational within three to four years and will speed the adoption of new technologies to produce ethanol and other biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks. Commercial-scale demonstrations would follow thereafter.

DOE requests applicants to design, construct and operate an integrated biorefinery demonstration facility, employing lignocellulosic feedstocks for the production of some combination of liquid transportation fuel(s), biobased chemicals, and substitutes for petroleum-based feedstocks and products. DOE seeks projects that can rapidly move to commercial-scale, supported by a sound business strategy and; encourages applications that demonstrate breakthrough technologies and collaboration between industry, universities, and DOE’s national laboratories.

Up to $15 million is expected to be available in FY’07, with the remaining $185 million expected to be available in FY’08-’11, subject to appropriation from Congress. DOE anticipates selecting 5-10 awards under this announcement. These projects require a minimum of 50 percent cost share from applicants.

Applications for this FOA are due August 14, 2007. For more information on the FOA, “Demonstration of Integrated Biorefinery Operations for Producing Biofuels and Chemical/Materials Products” - DE-PS36-07GO97003, visit: DOE’s E-Center OR Grants.gov.



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