DOE offers $34.5 million for bioenergy resource recovery and conversion

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By the US Department of Energy | March 22, 2022


Today, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a new $34.5 million funding opportunity to improve current science and infrastructure to convert waste streams, often located disproportionately in communities poorly served, into valuable biofuels and bioproducts that can benefit the local energy economy. This effort will advance the Biden administration’s goals of delivering a fair and clean energy future, and set the United States on a path to achieving economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

“This investment represents DOE’s commitment to finding solutions that directly support historically underserved communities,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “We recognize the daily economic and logistical burden that waste disposal can have on these communities. Through this investment, we see an opportunity to support the bioeconomy and the just transition to a clean energy economy.

Waste streams, including municipal solid waste, animal manure, sewage residues and other organic wastes, are an essential raw material for the production of biofuels and bioproducts. However, these waste streams can place an economic burden on the communities that manage them and often result in a myriad of health impacts on surrounding populations.

the FY22 Raw Materials and Waste Conversion R&D Funding Opportunity Announced (FOA) is for the development of improved organisms and inorganic catalysts to support the next generation of low-carbon biofuels and bioproducts. It supports the development of high-impact R&D to accelerate the growth of the bioeconomy and improve the economic and technical viability of transforming heavy and costly waste streams into valuable bioenergy resources.

In particular, the DOE will fund projects that will help enable the use of waste and robust conversion processes to produce low-carbon biofuels that reduce emissions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors like aviation. This effort is complementary to the Grand Sustainable Aviation Fuel Challengea government-wide effort that aims to achieve a carbon-free aviation sector by 2050.

The FOA has four thematic areas:

1. Municipal solid waste feedstock technologies
2. Robust Microbial Cells
3. Robust Catalytic Processes
4. Community-scale resource and energy recovery from organic waste

Concept documents for this FOA are due no later than April 18, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET. Applications must be submitted by June 7, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET. An informational webinar will take place on March 31, 2022 (registration link to come). See more information about this FOA at EERE exchangeor email [email protected] with questions.

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