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US Department of Energy offers $78 million for biofuels research

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore)
US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore)

3 May, US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced $78 million (€65.7 million) in new funding opportunities for early-stage biofuels research and development. The money is being administrated through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).

The Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) are organised into four categories: bioenergy engineering for products synthesis (up to $28 million, or over €23 million), efficient carbon utilisation in algal systems (up to $15 million), process development for advanced biofuels and biopower (up to $20 million) and affordable and sustainable energy crops (up to $15 million).

“The Department of Energy is focused on some of the most exciting research opportunities as well as the biggest technological challenges facing our diverse and abundant domestic bioenergy resources,” said Secretary Perry. “Through the funding opportunities announced today, US bioenergy resources, including algae, energy crops and various waste streams, will be more efficiently and effectively converted into affordable biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts.”

Letters of Intent for the funding are due 30 May, with full applications due 27 June.

The goal of the BETO is to help develop the domestic US ‘biomass industry’. Desired products from that industry, according to the agency, include renewable biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. Enhanced energy security and environmental benefits are among the rationale for the policy.

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore)