ICYMI: $227M available from US in push for vehicle, feedstock and bioconversion advances

May 14, 2018 |

We usually say, ICYMIs for those In Case You Missed Its that show up in someone’s inbox.  This week, we might re-purpose that useful acronym to:

In Case Your Money Isn’t Sufficient — because there are three funding opportunities that have been flying slightly under the radar this week amongst a flurry of announces from the DOE on bioenergy technologies R&D and from the vicinity of the White House on RIN caps and E15 expansion.

In all, let’s point you to three opportunities of substantive interest:

#1 Bioprocessing Separations Consortium Directed Funding Opportunity

To accelerate the development of separations technologies for the commercialization of biomass- derived fuels and chemicals, the Bioprocessing Separations Consortium (www.bioesep.org ) is offering directed funding assistance. Interested industry partners are invited to leverage unique capabilities (facilities and expertise) at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories to address their most pressing technical challenges in separations process development and evaluation for biofuel and bioproduct applications. Descriptions of these unique capabilities can be found at www.bioesep.org/capabilities/ . 

Available funding and cost share: The Separations Consortium anticipates providing $200k to approximately five projects as part of this call. It is anticipated project terms will be no more than two years. Federal funds are allocated to DOE National Laboratories for providing Separations Consortium resources only and are subject to available Separations Consortium budget. Industry cost share (in-kind or cash) is required to be 30% or greater of the requested funds. 

All about that here.

#2 Advanced Vehicles

This past week, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced up to $68.5 million in funding for early-stage research of advanced vehicle technologies that will enable more affordable mobility, strengthen domestic energy security, and enhance U.S. economic growth.

The funding is provided through the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Selected projects will address advanced batteries and electrification, light-weight vehicle structures and advanced powertrains, technology integration and energy-efficient mobility systems, and engines and fuels. Concept papers are due May 29, 2018, and full applications will be due July 13, 2018. For more information and application requirements, see FOA #DE-FOA-0001919 at EERE Exchange or Grants.gov.

#3 Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Also last week, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) announced their Request for Applications (RFA) for Sustainable Agricultural Systems program that will consist of eight $10 million awards. Letter of Intent Deadline – June 27, 2018.  Application Deadline – October 10, 2018.  

Applications must address one or more of the following 25-year goals:

· Increase growth of agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) from the current 1.5 percent to 2 percent per year and agricultural production by 2 percent annually.

· Improve water and nitrogen and phosphorus nutrient use efficiency by 50 percent.

· Reduce losses due to environmental stresses, insects and other invertebrate pests, weeds, or diseases by 20 percent in crops and animals used for food, fiber, or bioproducts production.

· Produce 50 billion gallons of biofuels and 50 billion pounds of biobased chemicals and bioproducts in the next 25 years.

· Reduce food-borne illnesses to 8.5 cases per 100,000 people in the U.S. population per year.

All about that here.

#4 and don’t miss out on the BETO suite of opportunities

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced four funding opportunities totaling up to $78 million to support early-stage bioenergy research and development under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office.

“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, U.S. bioenergy resources, including algae, energy crops, and various waste streams, will be more efficiently and effectively converted into affordable biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts.” These Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) include:

BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis

This multi-topic FOA for up to $28 million, seeks to develop highly efficient conversion processes for improving the affordability of fuels and products from biomass and waste streams.  The FOA seeks early-stage research proposals that cover several topics pertaining to conversion processes:

  • Innovative catalysts for thermochemical processing
  • New biological approaches for higher conversion efficiency
  • Novel bio-based products that outperform conventional materials (e.g., plastics, polymers, etc.)
  • Conversion of wet organic wastes to biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower
  • Conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to make fuels and products
  • New processes to break down lignin and synthesize higher value biofuels and bioproducts

More on the FOA here.

Efficient Carbon Utilization in Algal Systems

This research funding opportunity for up to $15M seeks proposals in two areas to improve the cost-competitiveness of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts:

    • Increase the productivity of algae by improving uptake and conversion of waste CO2emissions, such as from a power plant or industrial facility
    • Develop new, affordable technologies to capture CO2directly from ambient air to enhance algal growth

More on the FOA here.

Process Development for Advanced Biofuels and Biopower

This funding opportunity for up to $20 million supports early-stage research to develop integrated processes for:

  • Production of cost-competitive drop-in biofuels, including renewable jet fuel and renewable diesel fuel
  • Processes to convert municipal solid waste and biosolids into biopower

More on the FOA here.

Affordable and Sustainable Energy Crops

This funding opportunity for up to $15 million supports early-stage research and development related to the production of affordable and sustainable non-food dedicated energy crops that can be used as feedstocks for the production of biofuels and bioproducts. Projects selected under this FOA will seek to:

  • Conduct small-scale field testing of new varieties of energy crops
  • Measure crop performance and environmental effects relative to traditional cropping and pasture systems
  • Define cost-effective methods for planting, harvesting, collecting, and storing biomass

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