DOE launches $25M funding opp to overcome two key barriers for algae biofuels

September 30, 2014 |

DOElogoIn California, US Assistant Secretary of Energy David Danielson, addressing the Algae Biomass Summit in San Diego, announced a $25 million funding opportunity announcement, entitled “Targeted Algal Biofuels and Bioproducts”.

The TABB FOA seeks alternative pathways to overcome two of the key barriers to commercializing algal biofuels: the high cost of producing algal biomass and the low yield of target biofuel and bioproduct feedstocks produced from algae.

Specifically, the TABB FOA will support (1) the development of algae cultures that produce valuable bioproducts alongside fuels to increase the overall value of the biomass and (2) the development of crop protection and CO2 utilization technologies to boost culture productivity and yield to reduce the cost of the biomass. The goal is to enable a modeled minimum fuel selling price, assuming mature technologies, of less than $5 gasoline gallon equivalent for algal biofuels.

The TABB FOA includes two topic areas:

1. Consortia that bring together upstream and downstream expertise to develop biofuels and bioproducts from algae that are comparable and competitive with their petroleum-based counterparts and have broad national market impacts. The DOE expects to make 1-4 awards in the $5 million range on this topic.

2. Single investigator or small team technology development projects focused on developing crop protection or CO2 utilization technologies to raise the biomass productivity and demonstrate that the increase could lead to higher yields.The DOE expects to make 3-7 awards in the $500,000 range on this topic.

Consortia projects in Topic Area 1 will develop and characterize finished products and fuels spanning the entire algae processing system (cultivation, harvesting, processing, refining/bioproduct production).  The projects in Topic Area 2 will increase algal biomass productivity and/or yield via crop protection or CO2 utilization strategies.

For more information

The EERE Exchange website has the full FOA here. Concept papers are due on October 30, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), and full applications are due on December 15, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

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