The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is offering up to $200 million over the next six fiscal years (subject to annual appropriations) to support the development of pilot- and demonstration-scale integrated biorefineries, which employ a combination of non-food feedstocks and conversion technologies to produce advanced biofuels.
Integrated biorefineries may produce several biofuels and may also produce side products such as bio-based chemicals, heat and power. DOE is encouraging proposals to use advanced biomass feedstocks such as algae, or to produce innovative biofuels such as bio-butanol or "green gasoline." The agency anticipates making approximately five to 12 cost-shared awards under its Funding Opportunity Announcement, which was issued Dec. 22.
DOE plans to select biorefinery projects that will be operational within three to four years after the applicants are selected, and the facilities should be intended to lead to commercialization in the near term. Mandatory letters of intent are due by Feb. 20, and completed applications are due by April 30. The new funding opportunity adds to the more than $1 billion DOE has already committed to research, development and demonstration of cellulosic biofuels technology.