The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On June 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced that it would be hosting the Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy (ChemCatBio) Consortium’s Webinar titled “Accelerating the Catalyst Development Cycle” on June 27, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. (EDT).  ChemCatBio Consortium is a research and development consortium dedicated to identifying and overcoming catalysis challenges for biomass conversion processes.  BETO states that the webinar will “highlight transition metal carbides as a class of materials” and “demonstrate how the integration of predictive computational modeling, tailored materials synthesis, and in-situ characterization capabilities within the ChemCatBio Consortium is accelerating the development of [the] complex but promising catalysts.”  BETO states that the objectives of the webinar will address the challenges of the realization of sustainable routes to fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks, such as biomass, and that addressing these challenges “requires advanced catalysts with controlled active sites that promote desired transformations, while resisting deactivation, and that can be produced cost-effectively at relevant scales.”  Registration is available online.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 29, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it was seeking nominations for candidates to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (Committee).  The Federal Register notice states that:

The committee members may serve two, three-year terms and committee membership must include: (A) An individual affiliated with the biofuels industry; (B) an individual affiliated with the biobased industrial and commercial products industry; (C) an individual affiliated with an institution of higher education that has expertise in biofuels and biobased products; (D) 2 prominent engineers or scientists from government (non-federal) or academia that have expertise in biofuels and biobased products; (E) an individual affiliated with a commodity trade association; (F) 2 individuals affiliated with environmental or conservation organizations; (G) an individual associated with state government who has expertise in biofuels and biobased products; (H) an individual with expertise in energy and environmental analysis; (I) an individual with expertise in the economics of biofuels and biobased products; (J) an individual with expertise in agricultural economics; (K) an individual with expertise in plant biology and biomass feedstock development; (L) an individual with expertise in agronomy, crop science, or soil science; and (M) at the option of the points of contact, other members.  

Further, nominations this year are needed for the following categories: “(I) An individual with expertise in the economics of biofuels and biobased products; (H) an individual with expertise in energy and environmental analysis; and (J) an individual with expertise in agricultural economics.”  The deadline for nominations is June 30, 2018.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 24, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that, as part of the DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO) support to small businesses, BETO has awarded approximately $2 million, out of $13 million awarded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), to 13 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants.  DOE states that these small businesses are “improving the state of technology for algae crop development and harvesting, driving down the cost of converting wet organic waste streams to biofuels and bioproducts, and increasing the carbon efficiency of biomass conversion.”  Awardees come from across the United States, including Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, California, Washington, Colorado, and Hawaii.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that it will fund 87 new projects across 34 states, totaling nearly $13 million in funding.  This funding is part of the 219 grants totaling $34 million awarded to 183 small businesses in 41 states through the DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Nine EERE technology offices are funding ten Phase I topic areas (Advanced Manufacturing I & II, Bioenergy, Buildings, Fuel Cells, Geothermal. Solar, Vehicles, Water, and Wind) across 29 subtopics.  The announcement states that DOE technology offices “award Phase I grants to small businesses that demonstrate technical feasibility for innovations during the first phase of their research,” most Phase I awards “are for $150,000 for less than one year,” and, if completed successfully, “Phase I projects are eligible for … Phase II funding awards [that] provide up to $1 million or up to $1.5 million, depending on the technology, and an award known as a sequential Phase II award can provide up to an additional $1 million.”  

The full list of EERE-funded projects, that includes 13 bioenergy projects, is available online.  The bioenergy companies receiving funding are:  Emergy LLC; Media and Process Technology Inc.; SarTec Corporation; TDA Research, Inc.; Bio-Missions LLC; Faraday Technology, Inc.;  Industrial Microbes, Inc.; Lygos; Global Algae Innovations, Inc. (three projects); MicroBio Engineering; and Molecule Works Inc.

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced a joint multi-topic funding opportunity for $12 million as part of the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) initiative. This collaborative research and development effort supports the research of fuel and engine innovation that maximize vehicle performance and fuel efficiency, and is accelerating the introduction of affordable, scalable, and sustainable biofuels and high-efficiency, low-emission vehicle engines. The current funding opportunity will prioritize research projects in the following areas: batteries and electrification; materials; technology integration and energy efficient mobility systems; energy-efficient commercial off-road vehicle technologies; and co-optimized advanced engine and fuel technologies to improve fuel economy. Concept papers are due May 29, 2018, and full applications are due July 13, 2018, through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Exchange website.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 3, 2018, DOE’s BETO announced four funding opportunities totaling up to $78 million to support early-stage bioenergy research and development. The Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) include:

  • BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis (up to $28 million);
  • Efficient Carbon Utilization 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).


DOE Secretary of Energy Rick Perry stated that through these funding opportunities, “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.”  Letters of Intent for these FOAs are due May 30, 2018, and full applications are due June 27, 2018.  More information is available on the BETO Funding Opportunities web page.

Tags: DOE, BETO

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 8, 2018, DOE’s BETO announced that it was sponsoring an Advanced Algal Systems Listening Session in Seattle, Washington on June 13, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is being held in conjunction with the 8th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels, and Bioproducts,
 
BETO states it is seeking feedback “from experts in algal biology, cultivation, and conversion on how to address early stage research and development barriers and opportunities for cost-competitive algal biofuels and bioproducts,” and the agenda will focus on “opportunities and challenges in integrating algal productivity and biomass yield improvements in scalable algae cultivation systems to achieve high yields.”  The listening session aims to gather stakeholder input about challenges and opportunities related to cultivation strategies for improving productivity and yield; and improving algal biomass value.  Registration and a draft agenda for the listening session can be found on the Algal Biofuels Strategy Workshops web page.

Tags: DOE, Algal

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 9, 2018, DOE announced up to $3 million in funding for advanced biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased products available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). This funding will go to two selected projects, with $1 million going to The University of Tennessee to develop an integrated biorefinery design that combines the production of liquid fuels and renewable chemicals, and $2 million funding a Northwestern University project to develop a rapid synthesis of next generation biofuels and bioproducts from lignocellulosic biomass. Both projects will lower the cost of production for biobased fuels and biochemicals, with a goal of resulting in less than $3 per gallon gasoline equivalent for advanced biofuels.

Tags: DOE, BRDI

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office has announced that the International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP) will present a webinar titled “Biofuels for the Marine Sector: New Opportunities and New Challengeson May 8, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (EDT) that will “give an overview of the maritime transportation sector, including its fuel and engine types, the fuel supply infrastructure, and the regulations on fuel specifications and [carbon dioxide (CO2)] emissions” and include discussion on the feasibility of current biofuels including their properties and supply.  Participation instructions are available online.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 1, 2018, DOE Secretary Rick Perry announced that up to $68.5 million in funding will be available for early-stage research of advanced vehicle technologies through DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).  The announcement states that the available funding “will enable more affordable mobility, strengthen domestic energy security, and enhance U.S. economic growth.”  Projects selected through this Vehicle Technologies Office funding opportunity will address the following:

  • Priorities in advanced batteries and electrification, including cyber security related to electric vehicle charging (up to $27 million);
  • Materials for both lighter weight vehicle structures and advanced powertrains (up to $6 million);
  • Technology integration and energy-efficient mobility systems (up to $20 million); and
  • Engines and fuels, including technologies for off-road applications (up to $3.5 million), as well as the co-optimization of engines and fuels (up to $12 million).
Concept papers for this funding opportunity are due May 29, 2018, and full applications will be due July 13, 2018.Information on the application requirements is available on the EERE Exchange website and Grants.gov.

 
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