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.




On May 27, 2016, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced an investment of $8.8 million to increase production of advanced biofuels in 39 states. The USDA Advanced Biofuel Payment Program is providing the funding with payments being allocated based on the amount of advanced biofuels produced from non-corn kernel starch renewable biomass. Eligible feedstocks include crop residue, food waste, yard waste, vegetable oil, and animal fat. A full list of the 108 programs receiving payments is available online, with an average payment of $81,789. Applications are accepted annually for the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program with the next round of applications due October 31, 2016.




On May 16, 2016, the DOE's BETO invited applications for abstracts for the poster session of the ninth annual conference Bioenergy 2016: Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation. Poster abstracts are due by June 3, 2016, and must fit the following guidelines:

  • Not exceed the maximum of 300 words;
  • Explain validity and technical merit of the approach;
  • Discuss how the poster will be used to engage Bioenergy 2016 attendees;
  • Highlight applicability to BETO activities/Bioenergy 2016 theme; and
  • Provide clarity of motivation, methods, results, and conclusions.

Abstracts should be submitted to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with "Bioenergy 2016 Poster Application" in the subject line. The submission e-mail should also include the poster title, name and affiliation of author(s), curriculum vitae for principal author(s), and the interactive element of the poster. BETO will notify submitters of inclusion in the poster session by June 17, 2016.


In May of 2016, the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) awarded the University of Illinois and the University of Florida $300,000 to continue researching ultra-productive biofuel crops. The research project is called Plants Engineered To Replace Oil in Sugarcane and Sweet Sorghum (PETROSS), and this is the third round of funding that it will receive from ARPA-E. PETROSS is engineering sugarcane and sorghum to produce 20 percent oil, compared to the 0.05 percent oil that is naturally provided. So far 13 percent oil production has been achieved, with PETROSS continuing work to reach 20 percent yield though improved photosynthesis. The ARPA-E funding will also support a techno-economic analysis of converting the PETROSS oil into jet fuel, and phenotyping the PETROSS sugarcane and DNA.



On May 6, 2016, DOE announced the $90 million Project Development for Pilot and Demonstration Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower. As previously reported by BRAG, this funding opportunity is intended to support the construction of bioenergy infrastructure that utilizes advanced pretreatment, process, and convergence technologies. "The domestic bio-industry could play an important part in the growing clean energy economy and in reducing American dependence on imported oil," said Lynn Orr, DOE's Under Secretary for Science and Energy. Further, "[t]his funding opportunity will support companies that are working to advance current technologies and help them overcome existing challenges in bioenergy so the industry can meet its full potential."

There are three topic areas of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), covering: pilot scale production of biofuels from high impact cellulose, algal, or biogas feedstocks; demonstration scale production of biofuels from high impact cellulose, algal, or biogas feedstocks; and production of either biopower or biofuels from biosolids and other allowable wet waste feedstock streams. Funding will be distributed on a cost sharing basis with at least 50 percent of the total allowable cost for demonstration projects coming from non-Federal sources. Applicants should present the entire process of their project, as well as the value proposition, target markets, competitors, distribution channels, barriers to market penetration, and mitigation strategies for the proposed technology. Up to ten percent of the total Phase 1 project budget may be proposed for preparatory research and development. Applicants must submit a concept paper by June 6, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. (EDT), with the full application due by July 22, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. (EDT).

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