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 August 27, 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding for two projects focused on the development of next-generation biofuels. Texas A&M University will receive up to $2.5 million to support its efforts in developing a single-unit process to convert lignin in the production of bioplastics, and Ohio University will receive up to $1.5 million for its work in developing a continuous flow electrochemical reactor that upgrades waste lignin to biobased phenol substitutes.


 

 

On August 14, 2015, the Department of Energy's (DOE) BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) announced the creation of a microbe that increases isobutanol yields by a factor of ten. The study, published in Metabolic Engineering, expanded upon a 2011 study where researchers were able to engineer genetically a microbe to produce isobutanol directly from cellulose. The new study used a higher yielding microbe with similar engineered traits, resulting in consolidated bioprocessing efficiency. This progress towards the commercialization of biobased isobutanol is important because its energy density and octane values are close to those of gasoline, allowing it to be used as either a direct replacement for gasoline or a chemical feedstock for a wide range of products.


 

 

On July 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $18 million in funding for six projects to develop bioproducts and biofuels from algae. The funding is intended to reduce the cost of algae-based biofuels to less than $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) by 2019 to help reach DOE's target of $3 per gge for advanced algal biofuels by 2030. The projects that were selected for the funding are run by Producing Algae and Co-Products for Energy (PACE), Marine Algae Industrialization Consortium (MAGIC), Global Algae Innovations, Arizona State University, the University of California, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The projects aim to increase algal biofuel efficiency and sustainability by maximizing the productivity and recovery of materials used in fuel production, as well as researching ways to protect algae production ponds and ensure crop health by developing probiotic bacteria to fight pond infections and infestations.


 
United, "United Airlines Purchases Stake In Fulcrum BioEnergy With $30 Million Investment"
Microvi, "Innovative Microvi Bio-Ethanol Technology Validated At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory"
Avantium, "Avantium's PEF Plastic At The EXPO 2015 In Milan"
The Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels, "New Research Programs For Cheaper And More Efficient Biofuels"
IOPScience: Environmental Research Letters, "Comparative Water Use By Maize, Perennial Crops, Restored Prairie, And Poplar Trees In The US Midwest"
International Renewable Energy Agency, "Renewable Energy Can Unlock Socio-Economic Benefits for Islands, IRENA Reports Find"
International Renewable Energy Agency, "New IRENA Platform Supports Renewable Energy Innovation, Quality and Collaboration"
UPM, "UPM Showcases The Biofore Concept Car At ZELLCHEMING-Expo 2015"
Eco Composites, "Bio Focus At Composites Europe 2015"

The articles featured in "Other News" are drawn from a number of sources and reflect media coverage of biobased and renewable products and companies. An article's inclusion does not imply that BRAG endorses, supports, or verifies its contents or expressed opinions. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication.


 

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $55 million in funding for projects to accelerate biomass development and develop generator technologies under the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The funding will be divided between two of ARPA-E's programs, GENerators for Small Electrical and Thermal Systems (GENSETS) and Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture (TERRA). GENSETS will receive $25 million to support 12 projects to improve generator technologies that will provide more affordable and efficient residential Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. CHP takes otherwise wasted head and uses it for water and home heating, reducing energy costs. The GENSETS program intends to use the 12 projects to focus on internal combustion engines, Stirling engines, microturbines, and solidstate devices to develop one-kilowatt CHP systems that are energy efficient and affordable for residential homes. TERRA will receive $30 million to support six projects with the goal of improving sorghum varieties for biofuel production by developing improved plant remote sensing, analysis, and breeding methods. The six project teams will identify limitations with the physical and genetic characteristics of the plant, and will create advanced algorithms to analyze data and predict plant growth based on recorded characteristics of the plant. A large public database will also be created with sorghum genotypes and field phenotypes, allowing a greater community of scientists to improve sorghum and bioenergy crops.


 
Uganda Media Centre, "Cabinet pproves The Biofuels Bill, 2014"
National Marine Manufacturers Association, "Recreational Boating Industry Turning to Biobutanol as Alternative Biofuel"
University of Manchester, "Mould Unlocks New Route to Biofuels"
KiwiNet, "KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards 2015 Winners Announced"
Phys.org, "Straw-Insulated Houses Beat Petroleum-Based Alternatives"

 

 
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