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 May 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced that scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a new, plant-derived, stretchy material that outperforms the adhesiveness of the natural chemical that gives mussels the ability to stick to rocks and ships. Composed of lignin and epoxy, the biobased material has the ability to self-heal and elongate up to 2,000 percent. Researchers at ORNL developed a method to extract a specific form of lignin, which results in a molecular structure that is very sticky and elastic. The new biobased lignin shows promise of industrial use, including hydrogels, glues, and coatings.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 15, 2019, DOE EERE’s BETO announced the deadline for concept paper submissions for a $79 million funding opportunity for bioenergy research and development (R&D): June 3, 2019. This funding opportunity includes biopower, biofuels, and bioproducts, aiming to reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value products from waste or biomass resources. The opportunity includes ten topic areas:

  • Cultivation Intensification Processes for Algae
     
  • Biomass Component Variability and Feedstock Conversion Interface
     
  • Efficient Wood Heaters
     
  • Systems Research of Hydrocarbon Biofuel Technologies
     
  • Optimization of Biomass-Derived Jet Fuel Blends
     
  • Renewable Energy from Urban and Suburban Wastes
     
  • Advanced Bioprocessing and Agile BioFoundry
     
  • Plastics in the Circular Carbon Economy
     
  • Rethinking Anaerobic Digestion
     
  • Reducing Water, Energy, and Emissions in Bioenergy

For further details, see the EERE Exchange website.

Tags: DOE, Biofuel, EERE

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 7, 2019, Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding opportunity of up to $89 million in support of innovative, advanced manufacturing research and development (R&D) projects. The opportunity aims to tackle key DOE priorities, which include domestic manufacturing for energy storage. Perry stated that “[e]mbracing new technologies that drive innovation in American manufacturing is the key to creating real-world progress that significantly improves energy efficiency in manufacturing. . . . By focusing on energy-related advanced manufacturing technologies, we are building a new era of manufacturing that will stimulate the economy, create jobs and build American energy independence.” DOE’s funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is requesting proposals in three key areas that will drive innovation catalysis around manufacturing and reduce industrial process energy intensity:

  • Topic 1: Innovations for the Manufacture of Advanced Materials
     
  • Topic 2: Lower Thermal Budget Processes for Industrial Efficiency & Productivity 
     
  • Topic 3: Connected, Flexible and Efficient Manufacturing Facilities and Energy Systems 
The initiative will be led by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), which anticipates making up to 55 awards for up to three years. The funding application and submission requirements can be accessed here. Concept papers are due on June 20, 2019.
Tags: DOE

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

From March 4-8, 2019, DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) hosted the 2019 Project Peer Review in Denver, CO. According to BETO, this was one of the largest Peer Review events in BETO history, with almost 600 attendees present. The purpose of the event was for bioenergy researchers to present results from early-stage R&D projects across BETO’s technology areas. These presentations, as of May 2, 2019, have been made available online for public access, and include presentations from government, national labs, academia, and industry sectors.

Tags: DOE, BETO

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 2, 2019, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced funding of approximately $11 million for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II research projects. Small businesses that demonstrated technical feasibility for innovations during Phase I were required to compete for Phase II funding. Eleven projects have been awarded the funds, which will be used to build prototypes or processes development. The selections were made by EERE’s four technology offices: AMO, BETO, Building Technologies Office (BTO), and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO).

Tags: DOE, Research

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 3, 2019, DOE announced over $79 million in funding for bioenergy R&D, which includes biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. Under Secretary of Energy, Mark W. Menezes, stated that the FOA will contribute to ensure the nation’s competitive advantage in the bioeconomy and offer more energy choices. The FOA’s objectives are to reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value products from waste or biomass resources. The FOA includes ten topic areas:

  • Cultivation Intensification Processes for Algae
     
  • Biomass Component Variability and Feedstock Conversion Interface
     
  • Efficient Wood Heaters
     
  • Systems Research of Hydrocarbon Biofuel Technologies
     
  • Optimization of Biomass-Derived Jet Fuel Blends
     
  • Renewable Energy from Urban and Suburban Wastes
     
  • Advanced Bioprocessing and Agile BioFoundry
     
  • Plastics in the Circular Carbon Economy
     
  • Rethinking Anaerobic Digestion
     
  • Reducing Water, Energy, and Emissions in Bioenergy
For further details, the full FOA can be found on the EERE Exchange website.
Tags: DOE, Biofuel

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 16, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the winners of DOE’s Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge, which was held at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO, from April 12-14, 2019. The Challenge consisted of ten contests in which student teams designed highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.  The winners are teams that best blended architectural engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, smart energy production, and building efficiency.

Tags: DOE, EERE, Solar

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a new prize competition to support and accelerate the development of pumped storage hydropower (PSH). The prize, titled Furthering Advancements to Shorten Time (FAST) Commissioning for Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH), seeks innovative solutions and technologies that can assist PSH developers facing non-regulatory challenges. It would also support DOE’s goal to reduce PSH time commission from ten years to five. FAST PSH will provide winners with cash and in-kind laboratory support prizes. Prize competition concepts could include standardization of equipment, application of advanced manufacturing, new layouts, creative construction management, or improved construction equipment. In the first stage of the competition, ten finalists will be selected for 50 hours of support over three months from the FAST national laboratory partners. This initial stage will be in preparation for a pitch contest with up to $950,000 of combined cash prizes and vouchers support, and up to three winners. FAST PSH is part of a larger effort conducted by DOE in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest Laboratory. Part of this effort also involves the development of a baseline framework to assist industry and understand costs, time, and risk burdens associated with PSH. The first stage of the prize competition closes on May 24, 2019.

Tags: DOE, EERE

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 4, 2019, DOE EERE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the appearance of 23 journal articles from some of the nation’s leading biomass experts in the journal Frontiers in Energy Research. The collection of articles, titled Advancements in Biomass Feedstock Preprocessing: Conversion Ready Feedstocks, focuses on the many years of research and development into biomass preprocessing that has been largely supported by DOE EERE’s BETO. According to the announcement, researchers from Idaho National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory were part of more than 100 authors representing more than 30 research institutions, universities, and private companies who contributed to the special issue containing these 23 articles.


 
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