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 February 24, 2016, DOE published a notice of an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee in the Federal Register. The Committee is meeting to develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The agenda also includes updates on federal biomass research and development activities and budgets. The meeting will be held on March 8, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and March 9, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting and make oral statements regarding any item on the agenda. To attend or make a statement, contact Elliott Levine at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and Roy Tiley at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) at least five business days prior to the meeting.


 

On February 8, 2016, DOE announced up to $11.3 million to fund the development of flexible biomass-to-hydrocarbon biofuels conversion pathways that can produce biofuels or bioproducts based on market demands. BETO has a goal of meeting the cost target of $3/gallon gasoline equivalent (gge) for renewable hydrocarbon fuels produced from lignocellulosic biomass by 2022 and this funding opportunity should identify research and development (R&D) projects that will further this goal. There are two topic areas for this research:

  • Early Technology Readiness Level (TRL) (TRL 2-3) R&D to optimize one unit operation of the proposed conversion pathway.
     
  • Middle Technology Readiness Level (TRL 4-5) R&D to optimize and integrate multiple unit operations of the proposed conversion pathway.

Applicants should submit a concept paper by 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on February 26, 2016, to be eligible to submit a full application by 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on April 15, 2016. An informational webinar will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on February 16, 2016, for potential applicants.

Tags: funding, DOE

 

On February 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a request for information (RFI) from biofuels and bioproducts stakeholders on existing biofuels and bioproducts plant capabilities. The facilities should have the "capability to perform process verifications for biomass conversion pathways to biofuels, bioproducts, or intermediates that integrate multiple unit operations on a scale of approximately 0.5 or greater tons of dry biomass input per day." The RFI includes questions on: Technology Pathways; Unit Operations; Integration; Accessibility; Analytical Capabilities and Staff; and Permits. DOE intends to use the information gathered during this RFI to develop a comprehensive list of pilot or process development scale multi-user facility locations to assess existing capabilities and deficits of the biofuel and bioproduct industry. Responses to the RFI must be submitted electronically to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) no later than 5:00 p.m. (ET) on March 4, 2016. Please consult the RFI for further instructions on how to submit responses.


 

On January 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $15 million in funding for the development of algal biofuel intermediate technologies. Technology applicants should be likely to produce 3,700 gallons of algal biofuel intermediate per acre per year on an annualized average basis in an outdoor test environment by 2020. Applicants should also address a topic area within the priority areas of strain/productivity improvement; improvements in pre-processing technologies (harvesting, dewatering, and extraction and/or equivalent processes); and integration of cultivation with pre-processing technologies. Applicants must submit a concept paper by February 12, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. (EST), to be eligible to submit a full application by March 25, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. (EST).


 

On December 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap Progress Report. The report shows the timeline of achievements that have been made since 2014 when the Roadmap was originally created, including the new Renewable Fuel Standard rule, streamlined REAP applications and scoring criteria, expanded biomass definitions, and increased funding for a larger range of biofuel projects. The Roadmap was originally created to take advantage of biogas systems to reduce methane emissions while producing enough energy to power over three million homes by encouraging cost-effective strategies for voluntary methane emission reductions. The report identifies next steps that will occur within the next two years to further this goal, including new modeling efforts for biogas, innovation challenges, and an EPA website for anaerobic digestion and biogas.


 

On November 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. The meeting is intended to develop guidance promoting the research and development (R&D) of biobased fuel and product production. In addition to an opportunity for members of the public to make oral statements, the meeting will cover an update on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DOE biomass R&D activities, an update on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, and the California Perspective on Biofuels and Energy. The meeting will occur on November 18, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and November 19, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To attend or make oral statements, send an e-mail to Elliott Levine at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and Roy Tiley at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by November 12, 2015.


 

On Monday, October 26, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) presented “Bioproducts in the Federal Bioeconomy Portfolio Webinar,” a webinar on how the federal government is promoting sustainability through three different avenues: bioproducts research; commercialization; and market development.  The presenters on these topics were DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Technology Manager Nichole Fitzgerald; U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Deputy Program Manager Kate Lewis; and the Ohio State University Bioproducts Innovation Center’s Director Dennis Hall.  The webinar summary stated that “the creation of a robust, next-generation domestic bioenergy industry is one of the most important pathways for providing Americans with sustainable, renewable energy alternatives,” and “through research, development, and commercialization to produce renewable fuels and products sustainable and affordable, we can provide home-grown alternatives for the transportation, energy, and bioproducts sectors.”

We summarize below some webinar highlights:

  • There are substantial emissions reductions that bioproducts can provide compared to their fossil-derived counterparts (varying from 45 percent up to 86 percent).
  • Renewable chemicals have many positive bioeconomy contributions and few negative aspects.  Renewable chemicals help the bioeconomy in the following important ways:
    • Bolsters the economy (e.g., knowledge from bioproduct production can be transferred to biofuels production);
    • Market entry (e.g., corporations will support the bioeconomy through the purchase and use of sustainable products); and
    • Renewable chemicals are critical for economic success of advanced biofuel production (e.g., reduces risk by allowing biorefineries to pursue a higher value product).
  • National unaided awareness of biobased products has increased -- from 30 percent in 2013 up to 48 percent in 2014.
  • The U.S. biobased products industry had significant contributions to the economy in 2013, including:
    • Adding four million American jobs, as well as adding 1.64 more jobs per every biobased products job; and
    • Adding $369 billion to the economy.

More information on biobased issues is available on Bergeson and Campbell, P.C.’s (B&C®) website under subject “Biobased Products, Biotechnology.”


 

On October 2, 2015, at the 2015 Algae Biomass Organization Summit, the Algae Foundation announced a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded education initiative to enhance algae workforce development. The Algae Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to expanding the algae industry though research, education, and outreach, and plays an important part in advancing the bioeconomy beyond ethanol. The DOE-funded initiative will focus on developing a college degree in algal cultivation technologies that will in turn strengthen workforce capabilities for commercial-scale algae production. The multi-year plan will include the formation of the Algae Technology Educational Consortium (ATEC) that will provide expertise needed to enhance the development of a curriculum and supplemental training materials.


 

On August 10, 2015, the Federal Register included a notice announcing an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee in Washington D.C. on August 27, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and August 28, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The meeting is open to the public and is intended to develop guidance to promote the research and development of the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The meeting will also include an update on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass R&D activities; the Biomass Research and Development Initiative; and panels on Measuring Environmental Indicators and Assessment, Economic and Bioeconomy Market Development, and Biomass Resource Development. To attend the meeting or to make oral statements, contact Elliott Levine at (202) 586-1476 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); or Roy Tiley at (410) 997-7778 ext. 220, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), at least five business days before the meeting.

As a reminder, DOE is looking for additional biobased stakeholders to join the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. The deadline for nominations is this Friday, August 14, 2015.


 

As reported in last week's update, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy put out a call for nominations for candidates to join the Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory Committee. The Committee meets quarterly, typically for two days, and advises DOE and USDA on the Biomass R&D Initiative. The Committee is looking specifically for engineers or scientists from non-federal government or academia; an individual affiliated with the biobased industrial and commercial products industry; and an individual with experience with agronomy, crop science, or soil science. The Committee is also interested in individuals with experience with biorefinery process engineering or biobased coproducts that enable fuel production. Nominations are due on August 14, 2015, and should be e-mailed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


 
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