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 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).


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.


On July 15, 2015, DOE posted a solicitation notice for candidates for the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. According to the notice, DOE is specifically looking for candidates with experience in biobased industrial/commercial products, non-federal government engineers or scientists, academia with expertise in biofuel and biobased products, and experts in crop or soil science. Candidates with other experience can also be nominated. Nominations should be submitted by August 14, 2015.


On June 30, 2015, 46 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the EPA, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and USDA stating that "[f]ederal policies across all departments and agencies must remove any uncertainties and contradictions through a clear, unambiguous message that forest bioenergy is part of the nation's energy future." Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) headed the letter and pointed to the recognized carbon neutrality of forest biomass as a renewable resource and asked that the federal government consistently recognize the energy source when making regulations to reduce emissions.


On July 9, 2015, the DOE announced a public workshop to collect information about challenges that occur during coproduction of biobased chemicals, products, and biofuels. The Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels Workshop was organized by the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and will cover the following topics:

  1. Identifying and evaluating economic drivers for producing bioproducts.
  2. Identifying and prioritizing targets for bioproducts produced from biofuel waste streams, coproduced with biofuels, or produced at standalone facilities.
  3. Identifying research and development challenges associated with bioproducts produced from biofuel waste streams, coproduced with biofuels, or produced at standalone facilities.
  4. Identifying environmental considerations (i.e., life-cycle analysis), carbon percentage dedicated to fuels vs. products (i.e., split stream), and ideal intermediates for bioproduct production to enable biofuels.

The workshop will be held on July 16, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (MDT) in Westminster, Colorado. Attendees must preregister online before July 15, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. (MDT) as space is limited.


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.


It is not too late to register for Bioenergy 2015, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and the Clean Energy Research and Education Foundation (CEREF), and taking place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on June 23–24, 2015.

Speakers include Jonathan Male, Director, BETO; Franklin (Lynn) Orr, Under Secretary for Science and Energy, DOE; Robert M. Simon, Principal Advisor to the Director for Energy, Transportation, and Resources, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President; and Gregory L. Rorrer, Program Director for the Energy for Sustainability Program in the National Science Foundation's Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems. Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) Science Advisor and Senior Chemist for BRAG affiliate Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., will be at Bioenergy 2015.

Bioenergy 2015 program highlights include:

Plenary Sessions

  • Policy and Market Overview
  • Biofuels in a Global Marketplace
  • Early Market Adopters
  • Fuels of the Future: Accelerating the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines
  • Biofuels and Sustainability: Acknowledging Challenges and Confronting Misconceptions

Breakout Sessions

  • Biomass Feedstocks for the Bioeconomy
  • Innovations in Basic Science across Agencies and Offices to Enable Bioenergy
  • Bringing Biorefineries into the Mainstream
  • The Pitch
  • The Future of Algae-Based Biofuels
  • New/Emerging Pathways
  • Biogas and Beyond: Challenges and Opportunities for Advanced Biofuels from Wet-Waste Feedstocks
  • Reaching Your Stakeholders: Effectively Engaging and Educating Key Audiences
  • Growing a Water-Smart Bioeconomy
  • The Changing Landscapes for Biobased Chemicals: A Decade After the Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass
  • Renewable Gaseous Fuels
  • How States are Promoting Advanced Biofuels
Tags: DOE, events


On May 20, 2015, the House voted to pass the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806) (COMPETES), a research funding bill that was originally enacted in 2007 to further U.S. scientific and technological advantages. The new version of COMPETES increases funding for nuclear energy and fossil fuel research programs, while cutting clean and renewable energy programs. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will have funding reduced by 30 percent, or nearly $500 million, while the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy will see funding cut by 50 percent. The Obama Administration has threatened to veto the bill, stating that "the Administration believes that H.R. 1806 would be damaging to the Administration's actions to move American competitiveness, innovation and job growth forward through a world-leading science, technology and innovation enterprise."

‹ First  < 16 17 18 19 20 >  Last ›