The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $18.6 million in funding for eight university and industry projects to develop biomass feedstocks to produce affordable biofuels and bioproducts that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Located in eight states, the projects will create good-paying jobs, support rural economies and encourage participation of underserved communities, all while putting the U.S. on a path to a clean and equitable energy economy.
“These critical investments represent DOE’s commitment to tackling the most challenging clean energy problems,” said Alejandro Moreno, Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. (EERE) “These projects have the potential to drastically reduce barriers to producing clean, sustainable biofuels and can jumpstart innovation in the clean energy bioeconomy.”
The selected projects support DOE’s investment in the development and production of biofuels and innovation and growth in agricultural industries and will help meet the SAF Grand Challenge goal of producing 35 billion gallons of low-GHG emission sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from domestic biomass and waste resources annually by 2050.
Currently, most biofuels are made from feedstocks such as corn grain and agricultural residues, forestry residues and solid and wet waste streams. To meet the growing demand for SAFs and other low-carbon biofuels, affordable feedstocks sources must be developed.
The selected projects will address critical bioenergy needs through two topic areas:
- Improving the production of environmentally sustainable and low-carbon feedstocks for bioenergy through climate-smart agricultural practices.
- Developing algae crop protection methods and strategies for algae cultivation systems.