- The Department of Energy will invest $118 million in 17 projects to accelerate biofuel production for transportation and manufacturing needs, according to a Jan. 26 press release.
- The projects at universities and private companies will receive grants ranging from $453,000 to $80 million, with most receiving $2 million. The department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office will administer the funds.
- The grants are part of a strategy to achieve more cost-competitive biofuel options in the U.S. while working towards the Biden administration’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
The selected projects are located in nine states and Washington, D.C. and fall under one of four categories:
- Pre-pilot scale-up of integrated biorefineries;
- pilot scale-up of integrated biorefineries;
- demonstration scale-up of integrated biorefineries; and
- gen-1 corn ethanol emission reduction.
The projects also align with a federal multi-agency strategy to decarbonize the transportation sector by 2050.
In January, the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Environmental Protection Agency released the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization. The strategy is a partnership among the agencies that also address the climate crisis and meet another of Biden’s goals: a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035.
17 projects to accelerate sustainable biofuel production
“Biofuels are a versatile tool because they have the immediate potential to power our ships, trains, airlines and heavy-duty vehicles—a huge contributor to total carbon emissions—with a significantly reduced carbon footprint,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.
The funding supports the agencies’ Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge, which would help reduce costs, improve sustainability and increase the production and use of sustainable aviation fuels.
The department has been doling out several rounds of funding for clean manufacturing. Last month, it announced $52 million for clean manufacturing research and development. And in December, the agency said it will invest $72 million for workforce training programs aimed at helping small manufacturers reduce their energy use.
“[The Department of Energy] investments are helping to build out a domestic bioenergy supply chain that increases America’s energy independence, creates jobs, and accelerates the adoption of cleaner fuels for our transportation needs,” Granholm said in a statement.