The beautiful island of Kauai, Hawaii, is known for its pristine beaches and dramatic mountain ranges. But Kauai is not just a vacation spot; it is also the location of one of the largest algae biofuel production facilities in the United States.
Happy Bioenergy Day! Today, bioenergy organizations across North America are celebrating the benefits of bioenergy by holding events and open houses in their local communities. Here at the Energy Department we’re celebrating as well, with extra coverage of bioenergy successes and news all month.
Decomposition of dead trees occurs naturally and is healthy for a forest ecosystem. However, too many dead trees makes the region prone to forest fires that are costly and dangerous to contain. Recent advances in biofuel technologies are bringing us closer to turning those dead trees into biofuels.
Across the nation, scientists are on a mission to produce affordable and sustainable biofuels and products from algae, including jet fuel and plastics. Algae scientists funded by the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office have been busy expanding the tools available to support breakthroughs in biology that could lead to major improvements in algae growth and productivity.
Algae are coming out of the pond and into the classroom, thanks to the significant efforts of the Algae Technology Education Consortium (ATEC) this past year. The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office is funding ATEC’s project to strengthen workforce capabilities in the algal biofuels industry.
A large part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector could be uniquely filled by biofuels and bioproducts. The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), in partnership with the national laboratories, academia, and private companies, is pursuing biofuel research and development to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and secure our energy independence.
A team of students from New York were recognized in Washington, D.C., as the winners of the first national run of the BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge, which provides high school students an opportunity to combine research, graphic design, and social media to learn about bioenergy and share their knowledge.
This summer, we’ll be gathering for our conference, Bioenergy 2016: Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation, on July 12–14, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Clean Energy Research & Education Foundation.
The inaugural 2016 Sustainable Transportation Summit will serve as a forum to share ideas and perspectives on opportunities to accelerate the commercialization and deployment of advanced transportation technologies and smart mobility systems over the next decade.
The 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review, which was just released today, captures the exciting achievements of the field of algal biofuels, as well as articulates new challenges, lessons learned, and critical next steps.
The Energy Department's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) works to enable a sustainable bioenergy industry that protects natural resources and advances environmental, economic, and social benefits. BETO recently sponsored a five-day Bioenergy Study Tour of the southeastern United States to highlight innovations that are bringing the industry one step closer to these goals.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) recent Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines Initiative (Co-Optima) seeks to combine previously independent areas of biofuels and engine-combustion research and development to design new fuels and engines that are co-optimized—designed in tandem to maximize vehicle performance and carbon efficiency.
Through a project supported by the Energy Department’s Vehicle Technologies Office, researchers at Stanford University have been able to produce silicon structures for lithium-ion batteries from rice husks, a waste product of this ubiquitous agricultural crop.
Advances in synthetic biology—which involves engineering biological systems for new uses—can offer innovative solutions to improve advanced biofuel production. This, in turn, can speed up the development and commercialization of biofuels, making them attractive and affordable to industrial manufacturers.
It will cost about $600 billion over the next 20 years to continue reliably transporting and treating wastewater, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Find out how the Department of Energy collaborated with the National Science Foundation and EPA to explore a smarter future for water treatment.
Recently I had the pleasure of briefing members of Congress on EERE’s groundbreaking fuel-engine co-optimization initiative. The new, multi-year project combines previously independent areas of biofuels and engine combustion research and development (R&D) to design new fuels and engines that are co-optimized—designed in tandem to both maximize vehicle performance and carbon efficiency.
This week at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Chief Scientist, Dr. Catherine Woteki, announced the release of the Federal Activities Report on the Bioeconomy. This report was developed to inform Americans of current federal agency activities that are helping to develop and support what we call the "bioeconomy"--an emerging part of the U.S. economy that relies on renewable biological resources to produce fuels, power, and bio-based products.
Methane is both a powerful energy source and a potent greenhouse gas. When it’s extracted from the earth as natural gas and burned for heating and electricity, it emits carbon dioxide (CO2) but burns more cleanly than some other energy sources such as coal. However, when methane escapes into the atmosphere, it traps 25 times more heat radiation than CO2. That’s why some people are concerned with the environmental consequences of methane leaks during the process of fracking.
On a bright, crisp October morning in Iowa, I had the privilege to speak at the grand opening of DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol biorefinery—the fourth biorefinery of its kind in the United States and the largest in the world. This impressive plant is equipped to produce 30 million gallons of ethanol each year from the leftover stalks and leaves of the corn plant, called corn stover.
This Halloween season, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is highlighting how waste can be “brought back to life” and turned into something useful. On average, Americans generate over 200 million tons of waste per year, or nearly 4.38 pounds per person per day. Significant opportunity exists to convert this and other waste sources into liquid transportation fuels.
At the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, we’re actively working to develop the advanced biofuels industry in a way that leads to positive impacts and that demonstrates responsible stewardship of the environment. Biofuel production is closely tied to the environment—for example, energy crops can affect soil and water resources as well as wildlife populations, and water and energy are required to convert energy crops to fuel at a biorefinery.