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Bioenergy News

July 23, 2015
BETO Partners Win 20th Annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

Two of the six winners of the 20th Annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards—LanzaTech and Algenol—have active projects with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO). The awards are sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and the National Academy of Sciences, and recognize outstanding chemical technologies that promote environmental and economic benefits using green chemistry. The 2015 awards ceremony was held on July 13, 2015, and hosted by the National Academy of Sciences. A panel of American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute® experts selected the winners for their incorporation of green chemistry principals into chemical design, manufacturing, and use.

July 15, 2015
BETO-Funded Study Finds Increased Carbon Intensity from Canadian Oil Sands

A recently released study from Argonne National Laboratory shows that gasoline and diesel refined from Canadian oil sands have a higher carbon impact than fuels derived from conventional domestic crude sources.

July 9, 2015
Energy Department Awards $18 Million to Develop Valuable Bioproducts and Biofuels from Algae

The Energy Department today announced six projects that will receive up to $18 million in funding to reduce the modeled price of algae-based biofuels to less than $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) by 2019. This funding supports the development of a bioeconomy that can help create green jobs, spur innovation, improve the environment, and achieve national energy security.

June 30, 2015
Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Photo credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab
Innovative Breakthrough Demonstrated for Biological Ethanol Production

Microvi Biotechnologies, a leading innovator of biocatalytic processes, together with the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has demonstrated a major breakthrough to biological ethanol production. 

June 22, 2015
BETO Seeks Stakeholder Input on the Use of Advanced Biofuel Blends in Small Engines

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office has released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking stakeholder input on the following topics related to the use of advanced biofuel blends in small engines

June 17, 2015
Notice of Intent to Issue Funding Opportunity for Innovative Bioenergy Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announces its intent to issue, on behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) targeting innovative technologies and solutions to help advance bioenergy development.

June 9, 2015
Cropped view of the winning infographic “Cellulosic Ethanol.”
Winning Team Announced for 2015 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge Pilot

Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Director Jonathan Male announced the winner and finalists of the 2015 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge Pilot in a special webinar awards ceremony on June 3, 2015.

May 20, 2015
DOE Announces Webinars on Biofuel Affordability and Tools for Evaluating Tribal Energy Efficiency

EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to training for the clean energy workforce.

May 6, 2015
Battelle’s hydrotreatment system converts bio-oil into biofuel. Photo courtesy of Battelle.
Milestone Reached: New Process Reduces Cost and Risk of Biofuel Production from Bio-Oil Upgrading

Battelle—a nonprofit research and development organization that operates many of the national laboratories—reached an Energy Department project milestone to demonstrate at least 1,000 hours of bio-oil hydrotreatment on a single catalyst charge. Typically, it takes many catalysts to convert a bio-oil intermediate into biofuel, making the conversion process expensive. Battelle’s new process substantially reduces the cost and risk of biofuel production and helps make the process more commercially viable.

May 4, 2015
Agave sisilana growing in East Africa. Image courtesy of Jeff Cameron.
Report Explains How Bioenergy Supports Global Sustainability Goals

According to an international report on bioenergy and land use, informed management of bioenergy crops can actually alleviate factors contributing to food insecurity, as well as provide practical avenues to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote sustainable energy production, and preserve biodiversity.

April 29, 2015
Peer Review Presentations Now Available Online

The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) hosted the 2015 Project Peer Review from March 23–27, 2015 in Alexandria, Virginia. The individual project and plenary presentations from the week are now available online.

April 20, 2015
BETO-Funded Team Honored by the American Chemical Society

Two Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) scientists were part of a team honored at the 249th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting & Exposition on March 25, 2015. The team, which consisted of John Frye and Alan Zacher of PNNL and Todd Werpy of Archer Daniels Midland Company, received the ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry for creating a safe, commercial process for producing propylene glycol from renewable sources.

April 3, 2015
Update Released to BETO’s Multi-Year Program Plan

The Bioenergy Technologies Office is pleased to announce the release of its newly updated Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP). The MYPP sets forth the goals and structure of the Office. This latest version presents a merged conversion research and development (R&D) section, the renaming of the demonstration and market transformation area, and emerging work in wet waste-to-energy feedstocks.

March 30, 2015
BETO Deputy Director Publishes Commentary on Development of Algae as Renewable Energy Source

Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Deputy Director Dr. Valerie Sarisky-Reed’s commentary, “Algal Progress Report,” was published in the February edition of the bimonthly research journal Industrial Biotechnology. Her commentary details the promise of algae as a renewable energy source and describes how many BETO-funded research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects have resulted in significant technological advances to help overcome challenge of using algae for biofuel production.

March 11, 2015
Fermenter used in the scale-up of malonic acid.| Photo courtesy of Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab
Valuable Chemical Produced from Renewables Instead of Petroleum

Researchers at Lygos, Inc., an industrial biotechnology company, achieved a critical breakthrough in the cleaner production of malonic acid, a valuable chemical used to manufacture many products, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, and specialty materials. More than a decade ago, a report prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy identified malonic acid as one of the top 30 value-added chemicals to be produced from biomass-derived sugar.

March 3, 2015
Department of Agriculture and Energy Department Announce Up to $8.7 Million through the Interagency Biomass Research and Development Initiative

The U.S. Department Agriculture in collaboration with the Energy Department announced that up to $8.7 million in funding will be made available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil by supporting the development of bioenergy feedstocks, biofuels, and biobased products.

February 25, 2015
NREL Report Provides Documentation of the Advanced Biorefinery Landscape

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a report in January 2015 on the status of the non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels industry in the United States. The report, “2013 Survey of Non-Starch Ethanol and Renewable Hydrocarbon Biofuels Producers,” is the first of its kind to provide publically available, open source documentation on the state of the advanced biorefinery landscape.

February 24, 2015
Innovative Bioenergy Process Recognized for Excellence in Technology Transfer

The Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) recently won a 2015 Excellence in Technology Transfer Award for developing an innovative process that uses heat and pressure to convert

February 20, 2015
Energy Department Announces $10 Million to Develop Innovative Bioenergy Technologies

The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announces the selection of seven projects across the country to receive up to $10 million to support innovative technologies and solutions to help advance bioenergy development.

February 19, 2015
DOE Announces Webinars on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's FY2016 Budget Request, and More

EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to training for the clean energy workforce. Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts.

February 6, 2015
BETO Ranks High in Biofuels Digest’s Top 125 in the Advanced Bioeconomy

Biofuels Digest recently released its “Top 125 in the Advanced Bioeconomy,” ranking Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Director Dr. Jonathan Male, Deputy Director Dr. Valerie Reed, Technology Manager Dr. Joyce Yang, and Lead Analyst Zia Haq at number 20.

February 6, 2015
President Obama’s FY16 Budget Request Proposes Increased Funding for BETO

President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request was released Monday, proposing funding levels for the U.S. Department of Energy, including $246 million for the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).

January 28, 2015
New Enzyme Speeds Up Biomass-to-Sugar Conversion

Scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed an enzyme—called CelA—that can convert biomass such as trees, grasses, and agricultural residue to sugars up to 14 times faster and much more cheaply than competing catalysts used in biofuel production.

January 23, 2015
New Online Tool Expands Analysis of Biofuels’ Water Impact

Last week, Argonne National Laboratory released a new version of the Water Assessment for Transportation Energy Resources (WATER) online tool. As with the previous two versions, WATER 3.0 quantifies the water footprint of various biofuel pathways, providing details of the water consumption required for the production of biofuels.

December 18, 2014
BETO Partner Secures Strategic Financing Commitment

On December 11, 2014, biomass supply company Genera Energy Inc., announced that it received a strategic financing commitment from energy investment firm, WindSail Capital Group.