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In May 2011, the Bioenergy Technologies Office began sending out a monthly "News Blast," highlighting Office events, solicitations, publications, related blogs, and other relevant information. This page recaps the most recent news blast and archives the past blasts by month.

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October 2015 Blast Recap

Below are some highlights from the October 2015 News Blast.

New Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery will be Largest in the World

DuPont’s new cellulosic ethanol facility, in Nevada, Iowa, will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow, with attendance from Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Director Dr. Jonathan Male, along with senior government officials, DuPont leaders, and local farmers. The biorefinery will be the largest cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in the world and is expected to produce about 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. According to DuPont, the biorefinery has impacted job and financial opportunities—construction workers, local farmers, facility employees, and others have benefitted from development of the plant. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has supported DuPont by funding key bioenergy conversion technologies and collaborating with DuPont on research and development projects. In total, DOE has contributed more than $51 million dollars to advance various technologies that helped bring DuPont’s new biorefinery to fruition. This a major step forward in the emerging production of cellulosic ethanol in the United States.

Energy-Positive Water Resource Recovery Workshop Report Released

In April, BETO co-hosted the Energy-Positive Water Resource Recovery Workshop with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation to discuss barriers to the development and deployment of future water resource recovery facilities. Read the workshop summary report on the outcomes of the workshop.

The Algae Foundation Announces New DOE-Funded Education Initiative to Enhance Algae Workforce Development

Interested in pursuing a career in algae? We’ve got some exciting news! The Algae Foundation—a nonprofit organization committed to expanding the algae industry through research, education, and outreach—announced plans at the 2015 Algae Biomass Organization Summit to develop an innovative degree program focusing on algal cultivation technologies with funding from our office.

New BETO Fact Sheets Profile the Emerging Bioeconomy by State

How is funding from BETO a part of the emerging bioeconomy in some states? Find out with our new state fact sheets. For select states, these fact sheets give information about efforts to develop the advanced bioenergy industry.

Success for Energy Action Month and National Bioenergy Day

October was Energy Action Month, and October 21 was National Bioenergy Day. To celebrate, BETO published weekly blog posts and sent out weekly e-blasts this month on our FY 2015 achievements for terrestrial feedstocks and algae, conversion, demonstration and market transformation, and analysis and sustainability. In DOE’s Forrestal Building in Washington, D.C., we set up bioenergy exhibits and displayed bioenergy impacts posters throughout the building. October may be ending, but we will continue throughout the year to provide news and information on the latest at BETO.

Pilot Plant Completes Two 1,000-Hour Ethanol Performance Runs

ICM Inc.’s pilot plant in St. Joseph, Missouri, recently completed two 1,000-hour performance runs of its cellulosic ethanol process. This BETO-funded project is an important step toward the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass and energy sorghum.

BETO Project Improves Production of Renewable Chemical from Cellulosic Feedstocks

We are excited to announce another achievement in bioproducts research funded by our office. Renewable chemical company Genomatica recently advanced the commercial possibilities of producing high-quality chemicals from cellulosic biomass, increasing the range of feedstock choices for producing bioproducts.

Sandia Algae Researchers Cut Costs with Improved Nutrient Recycling

A new process developed by scientists at Sandia National Laboratories, OpenAlgae, and Texas A&M AgriLife Research is a huge step forward in making algal biofuels available to the American public. They developed a new process that recycles two-thirds of the critical nutrients (nitrogen and phosphate) needed to grow algae, reducing the cost of producing biofuel from algae and benefitting the environment.

Algenol Announces Commercial Algal Ethanol Fuel Partnership

Algenol will be teaming up with Protec Fuel to market and distribute commercial ethanol produced from algae. The first two gas stations offering the fuel are expected to open next year in Tampa and Orlando, Florida. This project, which was funded in part by BETO, is a big step forward in bringing affordable, sustainable, and clean transportation fuels to the U.S. market.

DOE Blog: Pumpkin Power: Turning Food Waste Into Energy

Ever wonder what happened to all the neighborhood jack-o-lanterns after Halloween is over? Most end up a part of the over 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in the United States every year. Thanks to new biofuel technologies, we have the capability to turn MSW into valuable jet fuel.

EERE Blog: Energy Department Harvesting Technology Goes Commercial

Thanks to the Energy Department’s investments in new harvesting equipment, biorefineries are cutting their costs to produce biofuels from non-food crops. One example is a self-loading trailer that picks up an entire load of 36 stacked bales of corn plant residue in only 10 minutes! Biofuel company Abengoa has ordered 40 of these trailers to use at its cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Hugoton, Kansas. This is just one way the Energy Department is helping biofuels from non-food crops become an option for American consumers.

EERE Blog: Plant Products are a Growing Research Area

The next generation of plastics and lubricants could be produced from ‪algae‬ or other organically grown material, instead of fossil fuels. BETO is helping to develop and commercialize bio-based alternatives for the many uses of a whole barrel of oil. These bioproducts can enable the production of advanced biofuels.

EERE Blog: Woody Biomass Converted to Gasoline by Five-Company Team

A team led by Haldor Topsoe set out with Energy Department funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to produce 10,000 gallons of gasoline from woody biomass. Through their collaborative efforts, Haldor Topsoe, with the support of The Gas Technology Institute, Andritz, UPM-Kymmene Corporation, and Phillips 66, succeeded in producing the gasoline, which passed a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency engine and emission test for registration as a transportation fuel.

EERE Blog: Three Tools are Enhancing Environmental Benefits of Biofuels

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. Three tools from the national laboratories—WATER, LEAF, and GREET—are providing data to help develop a biofuels industry that is not only cost competitive, but environmentally sustainable, as well.

News Blast Archive

Click on a link below to view a PDF version of the blast from the corresponding month:


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