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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January 2015 Blast Recap
Below are some highlights from the January 2015 News Blast.
WATER 3.0 Expands Analysis of Biofuels’ Water Impact
The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is proud to announce an exciting development in our sustainability work. Argonne National Laboratory recently released a new version of the Water Assessment for Transportation Energy Resources (WATER) online tool. Notable improvements are the addition of a county-level analysis of biofuels impact on water and an analysis of wood residue as a feedstock. As with the previous two versions, WATER 3.0 quantifies the water footprint of various biofuel pathways—helping developers and stakeholders gain a detailed understanding of the water consumption involved in different types of biofuel production.
New Enzyme Speeds Up Biomass-to-Sugar Conversion
Scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed an enzyme (CelA) that can convert biomass such as trees, grasses, and agricultural residue to sugars up to 14 times faster and more cost efficiently than competing catalysts used in biofuel production.
BioenergizeME Is Back!
The spring 2015 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge, where students compete to design the top bioenergy infographic, has officially started! Sign up today for a chance to put your school or organization on the BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge Map. Check out our new and improved Web page for tools and resources that help make participation in this challenge fun and easy.
Infographics must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. Central Time on March 20, and the National Bioenergy Social Media Campaign will take place from April 13–23. To participate or ask questions, email BioenergizeME@ee.doe.gov with the following information:
- Educator’s Name
- Educator’s Email Address
- School or Organization Name
- School or Organization Location (City, State, and Zip Code).
BETO Releases Process Integration and Carbon Efficiency Workshop Summary Report
On June 11–12, 2014, BETO hosted the Process Integration and Carbon Efficiency Workshop in Lakewood, Colorado, to discuss research and development opportunities related to the efficient production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass. Learn about the challenges and barriers identified during the workshop in the recently released workshop summary report.
BETO Website Has a New Look for the New Year
The BETO website has a new look for the new year! Improvements to the home page help ensure the most up-to-date information is easily accessible. Recent changes include a revised left-hand navigation structure, a new layout featuring updated home page icons for program areas and top resources, and a more prominently featured blog section.
BETO 2015 Project Peer Review
BETO is hosting the 2015 Project Peer Review on March 23–27 at the Hilton Mark Center, in Alexandria, Virginia. Approximately 185 projects in BETO’s research, development, and demonstration portfolio will be presented to the public and systematically reviewed by external subject-matter experts from industry, academia, and federal agencies.
BETO Partner Secures Strategic Financing Commitment
Biomass supply company Genera Energy Inc. recently announced that it received a strategic financing commitment from the energy investment firm, WindSail Capital Group. This private financing agreement is an indicator of the finance industry’s increased confidence in bioenergy technologies. BETO provided funding to Genera in 2010 to develop a switchgrass harvesting, transport, and storage system as one of five high-tonnage feedstock logistics projects.
BETO Says Farewell to Glenn Doyle
Glenn Doyle, BETO’s Demonstration & Market Transformation Technology Manager, retired earlier this month, after almost 40 years in the federal workforce. Glenn started with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1978 and worked at several other federal agencies before joining the Energy Department in 1989. In 2007, he found his home in BETO. In a recent interview, Glenn shared his passion for the bioenergy industry, stating that he saw his work as an opportunity to “substantially contribute to the nation’s energy independence, while at the same time being able to utilize renewable resources rather than fossil resources.” Glenn was involved in many BETO projects, but his most notable would be the systematic lessons learned and best practices database collection system he instigated. The project is currently in its infancy, and Glenn looks forward to staying up to date on its progress while sitting on a beach in Costa Rica someday soon. When asked what he would miss most about his time working at BETO, he responded that he would miss his colleagues. We will miss you too, Glenn! Best of luck!
EERE Blog: Looking Ahead to Low Prices for Many Fuels
U.S. gasoline prices are the lowest they have been since 2009. What if you could choose between not just low-priced gasoline, but also low-priced biofuel made from corn husks, switchgrass, forest residue, and algae? BETO is working on the long-term goal of diversifying your fuel options— providing low-cost, lower greenhouse gas impact fuels that can also help drive growth in local economies and increase our energy security.
Recent Events with BETO Representation
94th Annual Transportation Research Board Meeting
The Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Meeting was held on January 11–15 in Washington, D.C.’s Convention Center. The event covered the entire transportation sector and brought representatives from around the world to focus in on all modes of transportation. Zia Haq, Chief Analyst for BETO, gave a presentation entitled, “Transportation Fuels Infrastructure.”
Click on a link below to view a PDF version of the blast from the corresponding month: