As part of President Obama’s blueprint for an economy fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources, the Energy Department announced up to $15 million available to demonstrate biomass-based oil supplements that can be blended with petroleum.
For most people, the notion that the green gunk coating various pond and river bottoms is a potential fuel source sounds like science fiction. But the fact is, several projects sponsored by the Energy Department are actively developing various ways to turn that “green gunk”, called algae, into a renewable and sustainable transportation fuel that will help reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
Over the past two weeks, we’ve featured a number of stories about how advanced biofuels are strengthening our national security and creating economic opportunities across the country. Today, we want to hear from you as we host a live Twitter Q&A on biofuels with Dr. Valerie Reed, Acting Manager of the Biomass Program – starting at 1 PM EST this afternoon.
The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy works in partnership with industry to develop, build, operate and validate integrated biorefineries across the country at various scales (pilot, demonstration, and commercial). One such project, led by ClearFuels-Rentech, recently celebrated the completion of a pilot-scale, biorefinery in Commerce City, Colorado.
From transporting the oil necessary to fuel jets and vehicles to supplying battery packs to infantry, energy plays a central role in almost everything the U.S. military does. Because of this reliance, it’s imperative that the military cultivate energy sources that are not subject to the whims of outside nations. While renewables like solar are playing a large role in this effort, advanced biofuels produced domestically are rapidly becoming another choice for transportation fuel.
For many, a barrel of oil is almost synonymous with its most prominent product, gasoline. While almost 40% of a barrel of oil is used to produce gasoline, the rest is used to produce a host of products including jet fuel and plastics and many industrial chemicals. As the United States works to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, we must recognize the complexity of that dependence and work to replace the whole barrel.