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DOE offers $15 Million for upping algal biomass yield

January 26, 2016
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

DOE logoThe U.S. Energy Department has announced up to $15 million in funding to develop technologies that are likely to succeed in producing 3,700 gallons of algal biofuel intermediate (or equivalent dry weight basis) per acre per year (gal/acre/yr) on an annualized average basis (not peak or projected) through multiple batch campaigns or on a semi-continuous or continuous basis, in an outdoor test environment by 2020.

To enable cost-competitive algal biofuels and bioproducts, according to the announcement, improvements and advancements are needed across the entire algae-to-biofuels and bioproducts process. Under this funding opportunity, applicants must address one comprehensive topic area with three main priority areas:

  • Strain/productivity improvement
  • Improvements in pre-processing technologies (harvesting, dewatering, and extraction and/or equivalent processes)
  • Integration of cultivation with pre-processing technologies

In general, “biofuel intermediates” are biomass-based feedstocks that can replace petroleum-based feedstocks in downstream refining. Biofuel intermediates should be able to be treated as commodities and passed from a producer to a refiner through the supply chain.

Biofuel intermediates can be refined into a variety of liquid transportation fuels such as, but not limited to ethanol, renewable diesel, and renewable jet fuel. The average yield target of 3,700 gal/acre/yr of intermediate must be achieved under conditions that result in favorable life-cycle greenhouse gas reductions and techno-economic analyses.

Learn more information about this funding opportunity and application requirements at the EERE Exchange website. Applicants must submit a concept paper by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Feb. 12, 2016, to be eligible to submit a full application. The full application is due 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Mar. 25, 2016.

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