DOE: $50M available for commercial truck, gaseous fuels research

By Erin Voegele | March 07, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced it will award up to $51.1 million to support new and innovative research of technologies for trucks, off-road vehicles, and the fuels that power them, including renewable natural gas (RNG) and biopower.

The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) announced March 1 is funded through the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. According to the DOE, the FOA addresses priorities under five main topic areas, including gaseous fuel research, including natural gas, biopower and hydrogen; heavy-duty freight electrification; hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell technologies for heavy-duty applications; and energy efficient off-road vehicles.

“As the fastest growing fuel users, trucks offer an important opportunity to use innovation to improve energy productivity,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes. “Through research and new developments in both energy efficiency and domestically-sourced fuel technologies, we can not only strengthen our energy security but also improve transportation affordability for our nation’s trucking industry – helping those who deliver American goods and those who use them.”

RNG is addressed under the first topic area, gaseous fuels research and technology integration for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. According to the DOE, up to $16.5 million will be awarded to projects under this topic area, which includes the sub-topics of novel materials for high density gas storage and transport, advanced waste-to-energy technologies, and technology integration that focuses on lowering the cost of and overcoming technical barriers to the use of medium-and heavy-duty natural gas and hydrogen fueled vehicles.

Under the sub-topic of advanced waste-to-energy, the FOA indicates the EERE seeks to encourage the development of solutions that make full and innovative use of biomass, municipally derived solids, and sorted municipal solid waste (MSW) feedstocks to advance the state-of-the-art in waste-to-energy, such as RNG. Energy produced from these materials can be employed as fuel for medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the form of liquid fuels, or electricity.

Under the waste-to-energy sub-topic, the EERE said it is seeking proposals to convert biomass, such as forest residues; municipal sludges and biosolids; industrial, commercial and residential organic wastes; fats, oils and greases; yard trimmings; construction and demolition wastes; non-recyclable paper; or other non-recyclable organic components of MSW, into biopower and/or intermediates that are potentially useful as medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuels, such as RNG or the production of biopower at appropriate scales. Applicants must develop technologies that reduce the levelized cost of energy by at least 25 percent and provide a justified benchmark for the state-of-the-art as part of their application.

The FOA was issued March 1. Concept papers must be submitted by March 29. The submission deadline for full applications is May 14. EERE selection notifications are scheduled for August 2019.

Additional information and a full copy of the FOA is available on the EERE Exchange website under DE-FOA-0002044.