DOE opens funding opportunity for algae technologies

By Erin Voegele | January 21, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is accepting applications for up to $15 million in funding to develop algae technologies. The funding opportunity aims to support the development of technologies likely to produce at least 3,700 gallons of algae biofuel intermediate (or equivalent dry weight basis) per acre per year on an annualized basis. The algae can be produced through multiple batch campaigns, or on a semi-continuous or continuous basis in an outdoor test environment by 2020.

The average target yield of 3,700 gallons per acre per year must be achieved under conditions that result in favorable life-cycle greenhouse gas reductions and techno-economic analyses.

Eligible applicants must address at least one comprehensive topic area within three main priority areas, including stain/productivity improvement, improvements in preprocessing technologies, or integration of cultivation with preprocessing technologies.

According to information released by the DOE, biofuel intermediates are defined as biomass-based feedstocks that can replace petroleum feedstocks in downstream refining. These intermediates are to be treated as commodities and passed from a producer to a refiner through the supply chain. They can be refined into a variety of products, such as ethanol, renewable diesel, and renewable jet fuel. 

Concept papers are due Feb. 12, with the full application submission deadline set for March 25. Awards are expected to be made later this year. The EERE is expected to make two to six awards under the funding opportunity, with individual awards ranging from $2-5 million.

Additional information is available on the EERE Exchange website