DOE, USDA open FOA to support integrated biorefinery optimization

By Erin Voegele | January 11, 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently opened a $22.7 million funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to support the optimization of integrated biorefineries.

According to the DOE, federal support for first first-of-a-kind integrated biorefineries would significantly reduce the technical and financial risks associated new technology deployment, helping to accelerate growth in the bioeconomy, reducing consumer costs, enabling reductions in pollution from transportation and improving energy security.

The DOE said the FOA aims to identify, evaluate and select applications proposing projects to address challenges encountered with the successful scale-up and reliable continuous operation of integrated biorefineries for the manufacture of advance or cellulosic biofuels, along with associated higher-value bioproducts. The FOA specifically seeks applications for projects focused on addressing these challenges, reducing risks and providing resources to accelerate the commercialization of biofuels and bioproducts.

Four topic areas are included in the FOA. The first focuses on the robust, continuous handling of solid materials and feeding systems to reactors under various operating conditions. The second focuses on high-value products from waste and/or other under-valued streams in an integrated biorefinery. The third focuses on industrial separations within an integrated biorefinery. The fourth focuses on analytical modeling of solid materials and reactor feeding systems.

The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is expected to make up to $19.8 million in awards under the FOA to five projects, with individual awards ranging from $1 million to $10 million. USDA-NIFA is expected to make approximately $2.9 million in awards to one to three projects, with each award ranging from $900,000 to $2.9 million.  

Concept papers are due Feb. 6, with the deadline for full applications set for April 3. Those selected for award negotiations expected to be notified in July.  

Additional information, including a full copy of the FOA is available on the EERE Exchange website under DE-FOA-0001689.