USDA, DOE open $9 million BRDI funding opportunity

By Erin Voegele | June 07, 2017

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and U.S. Department of Energy are making up to $9 million in funding available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative to support the development of bioenergy feedstocks, biofuels and biobased products.

Applicants can address any or all of three legislatively mandated technical areas, including feedstock development, biofuels and biobased products development, and biofuels development analysis.

Feedstock development projects include those focused on dedicated biofuel or industrial product crops with desired features; advanced crop production methods, management technologies and systems; innovative equipment designs and systems for harvest, handling, preprocessing, transport and storage; innovative uses of alternative waste streams; compatibility of the selected feedstock with potential conversion systems; strategies for integrating feedstock production into existing managed land; or generation of data that can contribute to a best management practices database.

Biofuels and biobased products development projects include small-scale biomass densification; research and development of local-scale woody biomass-to-energy conversion; biological, thermal, catalytic or chemical conversion of feedstocks into advanced biofuels and/or biobased products; improvement of chemical and physical biomass separation; improvement of the production, performance or commercial viability of biobased products and coproducts; improvement of the potential for developing rural-based processing and manufacturing of biofuels and and/or biobased products; demonstration of commercial relevance of the technology, its expected marketability and its potential commercial viability; and demonstration of biobased products to evaluate functional and environmental performance and to facilitate amending or developing industry standards and specifications.

Biofuels and biobased products development analysis includes biomass feedstock development and cultivation; feedstock harvesting and preparation; feedstock logistics; waste stream logistics; biomass preprocessing; biomass conversion; production of biofuels, bioenergy and biobased products; product logistics and distribution; product consumption; and end of useful life.

The DOE said it expects to make one to six awards under the current solicitation, with the USDA funding three to 14 awards. Each award is expected to range from $500,000 to $2 million. DOE funding is subject to the availability of annual congressional appropriations.

Concept papers must be submitted by July 7, with full applications due Sept. 22. Additional information is available under DE-FOA-001637 on the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Exchange website.