DOE seeks input on its FY 2019 EERE, BETO research priorities

By Erin Voegele | August 13, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy is seeking public input on its EERE and Bioenergy Technologies Office research priorities, including those focused on corn fiber biofuels, food waste, data efforts and algae biomass.

The DOE published a notice in the Federal Register Aug. 13 inviting public comment on its request for information (RFI) number regarding fiscal year (FY) 2019 EERE and BETO research priorities, as part of its annual planning process. The DOE said the purpose of the RFI is to solicit feedstock from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders to help ensure research areas are relevant, timely, appropriate for federal funding, and aligned with administration policies.

Information is sought on four specific topic areas. The first focuses on leveraging first generation ethanol production facilities. BETO said it is seeking information related to the development and integration of technologies that could increase the production of cellulosic fuels, cellulosic sugars and chemicals from corn fiber. The notice indicates BETO, in coordination with the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy, is also seeking information about technologies to convert or activate gaseous carbon dioxide emitted from fermentation of corn-starch feedstocks, as well as other gaseous emissions from other biorefinery processes into fuels and coproducts.

The second topic area focuses on systems to handle commingled food waste. The DOE said it is soliciting feedback to help understand the quantity, quality and sources of generation of wood waste in America, as well as options for converting that waste into value-added fuels, chemicals and power.

The third topic area focuses on bridging industry and government to publish existing high-impact data. The DOE said it is seeking information regarding potential efforts to collect, and potentially pay for, existing high-quality bioenergy datasets that are underused or economically stranded in order to publish on established public databases and potentially bolster the growing bioeconomy with industrially relevant data across the supply chain.

The fourth topic area focuses on algal biomass feedstock quality and conversion interface for biofuels and bioproducts. Under this topic area, the DOE said it is seeking information on issues related to the interface between cultivation and conservation research and development to develop biofuels and bioproducts from algal biomass.

Responses to the RFI must be submitted by Sept. 6. Additional information is available on the Federal Register website