DOE issues new RFI on renewable fuel scale-up, demonstration

By U.S. Department of Energy | December 28, 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy has released a new fequest for information (RFI) on the scale-up and demonstration of renewable fuels. The RFI, titled “Overcoming Barriers to Renewable Fuel Scale-Up and Demonstration,” seeks input from biofuels producers and technology developers about their readiness to scale process technologies to pilot- and demonstration-scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable diesel, and renewable marine fuels. The RFI also seeks input on how existing first-generation ethanol and other existing industries could be leveraged to provide low-cost feedstock and infrastructure for biofuels production, including information on practices that can reduce the carbon intensity of corn production.

This information is necessary for DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office to chart the potential growth of domestic renewable fuels production by 2030, and to understand the barriers in scaling renewable fuel production pathways. The RFI also seeks information on how DOE can best assist biofuels production stakeholders in their research and development and scaling up of their technologies through demonstration scale.

Constructing and operating pilot- and demonstration-scale facilities is essential to de-risk technology and ensure the success of subsequent commercial scale projects. BETO recognizes the availability of financing for first-of-a-kind process systems can be a barrier to commercializing advanced biofuels. Input is sought from bioenergy companies that are planning to scale up and demonstrate SAF, renewable diesel, and renewable marine fuel technologies from the lower Technology Readiness Levels) to pilot and demonstration stage and eventual commercialization. This information will inform a multi-year scale-up strategy resulting in the construction and operation of several SAF, renewable diesel, and/or renewable marine fuel production pathways.

Feedback is requested from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to the scale-up of renewable fuel production technologies. Specifically, the RFI has six categories in which DOE is interested in receiving information and input:

    •Biofuel Pathway Scale-Up Forecasts – plans by developers to scale SAF, marine, and renewable diesel production

    •Barriers to Scale-Up of SAF, Marine, and Renewable Diesel Technologies – input on technical, financial, legal, contractual, policy and other barriers

    •Leveraging First Generation Ethanol and Other Incumbent Industries – information on technological improvements that could enhance low-carbon fuel production

    •BETO Scale-Up of Biotechnologies Strategy – input on BETO’s scale-up strategy and other forms of financial assistance to support biofuel scale-up and commercialization

    •Leveraging National Laboratory PDU to Scale-Up Renewable Fuels – insight on how DOE National Laboratory capabilities can support biofuel scale-up and commercialization

    •Feedstock Production & Supply – information on sustainable corn farming practices and challenges in establishing robust biomass feedstock supply chains

Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to [email protected] no later than 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, 2022. In addition to, or in lieu of, providing written responses to this RFI, respondents may request a 30-minute individual discussion with a BETO staff member regarding the content of their written responses to the RFI questions via [email protected]. View the full RFI on EERE Exchange or