DOE BETO releases 2020 R&D State of Technology report

By Erin Voegele | June 06, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) in May released its “BETO 2020 R&D State of Technology” report, which provides a status of research and development efforts and assesses progress made toward BETO goals.

BETO funds research and development of technologies necessary for the deployment and production of cost-competitive bioenergy, primarily biofuels. The agency periodically compiles and compares the results of experimental efforts with benchmark technology designs to assess progress made toward BETO goals. The latest such report provides a status of those research and development efforts at the end of 2020 and discusses technical challenges and barriers facing the industry.

The report discusses seven specific technology pathways, including four for dry feedstocks and three for wet feedstocks. Two pathways are included under a category focused on dry feedstocks converted via higher temperatures and upgrading, including direct liquefaction and upgrading (catalytic fast pyrolysis) and indirect liquefaction and upgrading. Two other pathways focus on dry feedstocks converted via low temperature upgrading, including the biochemical conversion via 2,3 butanediol (BDO) intermediate and biochemical conversion via mixed-acids intermediate. Two pathways are also addressed under the category of wet feedstocks converted via high temperature upgrading, including algal hydrothermal liquefaction and wet waste hydrothermal liquefaction. A single pathway is addressed under the category for wet feedstocks converted via low temperature and upgrading. That pathway focuses on combined algae processing via 2,3 BDO or carboxylic acid intermediate.

A full copy of the 168-page report can be downloaded from the BETO website