US DOE supports biofuels and bioproducts production with $18.6m

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is allocating $18.6m to boost the production of cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts aimed at curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Eight different university and industry projects across eight different states will get a cut of the capital, described as a “critical investment”.

In addition to putting the US on a path to a clean and equitable energy economy, the projects will also support the DOE’s investment in the development and production of biofuels and innovation and growth in agricultural industries.

The capital will also help the US to achieve the SAF Grand Challenge goal of producing 35 billion gallons of low-greenhouse gas emission sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from domestic biomass and waste resources annually by 2050.

Read more: Exclusive: Honeywell’s latest SAF technology takes flight

Alejandro Moreno, Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, added, “These projects have the potential to drastically reduce barriers to producing clean, sustainable biofuels and can jumpstart innovation in the clear energy bioeconomy.”

Most biofuels are currently made from feedstocks such as corn, grain, and agricultural residues, forestry residues, and solid and west waste streams. However, to meet the growing demand of SADs and other low-carbon biofuels, the DOEC says that affordable feedstock sources must be developed.

Specifically, the following projects will address bioenergy needs through the following areas:

  • Improving the production of environmentally sustainable and low-carbon feedstocks for bioenergy through climate-smart agricultural practices
  • Developing algae crop protection methods and strategies for algae cultivation systems.

e-methanol, SAF and PtL: The future of CO2 utilisation

The route to decarbonisation and the energy transition has sometimes been described as defossilisation. Liquid fuels are incredibly useful energy vectors due to their high energy density and ease of handling. Gasoline, diesel, aviation kerosene and heavy fuel oil have become the fuels of choice for cars, trucks, planes, and shipping.

The challenge is to substitute these refined products that are derived from crude oil with sustainable, convenient and cost-effective alternatives.

Liquid fuels of a non-fossil origin are one such solution. Methanol and e-methanol are seen as viable alternatives for fuelling trucks, buses and marine applications, for example.

e-methanol burns with almost no particulate emissions and, since it contains no sulfur, the emissions are free of sulfur dioxide. The use of e-methanol for road and maritime applications would reduce pollutant gas emissions. Methanol, like diesel and heavy fuel oil, does produce CO2 emissions during combustion. However, since e-methanol is made from captured CO2 the emissions are carbon neutral: e-methanol is not a fossil fuel…

If you’re a gasworld subscriber, continue reading all about e-methanol, synthetic aviation fuel (SAF), hydrogen, electrolysis and CCUS in this exclusive feature, here:


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