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DOE Invests in Decarbonizing Biofuel Conversion Processes

Department of Energy

DOE Invests in Decarbonizing Biofuel Conversion Processes

The Department of Energy has earmarked $35 million for 15 projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions and increasing the availability of renewable biofuel.

The funding will advance technologies that have the potential to decarbonize biorefining processes in the energy, transportation and agriculture sectors, DOE said.

DOE said biofuel is currently produced almost exclusively through fermentation, a process that creates carbon as a byproduct.

“Biofuel is a powerful tool in the clean energy toolkit that has immense potential to power our ships and airlines with zero carbon emissions,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

She added that the projects will support the Biden administration’s goal to create a completely clean energy economy and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

DOE will make the funding available through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, an energy research and development agency modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The 15 teams will conduct their research under ARPA-E’s Energy and Carbon Optimized Synthesis for the Bioeconomy program. 

The ECOSynBio program will be focused on carbon-optimized fermentation strains, engineered organisms, biomass-derived sugar or carbon oxide gas fermentation and cross-cutting carbon-optimized bioconversion methods.

The researchers will improve biofuel conversion methods to reduce carbon waste, prevent the loss of CO2 emissions and maximize the amount of renewable fuel produced by the conversion process.

The awardees include Invizyne Technologies, LanzaTech, ZymoChem, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Ohio State University, Stanford University and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University.

The others are the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Delaware, University of California Davis, University of California Irvine, University of Minnesota and University of Washington.

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Category: Federal Civilian