Energy Department Announces Projects to Develop Innovative, Advanced Drop-in Biofuels

April 24, 2013

The Energy Department on April 22 announced nearly $18 million in four innovative pilot-scale biorefineries that will test renewable biofuels as a domestic alternative to power cars, trucks, and planes, and that also meet military specifications for jet fuel and shipboard diesel. These biorefineries will be in in California, Iowa, and Washington.

The projects selected for funding include Frontline Bioenergy of Ames, Iowa, which will use an innovative new pilot scale reactor and new gas conditioning processes to produce biofuel from woody biomass, municipal solid waste, and refuse; Cobalt Technologies of Mountain View, California, which will operate a pilot-scale integrated biorefinery to convert switchgrass to bio-jet fuel; Mercurius Biorefining of Ferndale, Washington, which will build and operate a pilot plant that uses an innovative process that converts cellulosic biomass into bio-jet fuel and other chemicals; and BioProcess Algae of Shenandoah, Iowa, which will evaluate an innovative algal growth platform to produce hydrocarbon fuels meeting military specifications using renewable carbon dioxide, lignocellulosic sugars, and waste heat.

The pilot-scale biorefinery projects selected will use a variety of non-food biomass feedstocks, waste-based materials, and algae in innovative conversion processes to produce biofuels that meet military specifications for jet fuel and diesel. The projects will demonstrate technologies to cost-effectively convert biomass into advanced drop-in biofuels and assist these organizations to scale up the processes to commercial levels. Recipients are required to contribute a minimum of 50% matching funds for these projects. See the Energy Department press release.