Energy Department Offers up to $15 Million for Biomass Fuel Supplements

April 11, 2012

The Energy Department announced on April 6 up to $15 million is available to demonstrate biomass-based oil supplements that can be blended with petroleum. Known as "bio-oils," these precursors for completely renewable transportation fuels could be integrated into the oil refining processes that make conventional gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels without requiring modifications to existing fuel distribution networks or engines. The goal is to help reduce U.S. use of foreign oil and diversify the nation's energy portfolio.

The Energy Department expects to fully fund between five and ten projects in fiscal year 2012 to produce bio-oil prototypes that can be tested in oil refineries and used to develop comprehensive technical and economic analyses of how bio-oils could work. The prototype bio-oils will be produced from a range of feedstocks. Domestic industry, universities, and laboratories are all eligible to apply. The results will inform future efforts directed at advancing bio-oil technologies and bringing these renewable fuels to market. See the Energy Department press release and the funding opportunity announcement.