U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Bioenergy Technologies Office

Program RFI on Algal Biofuels and Intermediate Products Released

June 26, 2012

Advanced biofuels play an increasingly important role in meeting the volumetric mandates of the Renewable Fuels Standard of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Fuels derived from algal biomass qualify as advanced biofuels and have the potential to contribute significantly to the pool of advanced biofuels, alongside fuels derived from terrestrial biomass. Algal biofuels have tremendous potential, but currently, no commercial entities can produce algal biofuels at a cost that is competitive with other fuels. In order to help develop strategic research and development plans to advance cost-competitive algal biofuels, the Biomass Program has issued a request for information (RFI) on the development of algae production and downstream processing technology to enhance the yield of algal biofuel intermediate products.

This RFI addresses key challenges identified in The U.S. Department of Energy's 2010 National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap and is specifically informed by the 2011 Algae Model Harmonization Workshop and recently released resulting technical report, “Renewable Diesel from Algal Lipids: An integrated baseline for cost, emissions, and resource potential from a harmonized model” (June 2012).

The RFI provides algae stakeholders with an opportunity to contribute their views to help inform the development of the Biomass Program’s strategic plans, requirements, and metrics for a potential research and development program that would focus on enhancing the yield of algal biofuel intermediates. The Program is interested in stakeholders’ input regarding multiple types of algae, including microalgae, cyanobacteria, and macroalgae. Specifically, the Biomass Program requests information from algal biofuel developers to help establish appropriate scope, scale, and metrics for consideration in developing two topics:

  • Improved Biomass Productivity
  • Reductions in Downstream Processing Costs.

Responses to this RFI should be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format to eabiy@go.doe.gov by 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 1, 2012. For more information on this RFI and submission requirements, visit the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000745.