DOE Announces up to $11 Million for Biofuels Technology Development

May 28, 2010

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $11 million in funding over three years for research and development in the area of thermochemical conversion of biomass into advanced biofuels that are compatible with existing fueling infrastructure. The objective of this funding is to improve the conversion of non-food biomass to liquid transportation hydrocarbon fuels via pyrolysis, a process that decomposes biomass using heat in the absence of oxygen to produce a bio-oil that can be upgraded to renewable diesel, gasoline, or jet fuel. This funding opportunity is part of the Departmentís effort to accelerate development and deployment of sustainable, renewable biofuels that significantly reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Previous research has shown the potential of upgrading biomass pyrolysis oil to a form that is stable for six months under ambient conditions. DOE is seeking projects that will further upgrade stabilized bio-oil into a refinery-ready intermediate, and demonstrate production of a final hydrocarbon fuel. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is requesting applications for projects that will:

  • Demonstrate the capability of long-term processing to address the corrosivity issues associated with stabilized bio-oil
  • Catalytically de-oxygenate the many molecular fragments that collectively comprise bio-oil
  • Demonstrate the ability to produce a final liquid transportation hydrocarbon fuel that can be blended at up to 30 percent by weight with petroleum fuels, or produce an upgraded bio-oil compatible with existing petroleum refining unit operations
  • Provide extensive supporting data on the physical and chemical property requirements of the petroleum operations to demonstrate the compatibility of the resulting liquid hydrocarbon product with petroleum refining unit operations.

DOE anticipates selecting three to four projects under this announcement and will require a minimum of 20% cost share from applicants. Selected projects will also be required to include an analysis of greenhouse gas reductions as compared with petroleum fuels. Eligible applicants are universities, national laboratories, or companies that have capabilities uniquely suited to the objectives of this FOA.

Applications for this funding opportunity are due July 9, 2010. The complete FOA can be viewed here at

For more information visit DOE's Biomass Program Web site.