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

Clean Cities

NREL and PNNL to Lead Research into Advanced Biofuels

January 18, 2010

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to co-lead a new national program to develop advanced biofuels that are compatible with the nation's existing hydrocarbon fuels infrastructure. The $33.8 million in funding for this research effort comes as part of a larger package of biofuels investments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act announced by Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

The project, known as the National Advanced Biofuels Consortium (NABC), will lead research to develop biomass-based hydrocarbon fuels that follow a sustainable, cost-effective production process, and maximize the use of existing refining and distribution infrastructure.

"Biofuels must be compatible with the nation's engines, pipelines, and refineries to play a substantial and effective role in reducing carbon emissions and reducing oil imports," said NREL Associate Director for Renewable Fuels and Vehicles Dale Gardner. "DOE's investment will allow NREL and the consortium to systematically identify and develop commercially sustainable biofuels from renewable sources for this critical energy supply."

The NABC will spend about a year investigating six process options, including fermentation, catalytic conversion, catalytic fast pyrolysis, hydropyrolysis, hydrothermal liquefaction, and low-cost one-step syngas-to-distillates.