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Energy Department Announces up to $15 Million to Research Biomass-Based Supplements for Traditional Fuels

April 10, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama’s blueprint for an economy fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources, the Energy Department announced today up to $15 million available to demonstrate biomass-based oil supplements that can be blended with petroleum, helping the U.S. to  reduce foreign oil use, diversify the nation’s energy portfolio, and create jobs for American workers.  Known as “bio-oils,” these precursors for fully 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 Energy Department’s investments to develop renewable transportation fuels are a key part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to develop America’s domestic energy resources and reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Driving innovation through targeted investments helps to speed development of next-generation biofuels made in America, biofuels that will help to protect American families and businesses from the ups and downs of the global oil market.”

The Department expects to fully fund between five to 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 proto-type bio-oils will be produced from a range of feedstocks that could include algae, corn and wheat stovers, dedicated energy crops or wood residues.  Domestic industry, universities and laboratories are all eligible to apply.

The results of the projects will inform future efforts directed at advancing bio-oil technologies and bringing these renewable fuels to market. A description of the funding opportunity, eligibility requirements, and application instructions can be found on the Funding Opportunity Exchange website under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000686.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about EERE’s work with industry, academia, and National Laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in biomass feedstocks and conversion technologies.