DOE awards $118 million to 17 biofuel projects

By Erin Voegele | January 26, 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy on Jan. 26 awarded $118 million to 17 projects to accelerate the production of sustainable biofuels for America’s transportation and manufacturing needs. The projects were selected under a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) issued in mid-2022.

The projects selected to receive funding include pre-pilot, pilot and demonstration projects. The awards support the agency’s goal to achieve cost-competitive biofuels and at least a 70 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

The 17 selected projects were awarded under four topic areas, including pre-pilot scale-up of integrated biorefineries; pilot scale-up of integrated biorefineries; demonstration scale-up of integrated biorefineries; and gen-1 corn ethanol emission reduction.

Nine projects were selected for funding under Topic Area 1: Pre-pilot scale-up of integrated biorefineries. Those projects include:

    •Algenesis Corp.: $4.99 million for pre-pilot production of algae-based jet fuel and polyurethane monomers

    •Captis Aire LLC: $2 million for renewable blending components to enable 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

    •Comstock Inc.: $2 million for the projection of renewable diesel, SAF, gasoline and marine fuel from lignocellulosic biomass at dramatically improved yield, efficiency and cost

    •Global Algae Innovations: $3.6 million for algae direct air capture scale-up to multi-acre raceways

    •MicroBio Engineering Inc.: $3.98 million for attached algae flow ways for biofuels production utilizing air-CO2

    •Research Triangle Institute: $2 million for a corn stover pyrolysis pathway for SAF

    •University of California, Riverside: $2 million for scale-up demonstration of hybrid catalytic biorefining of biomass to SAF and marine fuels

    •University of Utah: $2 million for entrained-flow biomass gasification with syngas fermentation for production of SAF

    •Viridos Inc.: $2 million for pre-pilot integrated SAF algae biorefinery


Two projects were selected under Topic Area 2: Pilot scale-up of integrated biorefineries. Those projects include:

    •LanzaTech Inc.: $1.64 million for RESTORE: Replenishing ecosystems by transforming residues to energy

    •MicroBio Engineering Inc.: $579,673 for scale-up of hydrothermal liquefaction with supercritical water oxidation in an integrated biorefinery


Two projects were selected under Topic Area 3: Demonstration scale-up of integrated biorefineries. Those projects include:

    •Alder Fuels LLC: $2 million for decarbonizing the skies – SAF from Alder biocrude oil

    •AVAPCO LLC: $80 million for AVAP biorefinery: Enable net zero


Four projects were selected for funding under Topic Area 4: Gen-1 corn ethanol emission reduction. Those projects include:

    •Green Plains: $500,000 for emissions reduction technologies for Green Plains biorefineries

    •Lincolnway Energy LLC: $453,000 for reduced carbon intensity ethanol via biogas from stillage and other feedstocks

    •Marquis Inc.: $8.55 million for carbon refining: Corn ethanol 2.0

    •RenewCO2 Inc.; $499,953 for integrated electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 from bioethanol emissions into carbon-negative chemicals


Growth Energy is applauding the DOE’s support for corn ethanol projects. “The funds awarded today by the DOE will undoubtedly accelerate the innovations taking place at U.S. ethanol plants, opening new opportunities for low-cost, low-carbon energy,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “As the president has said, we simply can't get to net-zero by 2050 without biofuels. Today's announcement shows that DOE remains committed to that mission. We're excited to see new technologies scaled up with these funds, particularly the work underway at Marquis, Inc., a Growth Energy member slated to receive $8 million for a project that combines CO2 with low-carbon hydrogen to create a new production stream of extra-low-carbon ethanol, slashing emissions by at least 70% or more compared to petroleum-based alternatives.  Growth Energy applauds the Biden administration for delivering another powerful demonstration of ethanol’s role in our clean energy future."

Additional information on the 17 awards is available on the DOE’s website.



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