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BETO and NIFA Announce $22.7 Million in Funding for Integrated Biorefinery Optimization

10 January 2017 – On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released a Funding Opportunity Announcement to support research and development of “Integrated Biorefinery (IBR) Optimization.” Funding of up to $22.7 million is available in four topic areas to address the financial and technical challenges involved in IBR commercial scale up:

1) Robust handling of feedstocks, biosolids, residual solids, and feeding systems to reactors;
2) High-value end products from waste or another undervalued source;
3) Industrial IBR separations; and
4) Solid material (e.g., feedstock) modeling and reactor feeding systems.

For more information on funding availability as well as eligibility requirements, refer to the FOA.

DOE and USDA Release Report Based on 2016 Billion-Ton Report Analysis

6 January 2017 – In response to data released in the most recent Billion-Ton Report, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) formed an inter-agency team and published an article, “An Assessment of the Potential Products and Economic and Environmental Impacts Resulting from a Billion Ton Bioeconomy.” This article uses the estimated biomass production numbers laid out in the 2016 Billion-Ton report to illustrate that production of at least 1 billion tons of biomass annually within the next 15 years offers the United States many economic and environmental benefits. Learn more about the report, and read the article here.

DOE BETO Issues Funding Opportunity Announcement for Algal-Based Biofuels

6 January 2017 – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “Productivity Enhanced Algae and Tool-Kits,” on December 15, 2016, for the development of technologies, tools, and approaches to advance the production of algal-based biofuels. Federal funding up to $8 million, pending appropriations, will be available for selected projects.

The FOA will provide funding for two types of projects: 1) algal strain improvements; and 2) algal cultivation biology improvements. Priority will be given to applicants that offer solutions to species-specific, ecological, and practical challenges to improve the productivity of algal biofuel production. Successful projects will also conduct techno-economic and lifecycle analyses on their products to fully understand the commercialization pathway.

For more information on the FOA, refer to the BETO announcement and the CAAFI Funding Opportunities webpage.

DOE Announces Six Demonstration- and Pilot-Scale Projects for Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower

6 January 2017 – On December 28, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its selection of six projects for the demonstration- and pilot-scale manufacturing of biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. The selected projects will develop and execute plans in two phases: 1) design and plan the facility; and 2) construct and operate the facility. Up to $12.9 million in Federal funding will go toward Phase 1 with a minimum cost-share of 50%. To proceed to phase two, projects will be evaluated on their Phase 1 progress. Projects are eligible to receive up to an additional $15 million or $45 million for pilot- and demonstration-scale facilities, respectively in Phase 2.

Demonstration-scale integrated biorefineries involved in the project include AVAPO, LLC from Atlanta, Georgia, and LanzaTech, Inc. from Skokie, Illinois. Pilot-scale integrated biorefineries selected include Global Algae Innovations from San Diego, California, and ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc. from Baltimore, Maryland. Pilot-scale waste-to-energy projects selected include Rialto Bioenergy, LLC from Carlsbad, California, and Water Environment and Reuse Foundation from Alexandria, Virginia.

For more information on the selected projects refer to the DOE announcement.

CAAFI’s R&D Team Hosts the Second Presentation in its Fourth SOAP-Jet Webinar Series Focusing on Deployment and State Initiative Activities

13 December 2016 – David Dunn (Green Mountain Power), Jerry Bingold (Newtrient), and Anju Krivov presented on Biofuel and Bioenergy Innovation / Supply Chain Development in Vermont for the second presentation in the fourth series of Seminars on Alternatives to Petroleum (SOAP)-Jet webinars hosted by CAAFI’s R&D Team. This fourth series of webinars is focusing on CAAFI’s deployment and state initiative activities. The webinars are intended to provide a forum for members of the alternative jet fuel R&D community to discuss technology and related gaps and challenges, share lessons learned, methodologies, and strategies in order to promote communication among stakeholders.

With the support of USDA, CAAFI and other federal and state programs, a utility company, Green Mountain Power, dairy cooperative, Newtrient, and technology innovator, GSR Solutions, have come together in Vermont to align their individual missions and goals in a mutually beneficial manner and key aviation stakeholders have taken notice. This joint activity has the potential to provide in excess of 100 million gallons per year of sustainable alternative jet fuel, as well as both middle distillate fuel and granular fertilizer co-product.

This webinar explained the driving motivation behind the activity, highlighted methods employed by these key supply chain stakeholders and described the technology that has created this unique and significant new approach to developing supply chain partnerships. The emerging model, if emulated in other sectors and localities, can have broad implications on sustainability and economic growth as we look forward to building stronger resiliency in rural areas and energy supply.

To view the presentations click here.

DOE BETO Issues Notices of Intent for Algal-Based Biofuels and Biorefinery Optimization Funding Opportunities

5 December 2016 – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) on behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) to release a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the development of technologies, tools, and approaches to advance the production of algal-based biofuels. The FOA, “Productivity Enhanced Algae and Tool-Kits (PEAK),” will offer up to $8 million in funding for eligible projects.

EERE also issued another NOI on behalf of BETO and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture for a FOA to support research and development of “Integrated Biorefinery Optimization.” Specifically, the goal of the FOA is to increase the performance efficiencies of biorefineries to improve the commercialization process of biofuels.

For more information on the FOAs, once released, refer to the CAAFI Funding Opportunities webpage.

CAAFI’s Environment Team hosts second SOAP-Jet webinar, “Social Elements of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel Systems: Assessment and Applications”

21 November 2016--The CAAFI Environment Team held its second Seminars on Alternatives to Petroleum – Jet (SOAP-Jet) webinar on Friday, November 18th. The event was well attended by approximately 70 people. This webinar was the second in a series that communicates progress and challenges associated with alternative aviation fuels and assessment of environmental and sustainability impacts. The webinar series is intended to provide a forum for members of the alternative jet fuel community to share lessons learned, methodologies, and strategies in order to promote knowledge and communication among stakeholders.

Mike Gaffney (WSU) and Paul Smith (PSU) described their social science research on SAJF stakeholders and communities, which is being conducted as part of the ASCENT 01 project by a cross-disciplinary team from Washington State University and Pennsylvania State University. They also discussed applications for that research, and implications for this and future projects. Included in the discussion was the “Refinery to Wing” assessment of stakeholder perspectives on SAJF supply chain implementation and the Community Attribute and Asset Model (CAAM). These two research projects provide useful insight into decision-making, strategic engagement of stakeholders and communities, and the vital role of social components in successful implementation, sustainability and resilience.

You can access the slide deck from this past Friday’s SOAP-Jet webinar, here.

Additional presentations will be scheduled for the first half of 2017. To learn more about the SOAP-Jet series or to share your ideas for future SOAP-Jet webinars, contact Kristin Lewis (Kristin.lewis@dot.gov).

Alaska Airlines Flies Commercial Demonstration Flight from Seattle to Washington, D.C. on Gevo Forest Residue-Based SAJF

17 November 2016 – On November 14th, Alaska Airlines flew the first commercial demonstration flight on a 20% forest residual-based sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) produced by Gevo, Inc. Departing from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and landing at Reagan National Airport, the 1,080 gallons of Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) fuel used on the flight was made possible through efforts from the Washington State University (WSU) led Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance, which supplied the forest residuals to Gevo who produced the SAJF.

Alaska Airlines says it could reduce its overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 142,000 metric tons if it replaced 20% of its overall fuel supply at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with SAJF. Gevo and Alaska Airlines also flew two other successful ATJ SAJF fueled flights earlier this year on corn-based SAJF.

For more information on the Gevo/Alaska Airlines forest residue-based SAJF demonstration flight, refer to the Gevo press release and the WSU news story.

BP Ventures and Air BP Businesses Announce $30 Million Investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy

8 November 2016 – Today, BP announced an investment of $30 million in the sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) producer, Fulcrum BioEnergy, for its continuing production of SAJF from municipal solid waste. Additionally, BP and Fulcrum confirmed a 10-year offtake agreement for 50 million gallons per year from Fulcrum’s production plants across North America currently under development. Air BP will distribute Fulcrum BioEnergy SAJF to aircrafts at select airports around the country.

For more information on BP’s recent investment and offtake agreement with Fulcrum BioEnergy, refer to the BP press release.

Monarca and AvStar in Discussions to Distribute Over 30 MG of Alternative Jet Fuel to North American Aviation Market

7 November 2016 – Monarca, a Mexico-based sustainable alternative jet fuel (AJF) producer, is currently in the process of planning a new sustainable AJF project in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The plant is intended to produce over 30 million gallons of sustainable AJF for Mexico’s Federal Aviation Services as well as for business jets in the United States. Monarca is currently in discussions with AvStar Aviation Services, based in Houston, Texas, to be its sole AJF distributer for U.S. aviation clients.

For more information, refer to the Monarca and AvStar press release.

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