U.S. DOE Funds Four Projects in MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels Award

4 August 2017— The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels Funding Opportunity supports projects to develop biomass-to-hydrocarbon biofuels conversion pathways that can vary their product slate based on market demand and other factors. DOE anticipates that this increased bio-production will support a positive return on investment for the industry and will diversify its revenue.
$11.3 million went to the first three projects on August 2, 2016. One of these projects included a partnership between the DOW Chemical Company, LanzaTech, and Northwestern University that is working to develop a biofuels pathway using a process that will convert syngas to fatty alcohols.
The second award went to Amyris, Inc. in cooperation with Renmatix and Total New Energies, who are developing a process that will produce farnesene, which is used in both consumer products and diesel and jet fuel. This process will produce farnesene from cellulosic sugars and will be cost competitive with the current process, which produces farnesene from cane syrup.
The third project by Research Triangle Institute and partners Arkema and AECOM is investigating the technological feasibility, and economic, environmental, and social sustainability of recovering mixed methoxyphenols from biocrude to produce pharmaceuticals, food flavorings, and perfume products. If successful, this highly-valued bioproduct could improve biofuel process economics to help biofuels become cost-competitive with gasoline by 2022.
On August 2, 2017, DOE announced it will award up to $1.8 million to its fourth project, in which Michigan State University (MSU) will deconstruct biomass to produce sugars for hydrocarbon fuels and lignins for valuable aromatic chemicals. MSU and its partners, University of Wisconsin-Madison and MBI International, are working to demonstrate that lignin is an economically viable feedstock despite its low susceptibility to depolymerization.
To read more about the funding awarded in 2016, click here, and for more information about the most recent project funding, click here.

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