The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled “MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels”.
This FOA supports BETO’s goal of meeting its 2022 cost target of $3/gallon gasoline equivalent (gge) for the production of hydrocarbon fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. One approach BETO has taken previously to achieve this goal is to focus on conversion pathways that produce biofuels, with little or no emphasis on coproducing bioproducts. As BETO increasingly focuses on hydrocarbon fuels, it is examining strategies that capitalize on revenue from bioproducts as part of cost-competitive biofuel production.
A variety of technology pathways can be used to produce hydrocarbon biofuels, but many of them require the production of value-added chemicals and products in the near-term to achieve an attractive rate of return on cost-competitive fuels. Value-added chemicals and products can also incentivize the de-risking of “front end” processes (from feedstock logistics through to deconstruction) which are also necessary for fuel production. It is important to note that while bioproducts are seen as a valuable strategy for enabling fuels, the BETO is not interested in pursuing R&D solely on bioproducts, without a fuels component.
The intent of this FOA, therefore, is to identify R&D projects that develop biomass to hydrocarbon biofuels conversion pathways that can produce variable amounts of fuels and products based on external factors, such as market demand. These pathways could consist of a route to a platform chemical that could be converted to products or fuels or a route that coproduces chemicals and fuels. Successful applications will include a clear justification for producing the target molecule(s) from biomass, a compelling narrative explaining how the target product(s) will enable biofuels, and supporting technoeconomic analysis and life cycle analysis.
It is anticipated that the FOA may include the following Areas of Interest:
Area of Interest 1: R&D to optimize one unit operation of the proposed conversion pathway
Area of Interest 2: R&D to optimize and integrate multiple unit operations of the proposed conversion pathway
EERE envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. The estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately three years.
This Notice is issued so that interested parties are aware of the EERE’s intention to issue this FOA in the near term. All of the information contained in this Notice is subject to change. EERE will not respond to questions concerning this Notice. Once the FOA has been released, EERE will provide an avenue for potential Applicants to submit questions.
EERE plans to issue the FOA in or about January, 2016 via the EERE Exchange website https://eereexchange.energy.gov/. If Applicants wish to receive official notifications and information from EERE regarding this FOA, they should register in EERE Exchange. When the FOA is released, applications will be accepted only through EERE Exchange.