DOE To Fund Biofuels Research

The Department of Energy announced a $61.4 million funding program for decarbonizing the transportation sector.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has earmarked US$61.4 million for technologies that produce low-carbon biofuels. Biofuels are derived from renewable resources and can power heavy-duty vehicles that are difficult to electrify with current technologies — including airplanes and ships — to help accelerate the country’s path to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.


“Biofuels are one of our most promising paths to zero-carbon aviation and shipping, so it’s time to double down on R&D [research and development] and begin to deploy these technologies at scale,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This funding is critical for decarbonizing the transportation sector — the largest source of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions — and delivering good-paying union jobs and clean air and water to American communities.”


Biofuels are produced by converting biomass — made up of recently living organic materials like crop waste, food waste, and algae — and other waste resources into a liquid fuel, which can serve as a low-carbon equivalent to fossil-based fuels such as gasoline, jet, and diesel fuel.


Topic areas for the “Bioenergy Technologies Office Scale-Up and Conversion” funding opportunity include high-impact biotechnology research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) to bolster the body of scientific and engineering knowledge needed to produce low-carbon biofuels at lower cost. This investment will accelerate the deployment of bioenergy technologies and mobilize public clean energy investment in the biofuels, chemical, and agricultural industries, which can lead to new good-paying jobs across the bioenergy supply chain and increased investment in rural economies.


The application process will include two phases: a concept paper and a full application. Concept papers are due April 30, 2021, and full applications are due June 21, 2021.