At DOE’s Biomass Conference on Thursday, DOE Secretary Moniz announced $22 million for five projects aimed at developing cost-competitive drop-in biofuels. According to DOE, “nearly $16.5 million to four projects in California, Hawaii, and New Mexico aimed at breaking down technical barriers and accelerating the development of sustainable, affordable algae biofuels. ABFA congratulates our member Sapphire Energy, one of the awardees. The projects will help boost the productivity of sustainable algae, while cutting capital and operating costs of commercial-scale production. The projects include:
- Hawaii Bioenergy ($5 million DOE investment): Based in Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii Bioenergy will develop a cost-effective photosynthetic open pond system to produce algal oil. The project will also demonstrate preprocessing technologies that reduce energy use and the overall cost of extracting lipids and producing fuel intermediates.
- Sapphire Energy ($5 million DOE investment): Headquartered in San Diego, California, Sapphire Energy will develop a new process to produce algae-based fuel that is compatible with existing refineries. The project will also work on improving algae strains and increasing yield through cultivation improvements.
- New Mexico State University ($5 million DOE investment): For its project, New Mexico State University will increase the yield of a microalgae, while developing harvesting and cultivation processes that lower costs and support year-round production.
- California Polytechnic State University ($1.5 million DOE investment): California Polytechnic State University will conduct research and development work to increase the productivity of algae strains and compare two separate processing technologies. The project will be based at a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Delhi, California that has six acres of algae ponds.
Additionally, DOE awarded $6 million for a project led by Ohio-based FDC Enterprises to reduce the costs over the entire biomass feedstock supply chain. FDC Enterprises will work with independent growers and biofuels companies in Iowa, Kansas, Virginia and Tennessee.
The complete announcement is available on DOE’s EERE website.