The Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $13 million investment in four biofuel research and development projects that will speed up the production of safe, commercialized biofuels and reduce the cost of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels. The DOE’s goal is to create cost-competitive drop-in biofuels that can be purchased for $3 per gallon by 2017. The projects will work to lower production costs further by expanding the amount of renewable carbon, hydrogen, and biomass that can be converted to fuels as well as augment current separation processes in bio-oil production to remove non-fuel components.
Ceramatec - Salt Lake City, Utah
Ceramatec will use an electrochemical deoxygenation process to separate oxygen from bio-oil and help produce hydrocarbon products for further processing in conventional petroleum refineries.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Oak Ridge National Laboratory will use microbial electrolysis to remove hydrogen from water found in bio-oil, which will help reduce the corrosivity of bio-oil and improve the efficiency of converting hydrogen and biomass to biofuels.
University of Oklahoma - Norman, Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma will use thermal fractionation and supercritical solvent extraction to maximize the amount of renewable carbon and hydrogen that can be extracted from biomass and eventually converted into a refinery-compatible fuel.
Virent, Inc. - Madison, Wisconsin
Virent will develop a separation process using BioForming® technology to convert carbon from lignocellulosic biomass into hydrocarbon fuels and overall improve the carbon conversion efficiency of biomass and reduce the cost of hydrocarbon biofuels production. This type of biofuel already works with existing infrastructure and is able to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard.