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US DOE selects seven projects to accelerate adoption of performance-advantaged biofuels

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the selection of seven projects totaling US$1.94 million to conduct research and development to accelerate the adoption of performance-advantaged biofuel blendstocks. These fuels are derived from renewable feedstocks and can deliver exceptional efficiency with low emissions.

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the selection of seven projects totaling US$1.94 million to conduct research and development to accelerate the adoption of performance-advantaged biofuel blendstocks. These fuels are derived from renewable feedstocks and can deliver exceptional efficiency with low emissions.

Announced by the Department of Energy on July 2, 2020, the seven projects will leverage National Laboratory capabilities as part of the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative.

When you consider how much US households spend on transportation—second only to housing expenses—even a small boost in fuel economy can have an important impact on family expenses. These projects are designed to help improve energy efficiency for passenger vehicles through the use of biofuels, translating into savings at the pump, said Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

DOE awarded funding to the following projects:

  • CFR Engines, Pewaukee, Wisconsin (WI), will work with Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) to develop a fuel reactivity metric and test method for advanced compression ignition combustion engines.
  • ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, Annandale, New Jersey (NJ), will work with ANL to develop a life-cycle analysis modeling framework to estimate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by refinery coprocessing of renewable fuels.
  • General Motors, Detroit, Michigan (MI), will work with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to determine fuel property effects on abnormal combustion for biofuel-petroleum fuel blends.
  • LanzaTech, Skokie, Illinois (IL), will work with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to demonstrate the production of a gasoline-boiling-range fuel with advanced fuel properties.
  • Shell, Houston, Texas (TX), will work with NREL to apply metabolic engineering and process optimization to the biological production of the high-performance blendstock isopropanol.
  • Sylvatex, Sunnyvale, California (CA), will work with ANL to evaluate the injector performance of Sylvatex’s alternative diesel fuel and optimize its formulation.
  • Visolis, Hayward, California (CA), will work with PNNL to convert Visolis’ bioderived intermediate into a high-energy-density blendstock for use in gasoline engines.

Each of the Co-Optima Directed Funding Opportunity awardees will receive up to US$300 000 in National Laboratory assistance for experimental or computational projects that leverage capabilities in the areas of bio-based blendstock fuel property and production research, combustion performance modeling, bio-based blendstock target identification, and/or impacts analysis.

Each of the awardees has committed to a 20 percent cost-share contribution.

The Co-Optima initiative aims to provide the American industry with the scientific underpinnings needed to maximize vehicle performance and efficiency, leverage domestic fuel resources, and reduce lifecycle emissions.

Sponsored by EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), Co-Optima partners include Argonne National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, and more than 20 university and industry partners.

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