The US Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has announced a new US$34.5 million funding opportunity to improve the current science and infrastructure for converting waste streams, often disproportionately located in underserved communities, into valuable biofuels and bioproducts that can benefit the local energy economy.
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According to a statement, this effort will advance the Biden Administration’s goals to deliver an equitable, clean energy future, and put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050.
This investment represents DOE’s commitment to finding solutions that directly support historically underserved communities. We recognize the everyday economic and logistical burden that waste disposal can have on these communities. Through this investment, we see an opportunity to support the bioeconomy and the equitable transition to a clean energy economy, said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
The FY22 Waste Feedstock and Conversion R&D Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is for the development of improved organisms and inorganic catalysts to support the next generation of low-carbon biofuels and bioproducts.
It supports the development of high-impact R&D to accelerate the growth of the bioeconomy and improve the economic and technical viability for turning burdensome and costly waste streams into valuable bioenergy resources.
In particular, DOE will fund projects that help enable waste feedstocks utilization and robust conversion processes to produce low-carbon biofuels that reduce emissions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as aviation.
This effort is complementary to the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge, a government-wide effort that aims to achieve a zero-carbon aviation sector by 2050.
The FOA has four topic areas:
- Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Feedstock Technologies;
- Robust Microbial Cells;
- Robust Catalytic Processes;
- Community-Scale Resource and Energy Recovery from Organic Wastes
Concept papers for this FOA are due by April 18, 2022, while applications are due by June 07, 2022.