New US biofuel consortia

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced yesterday the formation of two new biofuels consortia — National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB), and National Advanced Biofuels Consortium (NABC) — that will receive a total of nearly $80 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for advanced biofuels research.

NAABB, led by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center based in St. Louis, MO, will get $44m to develop and demonstrate algae-based biofuels and bioproducts technology and its commercial viability. If the government and big oil/chemical companies (such as Exxon and Dow Chemical) are willing to invest in algae development, algae doubters might have to rethink their strategies this year after all…

NABC, led by the National Renewable Energy laboratory (NREL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, will receive up to $33.8m to conduct infrastructire development for biomass-based hydrocarbon fuels. The two consortia will also get private and non-federal cost-share funds of more than $19m.

The DOE also selected 8 projects to receive up to $1.6m that will support in their ethanol blend fueling infrastructure. The projects will install E85 pumps, retrofit existing pumps to dispense E85 and install blender pumps that offer ethanol blends up to 85% at 60 stations nationwide.

By the way, Canada is also gearing up its advanced biofuels development. The country’s Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) just awarded SunOpta BioProcess up to $5.5m in funding for the construction of a demo facility that produces both food grade xylitol ( a healthy sugar substitute) and fuel grade cellulosic ethanol using woodchips as feedstock.

SDTC is created by the government of Canada w/c received $1.05bn operating at two funds, the $550 million SD Tech Fund(TM) supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil; and the $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund(TM) supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels.

The organization announced on Tuesday that 16 clean technology projects (including SunOpta) from across Canada will receive $58 million in funding to help bring innovative renewable energy technologies from idea to marketplace.


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