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Biomass Research & Development Initiative July 2009 Newsletter

Friday, October 9, 2009

     

  



Bioamss Initiative Newsletter 

Feature Article

Third Quarter, 2009

Nearly $800 Million from Recovery Act to Accelerate
Biofuels Research and Commercialization

by T.J. Heibel, BCS, Incorporated

 

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), Pub. L. 111-5, was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009.  The Recovery Act is a $787-billion economic stimulus package aimed at “jumpstarting the U.S. economy, creating or saving millions of jobs, and putting a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the nation can thrive in the 21st century.”  Federal agencies were charged with developing plans to award Recovery Act funds on activities that stimulate the economy and create or retain jobs.  Final agency and program plans were submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on May 15, 2009, and are now available at recovery.gov.

 

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Biomass Program was appropriated $786.5 million in Recovery Act funds.  The Biomass Program was directed by the President to accelerate advanced biofuels research and development (R&D) and provide additional funding for commercial-scale biorefinery demonstration projects with the Recovery Act funds.  The Recovery Act gives preference to activities that can be started and completed expeditiously, including a goal of using at least 50 percent of the funds for activities that were initiated no later than June 17, 2009.  The Program has received further guidance that all funds be obligated within eighteen months and spent within five years of the Recovery Act’s signing.

 

The Biomass Program’s $786.5 million of Recovery Act funding is distributed across five areas.  The largest portion, $480 million, will go toward solicitations for integrated pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefineries.  This will include 10â€"20 awards for refineries planning to be operational within three years.  The DOE funding ceiling for these solicitations will be $25 million for pilot-scale projects and $50 million for demonstration-scale projects.  A funding opportunity announcement (FOA; Recovery Act: Demonstration of Integrated Biorefinery Operations; reference number: DE-FOA-0000096) under this portion of Recovery Act funding was issued May 7, 2009, and closed June 30, 2009, with a funding ceiling of $50 million.  Initial award announcements for this solicitation are expected by November 15, 2009.

 

The next piece will also be directed at biorefinery projects; although this $176.5 million will be used to increase the funding of existing demonstration- and commercial-scale projects, rather than soliciting for new ones.  This money will aim at accelerating those projects’ construction phases in an attempt to get them up and running.  This money will not be open for competitive solicitation.

 

Although biorefineries account for the majority of the Recovery Act money, another $110 million is being used for fundamental research in the following key program areas:

·         Expanding sustainability research through the Office of Science Bioenergy Research Centers ($5 million)

·         Establishing an integrated process-development unit ($20 million)

·         Creating an Advanced Biofuels Consortium to develop technologies and facilitate demonstrations of biofuels compatible with existing infrastructure ($35 million)

·         Creating an Algal Biofuels Consortium to accelerate demonstration of algal biofuels ($50 million).

A FOA (Recovery Act: Dev. of Algal/Advanced Biofuels; reference number: DE-FOA-0000123) under this portion of Recovery Act funding was issued July 16, 2009, and will close September 14, 2009.  Approximately $85 million is expected to be available for new awards under this announcement, with a $50-million ceiling for the Algae Consortium (1â€"2 awards) and a $35-million ceiling for the Advanced Biofuels Consortium (1 award).  Initial award announcements for this solicitation are expected by January 31, 2010.

 

An additional $20 million is being devoted solely to ethanol research.  The goals under this funding will be to optimize flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) operating on E85, to evaluate the impact of higher ethanol blends in conventional vehicles (non-FFVs), and to upgrade existing refueling infrastructure to be compatible with fuels up to E85.  A FOA (Recovery Act: Expansion of Infrastructures for Higher Ethanol Blends; reference number: DE-FOA-0000125) under this portion of Recovery Act funding was issued July 31, 2009, and will close September 30, 2009.  Approximately $5.5 million is expected to be available for new awards under two topic areas in this announcement:  Topic Area 1 seeks to expand the retail refueling infrastructure for ethanol blends ($3.5-million ceiling; 15â€"35 awards), whereas Topic 2 focuses on raising public awareness of ethanol blends through an education and outreach program ($2-million ceiling; 1â€"3 awards).  Initial award announcements for this solicitation are expected by December 30, 2009.

 

The remaining $13.5 million will go toward expanding the pretreatment capacity of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility.  This money will not be open for competitive solicitation.

 

Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was not appropriated any Recovery Act funding for the advancement of biomass R&D, the millions of dollars the agency spends on strengthening rural communities should benefit the rural-based biomass industry as a whole.  For more on USDA’s Recovery Act funding visit: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/arra?navid=USDA_ARRA_PLAN.

 

Full announcements for the solicitations mentioned in this article can be accessed by typing in the reference number at https://www.fedconnect.net/Fedconnect/PublicPages/PublicSearch/Public_Opportunities.aspx.

 

Biomass Spotlight: Texas

 

Texas is an industry-rich state seeking a more diverse energy portfolio.  Biomass and biofuelsâ€"along with wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave, and tidal energyâ€"are the renewable resources that can drive this state’s energy future.  Currently, Texas as a whole consumes over 11 billion gallons of gasoline and over 3 billion gallons of diesel.  Though one of the biggest states in the union, Texas has only 25 E85 stations, 42 biodiesel stations, 31 biodiesel plants, and 4 ethanol plants (see Table 1 for more statistics on Texas’s current biofuels production).  Texas is trying to expand its production capacity, especially in biodiesel, around major cities like Dallas and Houston (see Figure 1). Not to let its production outpace its infrastructure, Texas is also building biofuel refueling stations along major highways, particularly around Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston (see Figure 2).  Laying this infrastructure groundwork reduces the risk of what would otherwise be a difficult-to-sell product and can foster the growth of more biofuel producers.

 

Beyond expanding its infrastructure, Texas also intends to implement clean energy throughout the state.  For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given $80 million in loans to the Fannin County Farm Bureau for the development of cellulosic ethanol technologies.  Jerry Magness, President of the Fannin County Farm Bureau said, “Our organization has always supported the development of renewable energy, but what’s great about the current round of funding from USDA is that it targets the development of cellulosic technologies.  Instead of relying solely on our row crops, cellulosic biofuels are made from wood chips, switchgrass and crop stubbleâ€"things that had no real value to farmers previously.”  The USDA hopes this loan will be enough to get consumers to stop relying on foreign fossil fuels and start using locally grown biofuel.

 

In addition to the USDA funding, on June 29, 2009, Dow Chemicals announced a project in partnership with Algenol Biofuels to use cyanobacteria to convert waste CO2 into ethanol.  The biorefinery will be located in Freeport at Dow’s largest manufacturing site.  This project relies on a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to Algenol, valued at $25 million, or no more than half the $50 million facility.  Dow would contribute 25 acres of land, the CO2 supply, and technical expertise.  Unlike other biofuel firms, Algenol has a one-step conversion of algae into ethanol.  This is due to their single-cell cyanobacteria producing sugar and containing enzymes that allow the algae to excrete ethanol.  The bacteria and saltwater are placed in bioreactors that let in sunlight.  Paul Woods, CEO of Algenol, said, “We will use advanced membrane technology and separations that are more energy efficient,” which will essentially make them stand out from other biofuel manufacturers.  The plant will employ 300 people and will possibly grow to 4,000 employees if it is successful. 

 

 

Table 1. Biofuel Production in Texas

Current Statistics

Gasoline Use

11,354 million gal.

Diesel Use

3,574 million gal.

Total Cellulosic Biomass

12.7 million dry T

Total Crop Biomass

6.6 million dry T

E85 Stations

25

Biodiesel Stations

42

Ethanol Plants

4

Ethanol Production Capacity

270 million gal.

Biodiesel Plants

31

Biodiesel Production Capacity

305 million gal.

Potential Production in 2009

Ethanol from Cellulosic Biomass

895 million gal.

% Corn/Sorghum Used for Ethanol

40 million gal.

Ethanol from Corn and Sorghum (Current)

324 million gal.

Total Ethanol

1,219 million gal.

Biodiesel from Oil Seeds (Current)

133 million gal.

Petroleum Displacement Result

Gasoline Use Replaced by Ethanol

7.1%

Diesel Use Replaced by Biodiesel

3.4%

Co-Product Production

Electricity

3,131 GWh

Animal Feed

1,000.2 thousand T

 

 

Potential Production

Potential Prod Key\

 

Figure 1. Potential production of biofuels in Texas based on biomass production and biorefineries.

 

 

 

 Potential use

Potential use key

 

Figure 2. Potential use of biofuels in Texas based on the number of flexible fuel vehicle registrations per zip code.

 

A production incentive in the form of an energy buyback program is currently in place to help Texas customers who produce renewable energy from their homes.  This includes wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric, wave, and tidal energy systems.  This program will support systems of up to 25 kilowatts (kW).  “Any excess energy produced by the customer’s system that is exported to the grid (NEG) is metered separately and the customer's account is credited (the following month) for the exported energy up to 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month at the retail rate. Energy export in excess of 500 kWh per month is credited at half of the retail rate. Notably, customers retain title to any renewable energy credits (RECs) or other environmental attributes produced by the system.”

 

Texas retail electric providers (REPs) must provide customers with an "Electricity Facts Label" that discloses specific information about the electricity.  This is based on part of Texas’s 1999 electric utility restructuring legislation.  As of July 1, 2002, the REPs had to provide electricity prices, contract terms, sources of generation, and emissions levels; this was designed to help customers choose their electric service provider.  The 1999 restructuring legislation was amended in 2004 and again in 2009 to include the following information on the label: (1) pricing, (2) contract terms, (3) fuel mix, and (4) air emissions and waste. The fuel mix is the percentage of total megawatt-hours obtained from each of the following fuel categories: coal and lignite, natural gas, nuclear, renewable energy (comprised of biomass, hydropower, solar, and wind), and "other" sources, calculated as specified by the electricity labeling rule (see §25.476(f)).

 

Texas is often thought of as an oil state; however, with help from the Dowâ€"Algenol partnership, future plans for more biorefineries, and renewable energy incentives, Texas is quickly changing its stripes. 

 

References:

. Texas Farm Bureau Supports Biofuel Industry. Accessed July 8, 2009. http://www.ntxe-news.com/artman/publish/article_55165.shtml

. Dow Plans Algae Biofuels Pilot. Accessed July 8, 2009. http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/87/i27/8727notw5.html

. Bonita Springs-Based Company Elaborates on Pullout. Accessed July 8, 2009. http://news-press.com/article/20090701/BUSINESS/907010397

. Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center. State Assessment for Biomass Resources: Texas Potential Biofuel Production. Accessed July 8, 2009. http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/sabre/sabre.php

. Id.

. Id.

. Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center. State Assessment for Biomass Resources: Texas Potential Biofuel Use. Accessed July 8, 2009.  http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/sabre/sabre.php?mode=use

. Green Mountain Energy Renewable Rewards Buy-Back Program. Accessed July 8, 2009. http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=TX75F&re=1&ee=1

. Fuel Mix and Emissions Disclosure. Accessed July 8, 2009. http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=TX01R&re=1&ee=1

 

 

Bill #

Senator/Date Introduced

Title/Description

Status

H.R.1794

Rep Lungren, Daniel E. (introduced 3/30/2009)

New Options Petroleum Energy Conservation Act of 2009. To provide incentives to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

4/1/2009: Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.

S.774

Sen Dorgan, Byron L. (introduced 4/1/2009)  

National Energy Security Act (NESA) of 2009. A bill to enhance the energy security of the United States by diversifying energy sources for onroad transport, increasing the supply of energy resources, and strengthening energy infrastructure, and for other purposes.

4/1/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S.807

Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin (introduced 4/2/2009)   

Sound Management of America's Resources and Technologies for Energy Act (SMART Energy Act) of 2009. A bill to reduce fuel prices and improve national energy security by increasing domestic supply, reducing excessive speculation in the markets, and promoting long-term security through alternative energy sources, and for other purposes.

4/2/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S.AMDT.889

Sen Klobuchar, Amy (submitted 4/1/2009; proposed 4/2/2009)

To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to expedite research at the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency on the viability of the use of higher ethanol blends at the service station pump.

4/2/2009: Amendment SA 889 agreed to in Senate by unanimous consent.

S.826

Sen Klobuchar, Amy (introduced 4/3/2009)

American Renewable Energy Act of 2009. A bill to promote renewable energy, and for other purposes.

4/3/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S.828

Sen Harkin, Tom (introduced 4/3/2009)

Renewable Fuels Pipelines Act of 2009. A bill to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to provide loan guarantees for projects to construct renewable fuel pipelines, and for other purposes.

4/3/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

 

S.835

Sen Brownback, Sam (introduced 4/20/2009)   

Open Fuel Standard Act (OFS Act) of 2009. A bill to require automobile manufacturers to ensure that no less than 80 percent of the automobiles manufactured or sold in the United States by each such manufacturer operate on fuel mixtures containing 85 percent ethanol, 85 percent methanol, or biodiesel.

4/20/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

S.870

Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. (introduced 4/22/2009)

A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the credit for renewable electricity production to include electricity produced from biomass for onsite use and to modify the credit period for certain facilities producing electricity from open-loop biomass.

4/22/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

H.R.2080

Rep Hodes, Paul W. [NH-2] (introduced 4/23/2009)      

American Renewable Biomass Heating Act. To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the credit for nonbusiness energy property and to include biomass heating appliances in energy-efficient building property.

4/23/2009: Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

S.901

Sen Merkley, Jeff (introduced 4/27/2009)

Sustainable Revenue for Oregon Counties Act of 2009. A bill to establish the Oregon Task Force on Sustainable Revenue for Counties, and for other purposes.

4/27/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

H.R.2170

Rep Fortenberry, Jeff [NE-1] (introduced 4/29/2009)  

To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a program to provide covered institutions loans for conversion to use biomass for energy generation.

4/29/2009: Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture.

S.CON.RES.13

Sen Conrad, Kent (introduced 3/27/2009)

An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2010, revising the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal year 2009, and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2011 through 2014.

4/29/2009: Conference report agreed to in Senate. Status: Senate agreed to conference report by Yea-Nay Vote. 53â€"43. Record Vote Number: 173.

S.943

Sen Thune, John (introduced 4/30/2009)

A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to permit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to waive the lifecycle greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements for renewable fuel production, and for other purposes.

4/30/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

H.R.2283

Rep Moran, Jerry [KS-1] (introduced 5/6/2009)

To amend the Clean Air Act to permit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to waive the lifecycle greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements for renewable fuel production, and for other purposes.

5/6/2009: Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.2359

Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] (introduced 5/12/2009)   

Imported Ethanol Parity Act. To ensure parity between the temporary duty imposed and tax credits provided on ethanol.

5/12/2009: Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.2364

Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] (introduced 5/12/2009)     

To amend Section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act to change the definition of renewable biomass in the renewable fuel program, and for other purposes.

5/12/2009: Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

S.1030

Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. (introduced 5/13/2009)

A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate the reduction in the credit rate for certain facilities producing electricity from renewable resources.

5/13/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

H.R.1046

Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. (introduced 5/14/2009)

A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the excise tax provisions and income tax credit for biodiesel.

5/14/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

H.R.2409

Rep Peterson, Collin C. [MN-7] (introduced 5/14/2009)

Renewable Fuel Standard Improvement Act. To amend Section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act, and for other purposes.

5/14/2009: Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.2438

Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] (introduced 5/14/2009)

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a temporary bonus research credit for energy-related research.

5/14/2009: Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.2528

Rep Meek, Kendrick B. [FL-17] (introduced 5/20/2009)

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the credit period for certain open-loop biomass facilities.

5/20/2009: Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

S.1090

Sen Wyden, Ron (introduced 5/20/2009)

Renewable Energy Parity and Investment Remedy Act
(REPAIR Act).
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax credit parity for electricity produced from renewable resources.

5/20/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S.1095

Sen Wyden, Ron (introduced 5/20/2009)  

America's Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Act of 2009. A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to convert the renewable fuel standard into a low-carbon fuel standard, and for other purposes.

5/20/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

S.1096

Sen Wyden, Ron (introduced 5/20/2009)

A bill to require the Secretary of Energy to establish an Energy Grant Competitive Education Program to award grants to consortia of institutions of higher education in regions to conduct research, extension, and education programs relating to the energy needs of the region.

5/20/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S.1148

Sen Grassley, Chuck (introduced 5/21/2009)

Renewable Fuel Standard Improvement Act. A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to modify a provision relating to the renewable fuel program.

5/21/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

H.R.2626

Rep Meek, Kendrick B. [FL-17] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Renewable Energy Parity Act. To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax credit parity for electricity produced from renewable resources.

5/21/2009: Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

S.1250

Sen Nelson, Bill (introduced 6/11/2009)   

Algae-Based Renewable Fuel Promotion Act of 2009. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the definition of cellulosic biofuel to include algae-based biofuel for purposes of the cellulosic biofuel producer credit and the special allowance for cellulosic biofuel plant property.

6/11/2009: Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

H.R.2956

Rep Shadegg, John B. [AZ-3] (introduced 6/18/2009)

To remove the additional tariff on ethanol.

6/18/2009: Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.2454

Rep Waxman, Henry A. [CA-30] (introduced 5/15/2009)

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. To create clean-energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution, and transition to a clean-energy economy.

6/26/2009: Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On passage. Passed by recorded vote: 219â€"212 (Roll no. 477).

 

Jet Fuel from Wood Chips Breathes Life Back into Struggling American Pulp and Paper Mill (6/28)

The Old Town Fuel & Fiber mill in Maine (U.S.) is reinventing itself by developing technology to produce bio-butanol, a jet fuel, from parts of trees that would otherwise go to waste.  In November of last year, however, New York venture capitalist Lynn Tilton bought the mill, invested about $40 million, and shifted its focus to cellulosic biofuel.

Link: http://www.renewableenergymagazine.com

 

Biofuels Research: Where the Green Gas Grows (6/8)

When are Americans going to see some sort of alternative fuel source that might be more economical? University of Tennessee (UT) biofuels researchers may have the answer.  "There are 26 public biodiesel stations in East Tennessee and already two E85 stations in Knoxville; and there are plans for many more," UT professor and biofuel researcher Scott Curran said.

Link: http://tnjn.com

 

Northwest's Biofuel Boom Goes Bust (6/5)

In two short years, the Northwest has gone from biofuels boom to biofuels bust.  The boom began in August 2007, when Imperium Renewables opened a 100-million-gallon-a-year biodiesel plant near Grays Harbor, Washington. A month later, Pacific Ethanol opened a 40-million-gallon corn ethanol plant in Boardman, Oregon. In June 2008, Cascade Grain opened a 113-million-gallon corn ethanol plant in Clatskanie, Oregon.  Encouraged by tax breaks and Oregon and Washington standards designed to require biofuels' use, the companies promised environmental benefits on an industrial scaleâ€"a quantum leap from smaller-scale producers making fuel from cooking grease and Northwest crops. Nearly 30 more projects were under discussion.  Then came this year…

Link: http://www.oregonlive.com

 

A New Day for King Cotton: Biotech & Agribusiness Redefine Themselves (5/21)

Memphis, Tennessee, is moving toward a bio economy, according to agricultural experts in the region. That means grain, cotton, and other crops are increasingly being viewed in nontraditional ways and for nontraditional uses. They might be used to produce chemicals or biofuels. The research that is inventing those new uses is also changing the very nature of the seeds that farmers are planting.

Link: http://www.memphisdailynews.com/

 

Mississippi Farmers Trade Cotton Plantings for Corn (5/6)

Cotton is no longer king of the Mississippi Delta.  Farmers working land that has bloomed a dazzling snowy white every September since before the Civil War are switching to corn and soybeans. As gleaming silver corn silos go up on farm after farm, cotton gins are laying off workers or shutting down.  “We’re closer than we’ve ever been to looking like Iowa,” said Danny Hargett, a veteran farmer who has decided for the first time to not grow any cotton this year on his 3,000 acres of fertile, well-irrigated land.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com

 

Biofuel Squeezed from Algae Could Be New Cash Crop (5/5)

Texas has its switch grass. Iowa has its soybeans.  And now, Connecticut has its algae.  In a quest for a biofuel crop native to Connecticut, researchers at the University of New Haven have begun collecting the green scum from Long Island Sound and investigating whether oil squeezed out of it can be cost-effectively turned into biodieselâ€"a cleaner-burning diesel substitute. The study is part of a race heating up across the country to find the next generation of biofuel sources, and algae research is only, well, skimming the surface.

Link: http://www.courant.com

 

Regional Partnership Announced for Algae Project (4/29)

On April 28, the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology announced a regional partnership with the city and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) for developing fuel from algae.  Mayor Jerry Sanders said San Diegoâ€"home to more than 500 biotechnology companiesâ€"could become a major center for renewable energy.  According to a San Diego Association of Governments study cited by UCSD, research into algal biofuels already has a $63-million economic impact in the region and employs 513 people.

Link: http://www.10news.com

 

Algae Produces Alternative Energy (4/24)

A team of seven Appalachian State University students received honorable mention during the People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Competition for its research of algae as a source of alternative energy.  The event was sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The contest, which was held April 18â€"20 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., highlighted some of the brightest minds and ideas concerning sustainability. The competition was also part of the National Sustainable Design Expo.

Link: http://www.biobasednews.com/

 

Alabama City to Use Ethanol from Wood Scraps in Police Vehicles (4/14)

A Livingston, Alabama, plant has converted wood scraps brought in from the city of Hoover into ethanol that will be used for the first time to fuel some of the city's police vehicles. Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos and Gulf Coast Energy CEO and President Mark Warner hail the development as groundbreaking in the conversion of wood waste to automotive fuel on a small commercial scale and in making the west Alabama demonstration plant a leader in advanced biofuel technology that uses wood to make clean-burning fuel.

Link: http://www.al.com/birminghamnews/

 

 

Marketplace provides data relevant to the production of biofuels from biomass as well as the state of the petroleum markets in which biofuels are used. Cost fluctuations in the price of a bushel of soybeans, the main biodiesel feedstock, and corn affect the finished products, i.e., biofuels. Key indicators in the petroleum industry provide a snapshot of the supply of finished products, stocks and production and how they relate to demand and the price of finished product (i.e. gasoline and diesel). The tables show actual grain prices, indicators which may affect gasoline prices, and the production of ethanol.

Grain Prices Received by Farmers June 09

June 08

% Change 24 Months
Corn ($/bushel) 3.93 3.51 -36% corn
Soybean ($/bushel) 11.6 7.51 -14% Soy
Spot Prices W. Tex. Int Cush & Henry Hub June 09 June 08 % Change 24 Months
W. Tex. Int Cush ($/Bbl) 69.64 135.07 -48% WTI
Henry Hub ($/MMBtu) 3.935 12.785 -69% HHUB
Fuel Supply June 09 June 08 % Change 24 Months
Percent Refinery Utilization (%) 85.83 88.85 -3% PRU
Production by Product - Finished Motor Gasoline (1,000 bbl/d) 9,048 9,032 0% PFMG
Stocks - Finished Motor Gasoline (1,000 bbl) 83,175 106,200 -22% SFMG
Imports - Total Motor Gasoline (1,000 bbl/d) 967 1,169 -17% ITMG
Oxygenate Production

April 09

April 08 % Change

24 Months

Ethanol Production
(1,000 bbl)
19,220 16,868 14% EtOH
MTBE Production
(1,000 bbl)
1,485 1,613 -8% MTBE

 

Data Sources:
U.S. DOE-Energy Information Administration, "Weekly Petroleum Status Report" and "Monthly Oxygenate Report"; USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service, "Agricultural Prices,""Grain Stocks"; Wall Street Journal, Markets Data, Spot Prices, Oil Prices 

Title:

Federal Grants to Help Convert Dead Colorado Trees into Energy

Description:

The federal economic recovery money will be used to help convert wood collected during wildfire and pine-beetle mitigation efforts for a prison boiler in Florence; to augment Colorado Springs Utilities' coal-fired facility; to fuel Boulder County Open Space and Parks' biomass heating system; and to fund grinding, hauling, and processing for Confluence Energy's wood-pellet facility in Kremmling.

Recipients:

Grand, Fremont, El Paso, and Boulder counties

Award Total:

$250,000 each

Sponsoring Office:

Department of Agriculture

URL:

http://www.denverpost.com/technology/ci_12571958

 

Title:

U.S. Sen. Harkin: More than $16 Million in Clean Energy Funding

Description:

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) applauded Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s decision to grant more than $16 million in federal dollars to the State of Iowa to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Using funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Iowa's Office of Energy Independence will award grants for training and information projects designed to increase Iowa's capacity for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. The announcement was made by Energy Secretary Chu at a meeting held in Des Moines.

Recipients:

Iowa's Office of Energy Independence

Award Total:

$16 million

Sponsoring Office:

Department of Energy

URL:

http://www.iowapolitics.com/index.iml?Article=162429

 

Title:

Green Start Gets $20,000 Grant

Description:

Green Start, a local non-profit group devoted to increasing the awareness and use of biodiesel in New Hampshire, has been granted $20,000 by the Piscataqua Region Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

 

The funds provide a partial match for the $45,000 awarded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Conservation Innovation Grant last August. Both grants will apply to Green Start's Oilseed Initiative, a two-year project to develop a regional hands-on education course on planting and harvesting oil seeds for both food and biofuels use.

Recipients:

Green Start

Award Total:

$20,000

Sponsoring Office:

Piscataqua Region Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

URL:

http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090623/GJBUSINESS_01/706239990/-1/FOSBUSINESS

 

Title:

$1.25 Million in Funds to Fuel Bioenergy Research

Description:

The University of Georgia received $1.25 million in earmarks to fund bioenergy research, but officials have not yet decided how to allocate the money.

Recipients:

The University of Georgia

Award Total:

$1.25 million

Sponsoring Office:

Department of Energy

URL:

http://bioenergy.checkbiotech.org/news/125_million_funds_fuel_bioenergy_research

 

Title:

DOE Makes Largest Research Award in Danforth Campus History

Description:

Washington University and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center have received two awards totaling $35 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct research on novel energy initiatives. At $20 million, the Washington University research award is the largest ever received on the Danforth Campus. The $15 million for the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is the largest the organization has ever received. These grants are among 46 awarded nationwide to establish Energy Frontier Research Centers.

Recipients:

Washington University and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Award Total:

$35 million

Sponsoring Office:

Department of Energy

URL:

http://bioenergy.checkbiotech.org/news/doe_makes_largest_research_award_danforth_campus_history

URL:

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/9DBDAC2BA553F3EC862575A7000CC877?OpenDocument

 

Title:

Washington and Oregon Scientists Receive $500,000 Grant to Test Weed-Fighting Bacteria

Description:

Scientists and land managers in Washington and Oregon have received a five-year, $500,000 grant from The Nature Conservancy to field test a bacteria that may give land managers a new tool to suppress cheatgrass and restore degraded rangeland.

Recipients:

Partnering with The Nature Conservancy on the project are Tami L. Stubbs, Associate in Research, WSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences; Tony Svejcar, a USDA-ARS rangeland scientist in Burns, Oregon; the Bureau of Land Management; and the U.S. Forest Service. The Conservancy collaborators are Sonia Hall, Arid Lands Ecologist, and Chuck Warner, Moses Coulee Conservation Area Program Director.

Award Total:

$500,000

Sponsoring Office:

The Nature Conservancy

URL:

http://greenbio.checkbiotech.org/news/washington_and_oregon_scientists_receive_500000_grant_test_weed_fighting_bacteria

 

Title:

Pilot Qteros Biofuels Plant in Springfield May Have Future Creating Ethanol Microbes

Description:

Qteros, a former Amherst company, plans to establish a small pilot plant at Solutia's property in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. It is also proposing to build a full-scale microbe manufacturing center at Solutia. The clean-technology company hopes to open the full-scale plant in 2010, once funding is in place.

The future of the full-scale plant depends on state support to help obtain an $18-million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The grant would bolster the $25 million Qteros has already raised from venture capitalists, including BP and Soros Fund Management, for developing the technology and its commercialization.

Recipients:

Qteros

Award Total:

$18 million

Sponsoring Office:

Department of Energy

URL:

http://bioenergy.checkbiotech.org/news/pilot_qteros_biofuels_plant_springfield_may_have_future_creating_ethanol_microbes

 

Title:

$5M Grant for Microchannel Reactors for Biofuel Production

Description:

Velocys, Inc.â€"a subsidiary of the Oxford Catalysts Groupâ€"received a $5-million grant from the Ohio-based Third Frontier Research Commercialization Program. These funds will help to bring the advantages of microchannel reactors to alternative-fuel production facilities, making it possible to convert small quantities of Fischer-Tropsch (FT) materials to meet diesel and jet fuel specifications. The grant is part of the $1.6-billion, 10-year Third Frontier Program initiative, designed to support the development of a world-class research facility in Ohio.

Recipients:

Velocys, Inc.

Award Total:

$5 million

Sponsoring Office:

Third Frontier Research Commercialization Program

URL:

http://bioenergy.checkbiotech.org/news/5m_grant_microchannel_reactors_biofuel_production

 

Title:

Grant Helps Explore Alternative Energy Farming

Description:

A $250,000 grant for the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center will allow researchers to begin assessing the potential for farmers in Northeast Ohio to grow cropsâ€"not just for consumption, but also for the purpose of alternative energy.

Recipients:

Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center

Award Total:

$250,000

Sponsoring Office:

Fund for Our Economic Future

URL:

http://bioenergy.checkbiotech.org/news/grant_helps_explore_alternative_energy_farming

 

Title:

Shell Awards Prize for Algae-to-Biodiesel Process

Description:

Scottish Bioenergy Cooperative Ventures has been awarded the £40,000 ($57,000) Climate Change Innovation Prize from Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s Shell Springboard program. Based in St. Cyrus, Scotland, the company builds, sells, and operates photobioreactors for capturing carbon dioxide emissions to grow algae feedstock for biodiesel production.

Recipients:

Scottish Bioenergy Cooperative Ventures

Award Total:

$57,000

Sponsoring Office:

Royal Dutch Shell

URL:

http://bioenergy.checkbiotech.org/news

 

Title:

Interfacial Processes and Thermodynamics

Description:

The Interfacial Processes and Thermodynamics program supports fundamental research in engineering areas related to (1) interfacial phenomena, (2) mass transport phenomena, and (3) solution phase equilibrium thermodynamics.  The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years.  The submission deadline for Engineering CAREER proposals is in July every year.  Please see the following URL for more information: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf05027/nsf05027.jsp.

 

Proposals for conferences, workshops, and supplements may be submitted at any time, but must be discussed with the program director before submission.  Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) and Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) replace the Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) program.  Please refer to the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), January 2009, (NSF 09-1) for further details when you prepare your proposal.  The PAPPG is available for download at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf091??

 

Government Agency:

National Science Foundation

Schedule:

September 15, 2009

URL:

http://www.grants.gov

 

Title:

Thermal Transport Processes

Description:

The Thermal Transport Processes program supports engineering research aimed at gaining a basic understanding of the microscopic and macroscopic levels of thermal transport phenomena (heat and mass transfer) underlying energy conversion and conservation, the synthesis and processing of materials, cooling and heating of infrastructure and equipment, the interaction of industrial processes with the environment, the propulsion of air- and land-based vehicles, and thermal phenomena in biological and environmental systems.  The program supports fundamental research and engineering education in transport processes that are driven by thermal gradients and their manipulation to achieve engineering goals.  The submission deadline for Engineering CAREER proposals is in July every year.  Please see the following URL for more information: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf05027/nsf05027.jsp.

 

TEMPORARY NOTICE: Proposals for transformative, interdisciplinary research are strongly encouragedâ€"including, but not limited to, proposals involving thermal aspects of materials processing and manufacturing for mutual consideration by both the Thermal Transport Processes Program of the Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems Division (CBET) and the Materials Processing and Manufacturing Program (MPM) of the Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation Division (CMMI). Submission of such proposals must adhere to special guidelines, available at http://nsf.gov/eng/general/IDR/index.jsp.

 

Proposals for conferences, workshops, and supplements may be submitted at any time, but must be discussed with the program director before submission. Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) and Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) replace the Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) program.  Please refer to the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), January 2009, (NSF 09-1) for further details when you prepare your proposal.  The PAPPG is available for download at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf091??

 

Government Agency:

National Science Foundation

Schedule:

September 15, 2009

URL:

http://www.grants.gov

 

Title:

Environmental Implications of Emerging Technologies

Description:

The Environmental Implications of Emerging Technologies program provides support to develop and test the environmental effects of new technologies.  Fundamental and basic research is sought to establish and understand outcomes as a result of the implementation of new technologies, such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology.  The program also supports research on the development and refinement of sensors and sensor-network technologies that can be used to measure a wide variety of physical, chemical, and biological properties of interest in characterizing, monitoring, and understanding environmental impacts.  The program emphasizes engineering principles underlying technology impacts.  Innovative production processes, waste reduction, recycling, and industrial ecology technologies are of interest.  The submission deadline for Engineering CAREER proposals is in July every year.  Please see the following URL for more information: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf05027/nsf05027.jsp.

 

Proposals for conferences, workshops, and supplements may be submitted at any time, but must be discussed with the program director before submission. Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) and Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) replace the Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) program.  Please refer to the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), January 2009, (NSF 09-1) for further details when you prepare your proposal.  The PAPPG is available for download at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf091??

 

Government Agency:

National Science Foundation

Schedule:

September 15, 2009

URL:

http://www.grants.gov

 

Title:

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program

 

Description:

Section 7406 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA; Pub. L. 110â€"246; i.e., the 2008 Farm Bill) amends subsection (b) of the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act (7 U.S.C. 450i) to authorize the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).  AFRI is a new competitive grant program to provide funding for fundamental and applied research, extension, and education to address food and agricultural sciences.  While AFRI covers an equally broad scope of topics and will support many of the grant types offered by the former National Research Initiative (NRI), the new authority allows greater flexibility in the types of projects funded to include single function projects in research, education and extension, and integrated research, education and/or extension awards.  AFRI is the new core competitive grant program for research, education, and extension.

Government Agency:

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service

 

Schedule:

July 30, 2009

URL:

http://www.grants.gov

 

Title:

Energy for Sustainability

Description:

The Energy for Sustainability program supports fundamental research and education in energy production, conversion, and storage and is focused on energy sources that are environmentally friendly and renewable. Most world energy needs are currently met through the combustion of fossil fuels. With projected increases in global energy needs, more sustainable methods for energy production will need to be developed, and production of greenhouse gases will need to be reduced.  Sources of sustainable energy include sunlight, wind, and biomass.

Government Agency:

U.S. National Science Foundation

Schedule:

September 15, 2009

URL:

http://www.grants.gov

 

Title:

Biotechnology, Biochemical, and Biomass Engineering

Description:

The Biotechnology, Biochemical, and Biomass Engineering (BBBE) program deals with fundamental problems involved in the processing and manufacturing of products of economic importance by effectively utilizing renewable resources of biological origin and bioinformatics originating from genomic and proteomic information.  Research projects supported through the BBBE program include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Fermentation technology
  • Enzyme technology
  • Recombinant DNA technology
  • Cell culture technology
  • Ex-vivo and therapeutic stem cell culture technology
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Tissue engineering
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Quantitative systems biotechnology
  • Biosensor development
  • Food processing with special focus on the safety of the nation's food supply

 

Government Agency:

U.S. National Science Foundation

Schedule:

September 15, 2009

URL:

http://www.grants.gov

 

July 29 - 31, 2009
Tahoe, USA

CMTA's Annual Energy Conference
August 1 - 3, 2009
Warrensville, USA
Northeast Green Energy & Green Jobs Workshop and Tradeshow Event
August 11 - 14, 2009
Milwaukee, USA
American Coalition for Ethanol: 22nd Ethanol Conference & Trade Show
August 16 - 21, 2009
Washington, D.C., USA
ACS Division of Fuel Chemistry Symposium
mailto:v_j_evans@acs.org
August 23 - 24, 2009
Vancouver, Canada
IEA Bioenergy Multi-Tasks Conference - Biofuels & Bioenergy: A Changing Climate
August 24 - 29, 2009
Vancouver, Canada
IEA Bioenergy Multitask Meeting: Biofuels and Bioenergy: A changing climate
August 31 - September 5, 2009
Jyväskylä, Finland
Bioenergy 2009
September 1 - 2, 2009
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Biodiesel Congress
September 14 - 19, 2009
Stockholm, Sweden
World Bioenergy 2009 â€" Clean Vehicles and Fuels
September 16 - 19, 2009
Chicago, USA
2009 International Conference on Thermochemical Biomass Conversion Science
September 20 - 23, 2009
Atlanta, USA
15th Annual Fleet OPIS Fueling Conference & Exhibition
September 21 - 24, 2009
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
2009 Atlantic BIOEnergy Conference
September 23 - 25, 2009
Marrakech, Morocco
Africa Petroleum Storage and Transport (APESTRANS 2009)
September 24 - 25, 2009
Graz, Austria
4th BTLTec (Biomass-to-Liquid) Conference
September 26 - October 1, 2009
Trollhättan, Sweden
International Bioenergy Days 2009
September 30 - October 2, 2009
Liege, Belgium
ExCo64
September 30 - October 3, 2009
Seaside, USA
Columbia-Pacific Energy Expo 2009
October 4 - 8, 2009
Colorado Springs, USA
2009 Gasification Technologies Conference
October 5 - 9, 2009
Wershofen (Eifel), Germany
IEA Bioenergy Task 31 International workshop on “Forests Under Pressure?! Bioenergy â€" Forest Industry â€" The Public”
October 6 - 9, 2009
Almaty, Kazakhstan
17th Kazakhstan International Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference
October 8 - 10, 2009
Ankara, Turkey
International Energy Congress 2009
October 8 - 10, 2009
Warwickshire, UK
European Bioenergy Expo & Conference (EBEC)
October 13 - 16, 2009
Praha, Czech Republic
12th Annual Central and Eastern European Refining and Petrochemicals Conference
October 14 - 17, 2009
Edmonton, Canada
CAN BIO Annual Bioenergy Conference
October 27 - 30, 2009
Budapest, Hungary
BIOFUELS 2009
October 28 - 30, 2009
Shanghai, China
Biomass & WtE (Waste to Energy)

 

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posted by Sumit Bhatia @ 2:39 PM  

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