The U.S. Department of Energy will invest $13.4 million into five projects to develop advanced biofuels and bioproducts with the goal of reducing the cost of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from biomass. The department hopes to reduce the cost of biofuel to $3 per gallon by 2022.
The research and development projects in five states will focus on developing integrated processes for the production of advanced biofuels and chemicals. Two of the grants will address research efforts on the efficient conversion of biogas — a mixture of gases generated from the biological breakdown of organic material — to valuable products other than power.
The grants will go to the University of Wisconsin ($3.3 million) to develop a process to produce high value chemicals from biomass; American Process Inc. of Atlanta ($3.1 million) to develop and demonstrate processes to upgrade cellulosic sugars to solvents; the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of Golden, Colo., ($2.5 million) to develop a conversion process demonstrating the production of muconic acid from biogas; Natureworks of Minnetonka, Minn., ($2.5 million) to develop a fermentation process, using biogas and bacteria, for the production of lactic acid; and Vertimass of Irvine, Calif., ($2 million) to commercialize technology to convert ethanol into diesel fuel, gasoline, and jet fuel blend stocks compatible with the current transportation fuel infrastructure.