DOE Releases $21M for Biofuel Projects

U.S. Dept. of Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced that up to $21 million will be made available for five projects that will develop supply systems to handle and deliver high tonnage biomass feedstocks for cellulosic biofuels production.  The chosen awards were selected as the best projects to stimulate the design and demonstration of a […]

U.S. Dept. of Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced that up to $21 million will be made available for five projects that will develop supply systems to handle and deliver high tonnage biomass feedstocks for cellulosic biofuels production.  The chosen awards were selected as the best projects to stimulate the design and demonstration of a comprehensive system to handle the harvesting, collection, preprocessing, transport and storage of sufficient volumes of sustainably produced feedstocks that include: agricultural residues, energy crops (e.g., switchgrass, miscanthus, energycane, sorghum, poplar, willow), forest resources (e.g., forest thinnings, wood chips, wood wastes, small diameter trees) and urban wood wastes. Projects selected for negotiation of awards are:

  • Agco Corp., Duluth, Ga. (up to $5 million), will seek to demonstrate the viability of the densified, large square bale (LSB) as a least-cost, near-term means for supplying high tonnage biomass feedstocks to cellulosic biofuel processors.
  • Auburn University, Auburn, Ala. (up to $4.9 million), will work with leading producers of forest biomass for energy in Alabama to design and demonstrate a high productivity system to harvest, process, and transport woody biomass from southern pine plantations.  Specific project objectives are to develop design improvements in tree-length harvesting machines for energy plantations, configure and assemble a high-productivity, lowest-cost harvesting and transportation system for biomass, and demonstrate at full industrial scale and document performance of the harvesting, storage, pre-processing, and transportation system.
  • FDC Enterprises Inc., Columbus, Oh. (up to $4.9 million), plans to complete design, fabrication, and demonstration of three types of innovative new harvest and biomass handling machines, including a single-pass mowing and baling operation, a Bale Picking Truck, and a Self Loading Trailer, for Abengoa Bioenergy’s cellulosic biorefinery, which is currently under development in Hugoton, Kan.
  • Genera Energy, LLC, Knoxville, Tenn. (up to $4.9 million), will supply low-moisture switchgrass with an efficient bulk-format system that maximizes automated conveyance and handling.
  • The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY (up to $1.3 million), plans to build on existing collaborative efforts among the project partners to develop, test, and deploy a single-pass cut-and-chip harvester combined with a handling, transportation, and storage system that is effective and efficient in a range of different short-rotation wood crops (SRWC) production systems throughout North America.

To learn more about feedstocks efforts at the DOE and related funding opportunities, visit the Biomass Program’s web site.

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