DOE To Fund Pilot & Demonstration-Scale Biorefineries

On December 22, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its intention to provide up to US $200 million (subject to appropriations) from FY09-FY14 to support the development of biorefineries producing advanced biofuels such as butanol, green gasoline, and synthetic diesel made from algae, cellulosic energy crops, wastes, residues and other biomass feedstocks.

The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) specified that funds were reserved for pilot and demonstration-scale facilities. DOE defines pilot facilities as those processing a minimum of one dry ton of feedstock per day, with a minimum non-federal cost-share of 30 percent.

Demonstration-scaled facilities are defined as those processing at least 50 dry tons of feedstock per day, with a minimum non-federal cost-share of 50 percent. DOE estimates that it will make 5-12 awards under this announcement, with the intention that facilities will be operational within three to four years of selection.

Eligible projects must be located within the United States, must use domestically-produced feedstocks, and must demonstrate significant greenhouse gas reductions (>50 percent) on a lifecycle basis as determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Priority will be given to projects likely to lead to commercialization in the near term. Mandatory letters of intent are due by February 20, 2009 and completed applications are due by April 30, 2009. More information, as well as application materials, can be found at