DOE Invests US $240 Million in Biorefineries

The U.S. Depaartment of Energy (DOE) has announced that it has finished its selection process for grants to be made to small-scale cellulosic ethanol refineries. The selected biorefinery projects will receive up to a total of US $240 million in DOE funding, subject to appropriations, over the next five fiscal years. Once federal funding is combined with industry cost share, more than US $735 million could be invested in the nine projects, over the next four to five years.

This announcement follows last week’s selection of two small-scale cellulosic biorefinery projects in Park Falls, Wisconsin and Jennings, Louisana for federal funding of up to US $40 million over five years.

On average, commercial-scale biorefineries process roughly 700 tons or more of non-food feedstock per day, with an output of approximately 15-30 million gallons a year (MMGY) of biofuels. These smaller-scale facilities will input approximately 70 tons of feedstock per day — with outputs ranging from 1.5 to 6 million gallons of ethanol per year. The selected projects will produce liquid transportation fuels such as cellulosic ethanol from wood, energy crops and agricultural waste products.

“To meet our growing energy demand we must continue to research and advance clean energy solutions to improve our energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and clean, sustainable cellulosic biofuels do just that,” DOE Assistant Secretary Andy Karsner said.  “These biorefineries will create fuel from non-food based sources to power our vehicles and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

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