Recent News

DOE and USDA Announce Biofuels, Bioenergy, and Biobased Products BRDI Grant Awardees


10 May 2016 – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) jointly awarded around $10 million in funding for projects that advance biofuels, biobased products, and bioenergy through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI).

DOE awarded up to $3 million in funding to the Ohio State University (OSU) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology for selected projects. The projects will focus on the cost effective production of biofuels and bioenergy from cellulosic biomass to advance the economic feasibility of biorefinery fuel production. CAAFI plans to work closely with OSU on its “Biomass Gasification for Chemicals Production Using Chemical Looping Techniques” project, an endeavor that hopes to develop syngas from biomass in just one step, reducing the cost of syngas production. This is a unique project that has the potential to significantly reduce costs and improve the efficiency of gasification of biomass. The MIT project will focus on “Improving Tolerance of Yeast to Lignocellulosic-derived Feedstocks and Products.”

USDA BRDI funds ($7.3 million) were awarded to the University of California-Riverside, University of Montana, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Dartmouth College, and State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. These projects vary in scope and topic, though they will all work to encourage more efficient biofuel production.

For more information on selected applicants and projects, refer to the DOE and USDA announcements.

DOE Announces Funding for Pilot and Demonstration Scale Biofuel Production Plants


9 May 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled “Project Definition for Pilot and Demonstration Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower.” The FOA will fund selected project proposals for the design of pilot- or demonstration-scale biorefinery facilities that produce cellulosic biomass, algal biomass, or biosolids feedstocks.

For more information on the funding opportunity, refer to the CAAFI Funding Opportunity Announcement page and the FOA listing on the EERE Exchange site.

Rick Gustafson (UW) Presented “Production of Fuels and Chemicals from Poplar Feedstock – A Pacific Northwest Perspective” for CAAFI R&D Team SOAP-Jet Webinar Series


22 April 2016—ON April 8, 2016, Rick Gustafson (University of Washington) presented “Production of Fuels and Chemicals from Poplar Feedstock – A Pacific Northwest Perspective” as part of the third CAAFI R&D Team SOAP-Jet webinar series focusing on regional perspectives of alternative jet fuel development and deployment. The series concentrates on current activities, approaches to supply chain integration, and regional challenges.

Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB – hardwoodbiofuels.org) is a USDA funded $40 million 5-year program whose mission is to lay the foundation for a renewable fuels and chemicals industry in the Pacific Northwest using sustainably grown poplar feedstock. AHB has projects ranging from development of energy tree farms to education programs for training future biorefinery operators. AHB has looked closely at producing renewable aviation fuels from poplar feedstock. In this webinar AHB introduced poplar as a bioenergy feedstock and discussed its conversion to aviation fuels and chemicals.

The entire slide deck from the presentation can be seen and downloaded here.

DOE Releases Notice of Intent to Fund Pilot and Demonstration Scale Biofuel Production Plants


19 April 2016 – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a Notice of Intent (NOI), to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled “Project Definition for Pilot and Demonstration Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower.”

The FOA, once released, will fund selected project proposals for the design of pilot- or demonstration-scale biorefinery facilities that produce cellulosic biomass, algal biomass, or biosolids feedstocks. The construction of pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefineries such as this are essential in validating process technologies that enable future commercial scale biorefinery construction and operation. Selected projects will be funded with cooperative agreements that allow an estimated design period of performance of one to two years. After this time frame, eligible projects will be reviewed for Phase II construction and operations project funding.

DOE expects to release the FOA on or around May 2, 2016. For more information, refer to the full NOI released by EERE.

ASTM Approves New Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene for ASTM D7566 Specification


18 April 2016 – Gevo, Inc. announced that ASTM International approved a new sustainable alternative jet fuel pathway – Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (ATJ-SPK) – under ASTM D7566 (Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons) on April 1, 2016. The ATJ-SPK fuel is initially limited to use of isobutanol as a feedstock, although the specification outlines a pathway for inclusion of any C2-C5 alcohol feedstocks as additional data is generated by such producers. The alcohol feedstocks are subsequently processed through dehydration, oligomerization, hydrogenation, and fractionation to achieve the properties of an acceptable jet fuel blend stock. ATJ-SPK is now the 5th approved synthetic blending component approved by the industry.

As with the previous four approved ASTM D7566 fuel pathways, ATJ-SPK must be blended with petroleum-based jet fuel before it may be reclassified as a drop-in D1655 jet fuel. The fuel is limited to a 30% maximum blend level.

CAAFI wishes to congratulate Gevo on achieving this milestone, and we look forward to additional Gevo engagement with the aviation enterprise, leading to impactful commercialization opportunities. Find the revised ASTM D7566 specification and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announcement here and here, respectively.

CAAFI also looks forward to recurring approvals of additional D7566 pathways over the next several years, eventually enabling a very broad group of technologies and feedstocks to be used for the production of sustainable alternative jet fuel world-wide, and in meaningful quantities to help the aviation industry meets its carbon neutral growth goals.