DOE Doles Out Bucks

August 1, 2008 at 9:08 am 3 comments

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 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 over the next five 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.

“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,” states Andy Karsner, Assistant Secretary, DOE, “and clean, sustainable cellulosic biofuels do just that.”

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.”

[via Renewable Energy World]


Entry filed under: Biofuels, Emerging Technologies, Energy, Environment, Informational, Starting a Business. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Going to Pot Don’t Drink the Water (Part 3)

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. scienceguy288  |  August 2, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Ethanol is the biggest bunch of bull I have ever heard. At one point, I was a firm supporter of this “alternative energy,” but when I found out that it takes just as much gas to create ethanol as it does to just pump it into your car….that kinda turned me off.

  • 2. briansrapier  |  August 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    That depends on which method is used to produce it: cellulolysis or gasification. The production of cellulosic ethanol involves a hydrolysis step in which the sugar chains that make up the cellulose molecules are broken apart to enable the fermentation process.

    There are two options by which to make this process occur. The first requires a chemical interaction though introduction of an acid into the mix. The lower the temperature of the mix, the higher concentrations of acid that are required to make the reaction take place.

    The alternate method is by introducing enzymes, such as those naturally occurring in the digestive tracts of cows and sheep, to break up the sugar chains. This method requires less energy and is a more environmentally friendly method of processing ethanol, it is the less desirable for producers seeking higher profits as the enzymatic process simply takes longer.

    Ethanol is not the magic bullet that will solve our dependency on oil. However, it does take a (baby) step in the right direction.

  • 3. Top tips on government grants  |  September 11, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    The SBA is also supposed to help mom- and- pop start- ups compete against entrenched, intimidating competitors. But the lion’ s share of SBA largesse goes to some of the least concentrated sectors of the economy, areas already crowded with small businesses able to succeed without taxpayer- backed loans


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