DOE seeks input in support of developing a billion-ton bioeconomy

By Erin Voegele | June 17, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a request for information (RFI) regarding the ability to eventually supply up to a billion dry tons of biomass feedstock annually for a variety of end uses.

The DOE is seeking feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies and other stakeholders to support a “billion-ton bioeconomy.”  The RFI asks for stakeholder input on specific aspects in the development of large-scale supply systems and technologies to supply up to a billion tons of biomass feedstock each year. According to the DOE, the goal is to develop the components of processing and handling of biomass and demonstrate the viability of advanced feedstock supply systems (AFSS).

In a statement, the DOE indicated existing feedstock supply systems are not adequate to reliably provide high-quality feedstock at the increasing volumes demanded over the next few decades. The department noted that current systems and technologies have limitations in providing uniform feedstocks with specified composition, shape, size and moisture characteristics.  New logistics and processing technologies and systems are needed to address these challenges to support a growing biomass-derived industry and bioeconomy. According to the DOE, these new systems and technologies are needed to overcome barriers associated with collection/harvest, storage, preprocessing, and transportation of increasing volumes of biomass annually.

The RFI document includes three specific categories under which information is requested, including preprocessing technologies, quality management, and strategies for mobilizing a billion tons of biomass resources. Specific questions are included under each category. 

Reponses to the RFI must be submitted by June 30. Only electronic responses will be accepted. They must be provided as attachments to an email and be of no more than five pages in length. Specific submission requirements are available on the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Exchange website under DE-FOA-0001630.