Several bioenergy projects receive SBIR funding

By Erin Voegele | September 16, 2016

The USDA recently announced $7.4 million in grants will be awarded to 76 small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research program to support research related to food security, natural resources and agricultural issues. The SBIR is a competitive funding source that is coordinated by the Small Business Administration and administered by 11 federal agencies, including the USDA. The program aims to encourage domestic small businesses to engage in high-growth research and development that has the potential for commercialization and could lead to significant public benefit.

"USDA is proud to stand behind America's small businesses, whose ingenuity and commitment to community is appreciated worldwide," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Rural America is finally on the road to recovery after one of the worst economic recessions in our history, and we cannot underestimate the role that small businesses' innovation has played in bringing jobs back to their hometowns. The Small Business Innovation Research Program is one of many ways that USDA has helped thousands of rural businesses expand on new ideas for the benefit of their own operations and for our society as a whole. "

Bioenergy related awards include:

Infinite Energy LLC: Infinite Energy LLC, doing business as Infinite Enzymes, is located in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The company was awarded $100,000 for a project titled “Seed-based lipase and phospholipase production for enzymatic biodiesel.”

Industrial Microbes Inc.: Emeryville, California-based Industrial Microbes Inc. was awarded $100,000 for a project titled “Upgrading animal manure biogas to high-value chemicals using biological fermentation.”

Microvi Biotech Inc.: Hayward, California-based Microvi Biotech Inc. was awarded $100,000 for a project titled “Autonomous, low-energy separation of n-butanol produced from lignocellulosic resources.”

TDA Research Inc.: Wheat Ridge, Colorado-based TDA Research Inc. was awarded $100,000 for a project titled “Efficient process for the production of drop-in diesel fuel oxygenate from bio-succinic acid.”

Compact Membrane Systems Inc.: Wilmington, Delaware-based Compact Membrane Systems Inc. was awarded $100,000 for a project titled “Enhanced membranes for sweetening of manure based biogas.”

E3Techservice LLC: Clarksville, Maryland-based E3Techservice LLC was awarded $99,308 for a project titled “Heat integrated reactive distillation for synthesis of biobased plasticizers, solvents and coatings.”

Quantalux LLC: Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Quantalux LLC was awarded $99,915 for a project titled “A decision tool for anaerobic digesters at WWTPS.”

Montana Bioagriculture Inc.: Missoula, Montana-based Montana Bioagriculture Inc. was awarded $94,634 for a project titled “Barley biorefinery: Protein concentrate and bio-based chemicals.”

A full list of awards is available on the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture website.

The USDA also indicated the SBIR program is currently accepting Phase I grant applications for the next round of funding. The application period closes Oct. 6. See the request for applications for more information. Proposed Phase I projects should prove the scientific or technical feasibility of the approach or concept. Projects dealing with agriculturally related manufacturing and alternative and renewable energy technologies are encouraged across all SBIR topic areas.