Five bioenergy projects score funds via DOE pilot program

By Anna Simet | April 26, 2017

The U.S. DOE has awarded funding to 38 projects for which small businesses will team up with national lab researchers through the DOE’s Small Business Vouchers pilot program.

The intent of the SBV program is to facilitate access to DOE national labs for American small businesses, enabling them to tap into the intellectual and technical resources needed to overcome critical technology challenges for their advanced energy products, and gain a global competitive advantage, according to the DOE.

In the first two rounds of the program, 12 DOE national labs received funding to partner with 76 small businesses. In this round, eight national laboratories will receive funding to partner with 38 competitively selected small businesses across the country, five of which will focus on bioenergy projects.

Gevo and Argonne National Laboratory have been awarded $200,000 to create a model that measures the synergistic and antagonistic relationship between gasoline and isobutanol, with the goal of creating a blending model that works over a variety of representative gasoline base fuel compositions.

Cogent and Idaho National Laboratory have been awarded $200,000 to work toward improving Cogent’s small-scale gasifier—which can be used to make electricity, liquid fuels, hydrogen and chemical precursors—for distributed waste-to-energy applications and markets. The project aims to properly homogenize and size feedstock material so that it can be continuously fed into the gasifier and meet real-world feedstock processing requirements.

Kalion Inc. and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been awarded $200,000 to reach full manufacturing scale production of glucaric acid and glucuronic acid by creating a manufacturing-ready production strain, and then scaling to generate an appropriate process.

Synvitrobio and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been awarded $200,000 to work toward development of cell-free based analytical tools to convert renewable biomass to higher-order chemicals mevalonate and vanillin.

ThermChem and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been awarded $200,000 to work to determine how to valorize the hydrothermal carbonization process liquids, aiming to identify the potentially valuable and intermediate chemicals in these aqueous phases and convert them into value-added biochemical and bioproducts.