DOE Selects Projects to Accelerate Adoption of Biofuels


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected seven projects – totaling $1.94 million – to conduct research and development to accelerate the adoption of performance-advantaged biofuel blendstocks. 

These fuels are derived from renewable feedstocks, and can deliver exceptional efficiency with low emissions. The seven projects will leverage National Laboratory capabilities as part of the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative.

“When you consider how much U.S. households spend on transportation – second only to housing expenses – even a small boost in fuel economy can have an important impact on families’ expenses,” says Daniel R Simmons, assistant secretary for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

“These projects are designed to help improve energy efficiency for passenger vehicles through the use of biofuels, translating into savings at the pump,” he adds.

DOE awarded funding to the following projects:

  • CFR Engines, of Pewaukee, Wis., will work with Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) to develop a fuel reactivity metric and test method for advanced compression ignition combustion engines
  • ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, of Annandale, N.J., will work with ANL to develop a life-cycle analysis modeling framework to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions produced by refinery coprocessing of renewable fuels
  • General Motors, of Detroit, Mich., will work with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to determine fuel property effects on abnormal combustion for biofuel-petroleum fuel blends
  • LanzaTech, of Skokie, Ill., will work with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to demonstrate the production of a gasoline-boiling-range fuel with advanced fuel properties
  • Shell of Houston, Texas, will work with NREL to apply metabolic engineering and process optimization to the biological production of the high-performance blendstock isopropanol
  • Sylvatex, of Sunnyvale, Calif., will work with ANL to evaluate the injector performance of Sylvatex’s alternative diesel fuel and optimize its formulation
  • Visolis, of Hayward, Calif., will work with PNNL to convert Visolis’ bioderived intermediate into a high-energy-density blendstock for use in gasoline engines

Each of the Co-Optima Directed Funding Opportunity awardees will receive up to $300,000 in National Laboratory assistance for experimental or computational projects that leverage capabilities in the areas of bioblendstock fuel property and production research, combustion performance modeling, bioblendstock target identification and/or impacts analysis. Each of the awardees has committed to a 20% cost share contribution.

The Co-Optima initiative aims to provide U.S. industry with the scientific underpinnings needed to maximize vehicle performance and efficiency, leverage domestic fuel resources and reduce lifecycle emissions. Sponsored by EERE’s Vehicle Technologies and Bioenergy Technologies Offices, Co-Optima partners include ANL, PNNL, NREL, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory and more than 20 university and industry partners.

To learn more about the Co-Optima initiative, click here.

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