Issue Date: March 2, 2015
Biobased Firms Win Funding
The Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) will fund seven projects, with grants totaling up to $10 million, to develop new biofuel technologies that use nonfood biomass. “These projects will support BETO’s work to develop renewable and cost-competitive biofuels … by reducing the risk associated with potentially breakthrough approaches and technologies,” DOE says. Three of the projects—each receiving up to $2 million—will be led by technology firms. Metabolix will collaborate with North Carolina State University to develop a non-genetically-modified version of a potential feedstock crop, Camelina sativa, with increased seed yield and oil content. OPX Biotechnologies will work on a process to convert cellulosic sugars to C8 fatty acid derivatives via metabolic engineering of microbes. The intermediates can be used in lubricants and synthetic oils. And Kiverdi, along with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will develop processes and genetic tools to make hydrocarbons using bacteria that consume biomass-derived synthesis gases. Other firms including MicroBio Engineering, Green Biologics, CogniTek, and W.R. Grace will also participate in funded projects.
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