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lunes, 14 de agosto de 2017

New MEGA-BIO to promote the manufacture of bioproducts alongside cost-competitive biofuels

One year ago, US DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) selected three projects for an initial round of funding under a program entitled “MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels”. Early this month, a new DOE announcement disclosed that another project has been granted with $1.8 million from the program (see press release). The total funding for the four MEGA-BIO awards is $13.1 million.

MEGA-BIO supports BETO’s goal of meeting its 2022 cost target of $3/gallon gasoline equivalent for the production of hydrocarbon fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. The approach BETO had taken previously to achieve this goal was to focus on conversion pathways that produce biofuels with little or no emphasis on coproducing bioproducts. However, manufacturing high-value bioproducts alongside cost-competitive biofuels has the potential to generate a positive return on investment for a biorefinery. Bioproducts can also incentivize the de-risking of “front end” processes (from feedstock logistics through to deconstruction) which are also necessary for fuel production. In this sense, the four MEGA-BIO are focused on the development of biomass-to-hydrocarbon biofuels conversion pathways that can produce variable amounts of fuels and products based on external factors such as market demand.

As the blog did not echo the first announcement, this might be the right time to highlight the partners and the technologies involved in the four projects.

- The Dow Chemical Company
- LanzaTech
- Northwestern University
Process for the bioconversion of biomass-derived syngas to fatty alcohols as a pathway to biofuels.
- Amyris
- Renmatix
- Total New Energies
Process to produce farnesene from cellulosic sugar at the same cost of the current manufacturing using cane syrup.
- Research Triangle Institute
- Arkema
Process to recover mixed methoxyphenols from biocrude.
- Michigan State University
- University of Wisconsin–Madison
- MBI International
Two-stage process for deconstruction of biomass into two clean intermediate streams: sugars for the production of hydrocarbon fuels and lignin for the production of multiple value-added chemicals.

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