• U.S. Department of Energy

US energy department seeks information on renewable fuel scale-up, demonstration

The U.S. DOE has released a new request for information (RFI) on the scale-up and demonstration of renewable fuels. The RFI, titled “Overcoming Barriers to Renewable Fuel Scale-Up and Demonstration,” seeks input from biofuels producers and technology developers about their readiness to scale process technologies to pilot- and demonstration-scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable diesel, and renewable marine fuels. The RFI also seeks input on how the first-generation ethanol and other existing industries could be leveraged to provide low-cost feedstock and infrastructure for biofuels production, including information on practices that can reduce the carbon intensity of corn production.

This information is necessary for DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) to chart the potential growth of domestic renewable fuels production by 2030, and to understand the barriers in scaling renewable fuel production pathways. The RFI also seeks information on how DOE can best assist biofuels production stakeholders in their research and development and scaling up of their technologies through demonstration scale.

Constructing and operating pilot- and demonstration-scale facilities is essential to de-risk technology and ensure the success of subsequent commercial scale projects. BETO recognizes the availability of financing for first-of-a-kind process systems can be a barrier to commercializing advanced biofuels. Input is sought from bioenergy companies that are planning to scale up and demonstrate SAF, renewable diesel, and renewable marine fuel technologies from the lower technology-readiness levels to pilot and demonstration stage and eventual commercialization. This information will inform a multiyear scale-up strategy resulting in the construction and operation of several SAF, renewable diesel, and renewable marine fuel production pathways.

Feedback is requested from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to the scale-up of renewable fuel production technologies. Specifically, the RFI has six categories in which DOE is interested in receiving information and input:

  1. Biofuel Pathway Scale-up Forecasts—plans by developers to scale SAF, marine, and renewable diesel production

  2. Barriers to Scale-up of SAF, Marine, and Renewable Diesel Technologies—input on technical, financial, legal, contractual, policy and other barriers

  3. Leveraging First-generation Ethanol and Other Incumbent Industries—information on technological improvements that could enhance low-carbon fuel production

  4. BETO Scale-up of Biotechnologies Strategy—input on BETO’s strategy and other forms of financial assistance to support biofuel scale-up and commercialization

  5. Leveraging National Laboratory Process Development Unit to Scale Up Renewable Fuels—insight on how DOE National Laboratory capabilities can support biofuel scale-up and commercialization

  6. Feedstock Production and Supply—information on sustainable corn farming practices and challenges in establishing robust biomass feedstock supply chains

Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to Biofuels_FY22_RFI@ee.doe.gov no later than 5 p.m. Eastern time Jan. 31. In addition to, or in lieu of, providing written responses to this RFI, respondents may request a 30-minute individual discussion with a BETO staff member via Biofuels_FY22_RFI@ee.doe.gov. View the full RFI on EERE Exchange or Grants.gov.

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