Research into energy crops and advanced biofuels, like one particular project funded by ARPA-E, contributes to U.S. energy independence, creates jobs, and directly applies to increasing food crops production.
The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy works in partnership with industry to develop, build, operate and validate integrated biorefineries across the country at various scales (pilot, demonstration, and commercial). One such project, led by ClearFuels-Rentech, recently celebrated the completion of a pilot-scale, biorefinery in Commerce City, Colorado.
From transporting the oil necessary to fuel jets and vehicles to supplying battery packs to infantry, energy plays a central role in almost everything the U.S. military does. Because of this reliance, it’s imperative that the military cultivate energy sources that are not subject to the whims of outside nations. While renewables like solar are playing a large role in this effort, advanced biofuels produced domestically are rapidly becoming another choice for transportation fuel.
After a rigorous testing process, Energy Department project partners at ThermoChem Recovery International (TRI) have validated a process that converts wood waste and forest residue into clean, renewable fuel.
With the passing of Halloween, millions of pounds of pumpkins have turned from seasonal decorations to trash destined for compost heaps or landfills. But in Oakland, California, a public utility district are using discarded pumpkins and other food waste as a source of renewable electricity.
A highly efficient catalyst to convert renewable crops into the product propylene glycol was discovered by scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and commercialized by the Archer Daniels Midland Company.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu Sept. 23 announced the Department finalized a $105 million loan guarantee to support the development of one of the nation's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants.
Biofuels hold great potential not only for reducing our dependence on foreign oil, but also for creating new jobs and economic opportunities for America’s rural communities (a billion tons-worth of opportunities, to be exact).
Biofuels produced here in the U.S. increase our energy security, but there is still a need for next-generation renewable fuels that can be integrated into the nation's current fuel refining and distribution infrastructure. If successful, electrofuels projects sponsored by ARPA-E could help fill this void.
For most people, the notion that the green gunk coating various pond and river bottoms is a potential fuel source sounds like science fiction. But the fact is, several projects sponsored by the Energy Department are actively developing various ways to turn that “green gunk”, called algae, into a renewable and sustainable transportation fuel that will help reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
Researchers at the Energy Department's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered the first strains of the bacteria to digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into all three types of transportation fuels -- gasoline, diesel and jet fuels.
For many, a barrel of oil is almost synonymous with its most prominent product, gasoline. While almost 40% of a barrel of oil is used to produce gasoline, the rest is used to produce a host of products including jet fuel and plastics and many industrial chemicals. As the United States works to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, we must recognize the complexity of that dependence and work to replace the whole barrel.
Imagine if the same mold that ruins old grapes and onions could double as a key ingredient in the recipe to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are working to harness the natural process that spoils fruits and vegetables as a way to make fuel and other petroleum substitutes.
President Obama launches the National Clean Fleets Partnership, an initiative that helps large companies reduce with fuel usage by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels and conservation techniques into their operations. Charter partners include AT&T, FedEx, Pepsi-Co, UPS and Verizon.