DOE seeks input on use of biofuels blends in small engines

By Erin Voegele | July 08, 2015

In late June, the U.S. Department of Energy released a request for information (RFI) seeking stakeholder input on several topics related to the use of biofuel blends in small engines. Responses are due Aug. 30.

The RFI, issued by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technology Office, aims to solicit input on the potential to optimize and/or modify small engines to utilize ethanol blends greater than 10 percent. It also seeks input on the technical hurdles associated with designing, developing and/or modifying small, internal combustion engines to improve compatibility when operated with high-octane biofuel blends. The DOE is also soliciting stakeholder input on the market impact of increasing the consumption of biofuels in the small engine market and mechanisms for addressing the technical and non-technical hurdles of using biofuels in small engines.

The DOE has indicated the small engines of interest for the RFI are spark-ignition, internal combustion engines, such as those found in small tractors, chainsaws, hand-held line trimmers, off-road motorcycles, generator sets, small outboards, personal water craft, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles.

The RFI aims to solicit feedback from members of industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders. According to the DOE, the RFI will help BETO explore the potential impact and feasibility of efforts to address technical and non-technical hurdles associated with the use of ethanol blends greater than E10 and increased biofuels availability in related markets.

Information released by the BETO stresses the RFI is not a funding opportunity announcement (FOA). As such, the EERE is not accepting applications. However, the EERE may elect to open a FOA on the topic at a later date.

Additional information on the RFI and how to submit responses is available on the EERE Exchange website under DE-FOA-0001373