DOE seeks input on biorefinery scale-up, operational challenges

By U.S. Department of Energy | March 17, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office seeks feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders that will help BETO better understand capabilities, as well as barriers and opportunities, for the operation of integrated biorefineries to produce biofuels, biochemicals, and bioproducts.

BETO’s Demonstration and Market Transformation Program has supported more than 35 primarily pilot- and demonstration-scale facilities. These investments have allowed industry partners to prove a variety of technologies at scales that enable a path to commercialization. There are additional opportunities to achieve reliable and continuous biorefinery operation that can effectively compete with the refining and petrochemical industry.

BETO requests information on technical and financial challenges for the achievement of reliable, continuous biorefinery operations. BETO is particularly interested in receiving stakeholder input on production systems expected to be in the range of feedstock throughput of 1 dry metric ton per day (DTPD) to 1,000 DTPD to: 

1. Understand scale-up and mitigate operational risks and challenges 

2. Develop robust handling of variable solid materials 

3. Improve pre-processing methodologies 

4. Advance process intensification focused on simplification; reduce cost through innovative fabrication and construction methods; and/or develop efficient water management techniques

5. Address unique process issues and pathways

6. Develop strategies to lower capital expense costs by reducing technical risks and ensuring minimum modifications.

To see the full Request for Information, visit the EERE Exchange website. Responses must be received no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on April 6, 2016.

EERE accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about BETO’s work with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in biomass feedstocks and conversion technologies.