August 8, 2021. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced nearly $34 million in funding for 11 projects that will support high-impact research and development to improve and produce biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts. These biomass resources, otherwise known as feedstocks, can be produced by municipal solid waste (MSW) streams and algae and converted into low-carbon fuels that can significantly contribute to the decarbonization of transportation sectors that face barriers to electrification, like aviation and marine. By lowering the carbon footprint of the transportation sector, biofuels will play an important role in reaching the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

“From food waste to yard trimmings, biomass technology is converting our everyday trash into low-carbon fuel for planes and ships while cutting costs and supporting our critical transportation sector,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “The companies and universities leading these projects will ensure that our cutting-edge biofuel technologies reduce carbon emissions, create new jobs up and down the supply chain, and are made in America by American workers.” 

Transportation accounts for approximately 30% of total U.S. energy consumption and generates the largest share of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Biofuels serve as a low-carbon alternative to petroleum and can also be used in the production of carbon-heavy products like plastics, fertilizers, lubricants, and industrial chemicals. 

“We need transformational, innovative technology to mitigate the most severe impacts of climate change,” said U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI). “Global Algae Innovations on Kauai is at work on technology that would create energy from algae, and this new federal funding will help this local company continue its groundbreaking work.”

“The University of Toledo is a nationally-recognized leader in the research of biofuel energies and environmental resilience,” said U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. “This vital partnership is recognition of the important role the University of Toledo plays, and will help advance the critical technology breakthroughs necessary to power our cleaner, greener energy future.”

“I was thrilled to learn that North Carolina State University in my district was awarded this crucial funding from the Department of Energy,” said U.S. Representative Deborah Ross (NC-02). “I am so proud of the work that NC State and its partners are doing to find novel ways to reduce municipal solid waste and explore alternative fuel sources. This award will go a long way in helping them expand their innovative research. This effort is just another example of the ingenuity the universities, startups, and small businesses in North Carolina’s 2nd district deploy to tackle our country’s greatest problems.”