DOE investments would advance biorefinery processing to reduce GHG emissions

The Department of Energy has awarded $118 million to accelerate the production of sustainable biofuels for transportation and manufacturing needs.

Chris Bliley, senior vice president of regulatory affairs, with Growth Energy says the grants will help biorefineries reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Our plants are innovating more and more in response to more competition in carbon markets, the Inflation Reduction Act and really just to focus on decarbonization.  A lot of that innovation is taking place at the plant and that’s what these projects are meant to do.”

Seventeen companies in nine states were awarded funding to diversify biofuels and bioproducts by advancing biorefinery development, from pre-pilot to demonstration and to create sustainable fuels that reduce emissions associated with fossil fuels.

Bliley tells Brownfield some companies will collaborate with US growers. “As more and more plants work with their farmers, I think there is certainly a number of things that farmers have done on their own farms to drive down greenhouse gas emissions.  I think you’re going to see more of an emphasis there and I think that is going to extend to biorefineries and to the farmers that supply them as well.”

Nebraska-based Green Plains received a $500,000 grant, and Chief Financial Officer Jim Stark says the investment will help create a new market for sustainable aviation fuel and balance supply and demand for gasoline. “And with the conversion today of taking about 1.7 gallons of ethanol to make one gallon of sustainable aviation fuel, that could take about 2.5 billion gallons of ethanol out of the roadside and put into the jet fuel side.”

He tells Brownfield the grant will also add technology to produce renewable natural gas, reduce electricity carbon index score and help farmers lower the carbon intensity score of their corn. “When you think about that CI score of the corn coming in, if there is anything we can do with farmers to partner with them to lower their outputs, then we want to partner with them.”

Other grant recipients include: LanzaTech Inc, in Skokie, IL, will receive $1.6 million to replenish ecosystems by transforming residues to energy; Lincolnway Energy LLC, in Nevada, IA, will receive $453,000 to reduce carbon intensity ethanol via biogas from stillage and other feedstocks, Marquis, Inc, in Hennepin, IL, will receive $8.5 million to further refine corn ethanol; others include New Jersey, California, Georgia and Washington D.C.

Brownfield’s Amie Simpson contributed to this story.

Chris Bliely, Growth Energy:

Jim Stark, Green Plains:

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