The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that two Iowa firms will receive funding to help spur the development of advanced biofuels. The DOE has rewarded $4.2 million to Frontline Bioenergy in Ames and $6.4 million to BioProcess Algae in Shenandoah to develop pilot scale biorefineries to test renewable biofuels for use in cars, trucks, and planes while also meeting military specifications for jets and ships for the U.S. military.
The Iowa-based projects are part of an $18 million investment by the DOE. The projects are designed to use a variety of nonfood biomass feedstocks, waste-based materials and algae in innovative conversion processes to product biofuels that meet military specifications for jet and diesel fuels.
Frontline Bioenergy will work with the following:
– woody biomass
– municipal solid waste
– and refuse-derived fuel
This work will be done at their Iowa Energy Center’s Biomass Energy Conversion Facility in Nevada.
Frontline Bioenergy is a privately held company that is on the forefront of designing of custom systems and proprietary equipment for biomass gasification. Founded in 2003 the company moved to Ames, Iowa, in January 2006.
Meanwhile, at BioProcess Algae, the firm will produce hydrocarbon fuels that meet military specifications by using the following:
– renewable carbon dioxide
– lignocellulosic sugars
– and waste heat.
The headquarters of BioProcess Algae is located in Rhode Island and co-located with Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. ethanol plant in Shenandoah, Iowa. “We believe our Grower Harvester platform will be vital in the development of this project with the DOE,” added Tim Burns, President and CEO of BioProcess Algae. “For this project, we will integrate low-cost autotrophic algal production, accelerated lipid production, and lipid conversion in an effort to develop a cost-effective advanced biofuel for military needs. This development is consistent with our current plans to build the next phase of Grower Harvester reactors in Shenandoah.”
Iowa is the largest producer of renewable fuels production. In 2012 there were 41 ethanol facilities capable of producing more than 3.7 billion gallons annually.