The US Department of Energy announced that it would direct $25.5 million in funding towards facilitating the sustainable use of domestic biomass and waste resources. Biofuels and bioproducts can be produced from waste resources such as agricultural residues and algae. The “Reducing Agricultural Carbon Intensity and Protecting Algal Crops” funding opportunity (RACIPAC) (DE-FOA-0002910) aims to improve the production of environmentally sustainable feedstocks for bioenergy through two topic areas:
- Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices for Low-Carbon Intensity Feedstocks
- Algae Crop Protection
This opportunity is possible thanks to previous DOE-funded research and development to decrease the cost of biomass feedstock production and supply. This funding opportunity aims its attention at improving climate-smart agricultural practices that reduce the carbon intensity of biomass feedstocks used for biofuel production, as it recognizes that decarbonizing transportation and agriculture are inevitably associated in the mindful production and deployment of biofuels.
The funding will also be available to sponsor projects that harvest and protect algae crops, an abundant and renewable biofuel source vulnerable to loss from predation, organic competition, and pest infestation.
Both topic areas align with the DOE’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge goal of advancing and promoting the production of 35 billion gallons of SAF annually by 2050. This amount would be enough to meet 100% of US aviation fuel demand.