The U.S. Department of Energy has
awarded more than $10 million to two Iowa-based advanced biofuels companies to
develop pilot-scale biorefineries that will test renewable fuels technologies
for both commercial and military use.
Frontline Bioenergy LLC of Ames
has been awarded $4.2 million and BioProcess Algae in Shenandoah has
received $6.4 million for projects that will test renewable biofuels as a
domestic alternative for fueling automobiles, trucks and ships, as well as for
powering military jets.
The Iowa-based projects are part
of an $18 million investment by the Energy Department for four projects across
the country that will demonstrate technologies to cost-effectively convert
biomass into advanced drop-in biofuels and assist these organizations to scale
up the processes to commercial levels.
"Advanced biofuels are an
important part of President Obama's all-of-the-above strategy to reduce
America's dependence on foreign oil, improve our energy security and protect
our air and water," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a release.
"The innovative biorefinery projects announced today mark an important
step toward producing fuels for our American military and the civil aviation
industry from renewable resources found right here in the United States."
Both of the Iowa projects had
received state research funding from the Iowa Power Fund during Gov. Chet
Culver's administration. Click
here to read Friday's Business Record article that examined the
impact of the Iowa Power Fund.
The pilot-scale biorefinery projects will use a
variety of non-food biomass feedstocks, waste-based materials, and algae in
innovative conversion processes to produce biofuels that meet military
specifications for jet fuel and diesel. Recipients are required to contribute a
minimum of 50 percent matching funds for these projects.