Cantwell Announces $3 Million Biofuels Grant for PNNL

Grant supports research and commercialization of technologies to make biofuels interchangeable with petroleum-based fuels, compatible with all existing vehicles

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding up to $3.1 million to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for advanced biofuel technology development. PNNL will use the funds to partner with the private sector to develop biofuel for future commercial applications that can be interchangeable with gasoline, diesel or jet fuels produced from petroleum.  
“This critical investment in the cutting-edge research and development occurring at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state represents an important step toward energy independence and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Senator Cantwell said. “This groundbreaking, world-class research has the potential to significantly improve the ability of homegrown biofuels to replace foreign oil.”
Senator Cantwell has long supported the development and commercialization of biofuel for use in vehicles to help reduce our nation’s dependence on petroleum-based fuels and better protect the environment. At Senator Cantwell’s urging, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) contained over $80 billion dollars for green projects, including $80 million for advanced biofuels research. Senator Cantwell was also instrumental in authoring the Renewable Fuels Standard in the 2007 Energy Bill which requires the production of 36 billion gallons of biofuels, primarily from non-food feedstocks, by 2022.
The advanced biofuels research at PNNL is one of four projects receiving up to $12 million in funding over three years to advance technologies for converting biomass into advanced biofuels compatible with existing engines and fueling   infrastructure. The project will develop an integrated and stable catalytic deoxygenation process for converting bio-oil to drop-in fuels and investigate catalyst and process parameters that lead to increased process performance over time to enable extended operations in future commercial-scale refineries. The DOE is also awarding up to $4.5 million for three projects that support sustainable biomass production systems research. The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Biomass Program works with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners on research in biomass feedstocks and conversion technologies. To learn more about the program, visit the Biomass Web site.