In January, we introduced a new series to highlight the transformational technology our project teams are developing across the energy portfolio. The Ginkgo Bioworks and Evolva teams are working to turn biofuel ideas into reality.
LIQUID TRANSPORTATION FUEL FROM ELECTRICITY AND CO2 UPDATED: JANUARY 27, 2017PROJECT TITLE: Bioprocess and Microbe Engineering for Total Carbon Utilization in Biofuel ProductionPROGRAM: ElectrofuelsAWARD: $4,400,000PROJECT TEAM: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Lead), University of Delaware, & Harvard UniversityPROJECT TERM: July 2010 – March 2014
ABSTRACT: Biofuels are by now a well-established component of the liquid fuels market and will continue to grow in importance for both economic and environmental reasons. To date, all commercial approaches to biofuels involve photosynthetic capture of solar radiation and conversion to reduced carbon; however, the low efficiency inherent to photosynthetic systems presents significant challenges to scaling.
ABSTRACT: After a century of unprecedented growth in science, technology, and the economy, we now face tremendous challenges to our ability to fuel the future: a fluctuating oil price, a changing climate, and continued dependence on unreliable energy sources. These problems are increasingly personal, and the demand for solutions becomes increasingly urgent. There are many changes that we must make to address these challenges, but the ultimate solution(s) will only come from fundamental innovations in science and technology.
Vice President Biden Announces Recovery Act Funding for 37 Transformational Energy Research Projects
At a Recovery Act Cabinet Meeting today, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced that the U.S. Department of Energy is awarding $106 million in funding for 37 ambitious research projects that could fundamentally change the way the country uses and produces energy.
The United States faces extraordinary challenges in the 21st century, from creating jobs to protecting the environment and reducing our energy dependency, but with strategic and smart investment we can create game-changing new technologies that overcome these challenges. The question is, will the U.S. make the choices necessary to “win the future?” Dr. Arun Majumdar -- the director of our advanced research agency, ARPA-E -- believes we can and should.
Americans spend a lot of time – and energy – driving and flying. The average U.S. driver logs about 13,000 miles every year. To fuel our commutes and summer road trips, Americans last year consumed more than 136 billion gallons of gasoline, which accounts for 60% of U.S. oil demand and is responsible for a quarter of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. On the commercial side, more than 10.3 billion gallons of jet fuel were consumed in 2014 by U.S. airlines alone.
The goal of the workshop was to bring together thought leaders from distinct science communities to collectively develop new ideas and identify the most promising R&D pathways to capture and utilize solar energy for the production of infrastructure-compatible, organic high-energy transportable fuels.
Video: Awardee Profile
Learn more about ARPA-E’s Electrofuels program, which is using microorganisms to create liquid transportation fuels in a new and different way that could be up to 10 times more energy efficient than current biofuel production methods.