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Department of Energy Asks for Information on Key Technical Barriers in Biomass Conversion

The Department of Energy has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to garner input from researchers in industry, academia, and other interested biofuels stakeholders to identify key technical barriers in converting biomass via thermochemical direct liquefaction pathways to transportation fuels in the gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel ranges. The deadline for submission is December 5, 2013.

For the purpose of this RFI, thermochemical direct liquefaction pathways include fast pyrolysis, in situ and ex situ catalytic pyrolysis, hydropyrolysis, hydrothermal (or solvent) liquefaction followed by various combinations of bio-oil stabilization and upgrading processes. At a recent stakeholder workshop hosted by the Department of Energy’s Office of Biomass Program (OBP) several technology deficiencies were identified that were applicable to all of these pathways, in particular:

  1. Developing selective fractionation and separation systems in bio-oil processing;
  2. Improving H2 production, use, and transfer in biomass liquefaction and bio-oil upgrading; and
  3. Developing technologies for use and mitigation of the aqueous fraction of bio-oil.

Information regarding the significance of these technical barriers and the resources required to address these technology deficiencies is sought. The information provided may be used by OBP in support of program planning.

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