ARPA-E has announced up to $70 million in funding for its two newest programs: Renewable Energy to Fuels Through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL) and Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (ROOTS).
REFUEL projects will use water, molecules from the air, and electricity from renewable sources to produce high-energy liquid fuels for transportation and other uses. ROOTS projects will tackle the growing problem of soil “carbon debt” by developing sensing technologies to help farmers choose crop varieties that better capture carbon molecules from the atmosphere and store them in their root systems.
“ARPA-E invests in programs that draw on a broad set of disciplines and require the bold thinking we need to build a better energy future,” said ARPA-E Director Dr. Ellen D. Williams. “REFUEL’s way of creating fuels from commonly available molecules could drastically change how we power our cars and trucks, while ROOTS projects will help us find crops that trap carbon into the soil and reduce the need for costly, emissions-heavy fertilizers.”
Further details on the REFUEL program can be found HERE
and details on the 16 projects can be found HERE
Further details on the ROOTS program can be found HERE
and details on the 10 projects can be found HERE
. Read the full press release HERE
ARPA-E today announced up to $25 million in funding for a new program to significantly expand the opportunities to produce macroalgae as an economically viable, renewable feedstock for biofuel and energy applications.
MacroAlgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER) program will develop innovative cultivation and harvest systems and additional supporting tools necessary to produce macroalgae biomass at a scale required for fuel production and at a cost competitive with land-based biofuel feedstocks. If successful, MARINER is expected to deploy new technologies to help bolster U.S. energy security and diversify U.S. fuel sources.
Macroalgae, also referred to as seaweed, are a set of exceptionally diverse multicellular, non-vascular marine plants. Beyond the most common applications of direct human consumption and food additives, there are additional opportunities for large-scale use of macroalgae in the production of fuels and chemicals. The current state of macroalgae mariculture, however, is not capable of scaling to support a seaweed-to-fuels industry.
The MARINER program seeks to increase macroalgae yield and expand into off-shore environments to increase the areas of deployment by two orders of magnitude above current global levels, all while significantly reducing cost. These transformational technologies could potentially enable a U.S.-based macroalgae industry capable of producing up to two quads—approximately 2 percent of U.S. primary energy consumption—of bioenergy by 2050, without competing for freshwater or farmland currently dedicated to food production.
ARPA-E encourages outstanding scientists, engineers, and practitioners from different organizations, scientific disciplines, and technology sectors to form new project teams for the MARINER program. ARPA-E believes that interdisciplinary and cross-organizational collaborations can facilitate scientific and technological discoveries that a single group alone would not be able to achieve.
The deadline to submit a Concept Paper for MARINER is 5 p.m. ET on February 14, 2017
. Additional information, including the full FOA and how to find project teaming partners, is available on ARPA-E’s online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE