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EERE Archived Funding Opportunities

DE-FOA-0001689: Integrated Biorefinery Optimization

 The purposes of this modification are as follows:

1) Section I.B. - Topic Areas/Technical Areas of Interest

a) Revision of text:

Topic Area 2
Applications are required to be at a minimum starting TRL 2 through 4, and will end at TRL 3 through 5 respectively, that is, each application must advance its technology by at least one TRL level. Projects under this Topic Area require cost share be at least 20% of the total allowable costs for task(s) related to R&D activities, and cost share for tasks) related to pilot and demonstration level activities are required to be 50%. Please note that the required front-end throughput is a minimum of 1 DTPD for biomass feedstocks, at least 25,000 gallons of intermediate per year for an algal process, or utilization of at least 16 mmbtu/day of biogas/industrial flue gas and must be achieved by the end of the project period within Topic Area 2. Tasks that will demonstrate this requirement must have a cost-share of 50%. When applicable, applicants may utilize a blended cost share of 20% for R&D tasks and 50% for technology demonstration tasks.

2) Section III.B. - Cost Sharing

a) Addition of text:

EERE Cost Share 20% and 50%
The cost share must be at least 20% of the total allowable costs (i.e., the sum of the Government share, including FFRDC costs if applicable, and the Recipient share of allowable costs equals the total allowable cost of the project) for research and development projects and 50% of the total allowable costs for demonstration and commercial application projects and must come from non-Federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law. (See 2 CFR 200.306 and 2 CFR 910.130 for the applicable cost sharing requirements.)

3) Submission Deadline for Full Applications extended to 04/05/2017, 5:00 PM ET.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announce a joint funding opportunity to support Integrated Biorefinery Optimization. DOE has funded biorefinery technology development projects, since 2002, to meet two EERE performance goals: 1) reduce dependence on imported oil, thereby enhancing energy security; and 2) spur the creation of a sustainable domestic bio-industry. USDA-NIFA has funded programs and projects that target vital topical areas related to the development of regional systems for the sustainable production of biofuels, industrial chemicals, biopower, and biobased products; as well as investing in America’s scientific corps and developing workforce in bioenergy, bioproducts, and the bioeconomy. Robust scale-up of commercially viable biorefinery technologies will help USDA-NIFA meet two important goals: 1) to enhance energy security through the reduction in the dependence on foreign oil; and 2) to spur the creation of a sustainable domestic bioeconomy. This work supports NIFA’s mission to accelerate deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to strengthen U.S. energy security, economic vitality, and environmental quality.

Federal support for first-of-a-kind Integrated Biorefineries (IBRs) could significantly reduce the
technical and financial risks associated with new technology deployment, thus accelerating the growth of the U.S. bioeconomy, reducing costs to consumers, enabling reductions in environmental pollution in the transportation sector and improving energy security.

There are still unresolved technical and non-technical challenges within the IBRs that need to be addressed in order to achieve reliable and continuous operation that effectively competes with the petroleum refining and petrochemical industries. Many of these challenges are related to:

• Complexity and variability of non-food feedstocks;

• Operational difficulties encountered with handling of solids in the production process;

• Recalcitrance of feedstocks to efficiently convert into products;

• Inhomogeneity of intermediates resulting in non-uniform heat and mass transfer during the
manufacturing processes;

• Complex multi-step separation and purification steps;

• Non-monetization of byproducts and residual streams;

• Difficulties in translating bench-scale and pilot-scale learnings to the next step in scale-up such as demonstration-scale or pioneer-scale commercial level;

• Non-competitive cost of bioproducts due to higher capital and operational expenses; and

• Shortage of capital for long-term industrial projects.
As a result of these barriers, there are only a few pioneer-scale commercial IBRs in early stages
of commissioning, start-up, and/or production, and a wider deployment of highly-efficient IBR
facilities is still a goal to be realized. A number of the challenges result in schedule delays,
increased capital (CapEx) and operational (OpEx) expenses, and scale-up complications.

The FOA will identify, evaluate, and select applications proposing projects to address challenges encountered with the successful scale-up and reliable continuous operation of IBRs for the manufacture of Advanced or Cellulosic Biofuels (see Definitions) and associated higher value
bioproducts. The FOA seeks applications for projects focused on addressing these challenges,
reducing risks, and providing resources to accelerate commercialization of biofuels and bioproducts.

The FOA includes four topic areas as follows:

• Topic Area 1: Robust, continuous handling of solid materials (dry and wet feedstocks,biosolids, and/or residual solids remaining in the process) and feeding systems to reactors under various operating conditions;

• Topic Area 2: High value products from waste and/or other under-valued streams in an IBR;

• Topic Area 3: Industrial separations within an IBR; and

• Topic Area 4: Analytical modeling of solid materials (dry and wet feedstocks, and/or residual solids remaining in the process) and reactor feeding systems.

The full Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is posted on the EERE eXCHANGE website at

Applications must be submitted through the EERE eXCHANGE
website to be considered for award. The applicant must first register and create an account on the EERE eXCHANGE website. A User Guide for the EERE eXCHANGE can be found on the EERE website after logging in to the system.

Information on where to submit questions regarding the content of the announcement and where to submit questions regarding submission of applications is found in the full FOA posted on the EERE eXCHANGE website.


  • FOA_DE-FOA-0001689_IBR_Optimization_mod_000003_Final (Last Updated: 3/23/2017 12:54 PM ET)
  • CONCEPT_PAPER_COVER_PAGE_IBR_Opt (Last Updated: 1/12/2017 05:05 PM ET)
  • Technical_and_Economic_Data_Tables_Final_(Excel) (Last Updated: 1/9/2017 03:48 PM ET)
  • FOA_FAQs_9-11-17 (Last Updated: 9/12/2017 02:25 PM ET)
  • Biorefinery Optimization Workshop Summary Report, may be used as reference for applicant (Last Updated: 1/24/2017 04:58 PM ET)

Required Application Documents

Pursuant to the FOA, Applicants are required to submit the "Required Application Documents" with their Application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed or considered.

View Required Application Documents

Full Application

  • SF-424 Form (Last Updated: 1/5/2017 07:48 PM ET)
  • Budget Justification Form (Last Updated: 1/5/2017 07:49 PM ET)
  • SF-LLL Form (Last Updated: 1/5/2017 07:49 PM ET)
  • Statement of Project Objectives Template (Last Updated: 1/5/2017 07:50 PM ET)
  • Summary Slide Template (Last Updated: 1/5/2017 07:50 PM ET)

Contact Information

    For technical questions related to EERE Exchange.
    All questions regarding this FOA must be submitted to this email not later than 3 business days prior to the application due date. All questions and answers related to this FOA will be posted here. As this is an open, competitive solicitation, private discussions are prohibited.

Submission Deadlines

  • Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 2/6/2017 5:00 PM ET
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: 4/5/2017 5:00 PM ET
  • View Full Application Reviewer Comments Period: 5/15/2017 7:00 AM ET – 5/17/2017 5:00 PM ET