FY23 Conversion Research and Development Funding Opportunity Announcement
The 2023 Conversion R&D FOA supports a main theme core to the BETO Conversion Program’s R&D mission: developing technologies to enable the conversion of waste and renewable resources to fuels and products with substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions compared to the petroleum incumbent. The FOA addresses two specific technology pathways intended to develop improved technologies for generating clean syngas for upgrading to fuels as well as pathways for renewable chemical production. Each Topic Area seeks to reduce economic and technical risk, enabling BETO to help pave the way for industry to commercialize technologies that may reduce greenhouse gas emissions from hard to decarbonize sectors, such as aviation. Significant R&D is required to reach the ultimate goal of affordable, low-carbon transportation fuels and chemical products. The R&D activities to be funded under this FOA will support the government-wide approach to addressing the climate crisis by driving innovation and deployment of clean energy technologies. The Topic Areas in this FOA seek to address the following R&D needs: • R&D on gasification technologies, with an emphasis on syngas contaminant removal approaches that enable effective upgrading of products derived from gasification of renewable resources to liquid transportation fuels. • R&D on microbial conversion of renewable resources into chemical products, with an emphasis on processes with commercialization potential. Topic Area 1: Overcoming Barriers to Syngas Conversion The goal of this Topic Area is to improve the economics and reliability of gasification and syngas cleanup systems by eliminating technical barriers for conversion of renewable carbon and waste feedstocks to low carbon fuels. While upgrading syngas has been widely investigated, additional challenges remain due to process complexity and feedstock limitations associated with syngas cleanup. Projects selected from this Topic Area will facilitate conversion of acceptable biomass and waste feedstocks into SAF with a 70% reduction in lifecycle GHG emissions. Topic Area 2: Opportunities for Decarbonization of the Chemicals Industry Through Biocatalysts Subtopic 2a: Opportunities for Decarbonization of the Chemicals Industry Through Biocatalysts: This Subtopic seeks applications that are focused on engineering microbial hosts or biological (i.e., cell-free) systems to maximize production metrics, such as titer, rate, and/or yield, of a product of interest. Applicants should describe how the improvements they propose move the technology toward commercial relevance; applications will specifically be evaluated as to the likelihood that their technology improvement accelerates commercialization in the near term (~10 years). Subtopic 2b: Commercialization Opportunities for Decarbonization of the Chemicals Industry Through Biocatalysts: This Subtopic seeks applications that aim to improve biochemical production capabilities, with a focus on bioprocess improvements and integration at a larger scale. This includes projects targeting fermentation development and scale up as well as producing volumes of product required for validation with partners; such industrial partnerships should be clearly described. Questions regarding the FOA must be submitted to FY23conversionFOA@ee.doe.gov.