Energy Dept picks 2 Iowa firms to develop biofuels for military jets, ships

Source: by Christopher Doering, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013

The U.S. Energy Department said on Monday it would invest more than $10.5 million in two Iowa companies to help spur the development of advanced biofuels.

The DOE said it awarded $4.2 million to Frontline Bioenergy in Ames and $6.4 million to BioProcess Algae in Shenandoah to develop pilot-scale biorefineries that would be used to test renewable biofuels for use in cars, trucks, and planes while also meeting military specifications for jets and ships in the American military.

The Iowa-based projects are part of an $18 million investment by the DOE. The projects are designed to use a variety of non-food biomass feedstocks, waste-based materials, and algae in innovative conversion processes to produce biofuels that meet military specifications for jet fuel and diesel.

Frontline Bioenergy will work with woody biomass, municipal solid waste and refuse derived fuel at the Iowa Energy Center’s Biomass Energy Conversion Facility in Nevada, Iowa. These liquids will be upgraded to produce samples of biofuels that meet military specifications. At BioProcess Algae, the firm will produce hydrocarbon fuels meeting military specifications using renewable carbon dioxide, lignocellulosic sugars and waste heat.

Iowa is the largest producer of renewable fuels production. The state had 41 ethanol facilities capable of producing more than 3.7 billion gallons annually in 2012.