The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office is proud to announce five businesses that will collaborate with national labs as part of the third round of the Small Business Vouchers Pilot. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s SBV Pilot program provides funding for DOE national laboratories to partner with competitively selected U.S. small businesses, enabling these clean technology companies to utilize the laboratories’ technical and intellectual resources.

Through EERE’s SBV Pilot, BETO has announced two rounds of funding since 2016. For the third round of funding, six DOE national laboratories—Argonne National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy LaboratoryIdaho National LaboratoryLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryOak Ridge National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory—will receive funding to partner with five small businesses in the bioenergy area across the country. These five projects will focus on research and development of biofuels, hydrothermal carbonization liquids, renewable biomass, and other fuel and chemical technologies, which can be used to advance the U.S. bioeconomy.

Small businesses can play a crucial role in developing advanced energy technologies, and the SBV Pilot program aims to increase partnerships between national laboratories and private-sector companies, benefitting both and promoting U.S. energy security and economic competitiveness. The five companies receiving Round 3 SBVs in the bioenergy area are as follows:

Gevo: Argonne National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will partner with Gevo to produce the next generation of biofuels that augment petrochemicals by creating a model that measures the synergistic and antagonistic relationship between gasoline and isobutanol. The project aims to create a blending model that works over a variety of representative gasoline base fuel compositions.

Cogent: Idaho National Laboratory will assist Cogent in improving its small-scale gasifier for distributed waste-to-energy applications and markets. The gasifier can produce profitable end products like electricity, hydrogen and/or chemical precursors, and liquid fuels. Cogent is partnering with Idaho National Laboratory to properly homogenize and size the feedstock material so that it can be continuously fed into the gasifier and meet real-world feedstock processing requirements.

Kalion Inc.: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Kalion will work together to reach full manufacturing-scale production of glucaric acid and glucuronic acid by creating a manufacturing-ready production strain and scaling up that strain to generate an appropriate process. The availability of such a process will expand the food, pharma, and polymer applications requiring a purity of 99-plus percent.

Synvitrobio: Oak Ridge National Laboratory will work with Synvitrobio to develop cell-free-based analytical tools to convert renewable biomass into higher-order chemicals mevalonate and vanillin. This project has the potential to significantly decrease research and development time, accelerating design-build-test cycles from weeks to eight hours.

ThermChem: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will partner with ThermChem to determine how to valorize the hydrothermal carbonization process liquids. This goal of this project is to identify the potentially valuable and intermediate chemicals in these aqueous phases and convert them into value-added biochemicals and bioproducts. The results will benefit customers like farmers and rural food processors.

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