US DOE: The REFUEL Project

In April 2016, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for its Renewable Energy to Fuels through Utilization of Energy-dense Liquids (REFUEL) program.

The focus of the program is carbon-neutral liquid fuels (CNLFs). In the DOE’s formulation, CNLFs are to be produced “from air and water using electrical or thermal energy from renewable sources.” The primary goal of the program is “the production and conversion of CNLFs for transportation.” However, “future applications in long-term storage for support of the electric power system” are also envisioned.

The premise of the REFUEL program is that “generation of liquid fuels and their conversion to energy is currently not efficient and is economical only at large scale.” The program is therefore geared toward “aggressive” advances that will produce “novel, cost-effective technologies.” Accordingly, the FOA encourages the formation of cross-disciplinary teams with expertise in fields such as catalysis, electrochemical systems, gas separation, and systems integration.

The total amount to be awarded under the program is $25 million. Full proposals were due on September 8. Selection notifications are due to be released in November.

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