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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) have announced a funding programme that will award up to $18.8 million to address research and development (R&D) challenges in converting algae, such as seaweeds and other wet waste feedstocks, to biofuels and bioproducts.

In a statement posted on its website yesterday (10 April), the DOE said: ‘Seaweeds, also known as macroalgae, are an emerging biomass resource with unique benefits compared to land-based biomass systems. However, they are underutilised and are difficult to convert due to their variability, unique chemical make-up, and storage instability. Overcoming these conversion challenges will help build algae biomass supply chains, accelerate their demand, and ultimately, drive the U.S. bioeconomy.’

The MACRO: Mixed Algae Conversion Research Opportunity has two topic areas.

Topic Area 1, funded by BETO, will focus on laboratory scale R&D on conversion of seaweeds and seaweed blends with other wet wastes into renewable fuels and bioproducts.

Topic Area 2, funded by FECM, will support the use of anthropogenic CO2 streams from industrial sources or utilities to grow micro- and macroalgae for low-carbon bioproducts.

The deadline for concept papers for this funding opportunity is 17:00 ET on 10 May. Full applications must be submitted by 17:00 ET on 27 June.

A webinar for potential applicants will be held at 13:00 ET on 17 April. Click here for more information and to register.

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