U.S. Plans New Project That Uses Waste Carbon to Reduce Emissions

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced a $19 million federal funding for a project that aims to use waste carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide production materials for biotechnology firms.

The funding opportunity announcement (FOA), entitled “Carbon Utilization Technology: Improving Efficient Systems for Algae,” intends to use algae to capture CO2 and use them in the production of different materials. The project aims to cultivate those CO2 capturing algae into a variety of biofuels and bioproducts.

The FOA is designed to develop algal research as a means to serve the Biden administration’s target of net zero emissions by 2050. The innovation can lead to the deployment of clean energy technologies by utilizing waste CO2.

Many conventional petroleum based products have a large carbon footprint, which shows replacing them with carbon neutral products is crucial to reach emission targets. The carbon footprint of plastics was 2.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent in 2015. With this technology, algae that can grow on waste CO2 will be used as biomass, which then could be used to create low or zero emission biofuels and bioproducts. Plastics, foam and chemicals are some of the materials that can be produced using biofuels and bioproducts made from algae.

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