The U.S. Department of Energy has further expanded its funding of projects that would create biomass fuels.

UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, has been selected for negotiation of a $25 million award from the DOE to build a demonstration unit in Hawaii to convert cellulosic biomass into green transportation fuels. The project will use cellulosic biomass feedstocks such as forestry and agricultural residuals or algae residuals to produce the liquid biofuel pyrolysis oil, which then will be upgraded into green transportation fuels. The demonstration plant, which will be built at the Tesoro Corp. refinery in Kapolei, Hawaii, is expected to have a 2014 startup.

A joint project between Rentech Inc. and ClearFuels Technology Inc. to construct a biomass gasifier at the Rentech Energy Technology Center has been awarded a conditional $22.6 million grant from the DOE. The gasifier will be integrated with Rentech’s Product Demonstration Unit for the production of renewable synthetic fuels from biomass. Los Angeles-based Rentech has a 25 percent strategic ownership interest in ClearFuels, based in Aiea, Hawaii.

The Department of Energy has, among its goals, a mandate to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, spur the creation of the domestic bio-industry and create new jobs.

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