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Biofuels and Biobased Products

Background
 
The objective of this topic area is to promote the use of biofuels and non-food biobased products by developing new or improved technologies that will lead to increased production of biofuels, industrial chemicals, and other value-added products from agricultural materials. This research will lead to new opportunities to diversify agriculture and enhance agriculture?s role as a reliable supplier of raw materials to industry. This topic area supports the Bioenergy National Challenge Area and the Climate Variability and Change National Challenge Area. Historically, appropriate research areas have included: development of procedures for enhanced recovery of critical raw materials from agricultural commodities; development of improved technology for converting agriculturally derived raw materials into useful industrial products; development of new products from new industrial crops; and development of industrial products derived from agricultural materials to make them more effective and/or more cost competitive with non-agriculturally derived industrial products. In order to enhance the impact of the program, acceptance of applications will be limited to selected Research Priority Areas.
 
FY2016 Priority Research Areas
 
Acceptance of applications for the FY2016 solicitation will be strictly limited to:
1.     Advanced ?Drop-in? Biofuels ? New and improved technology for the economical and environmentally sustainable production and conversion of agricultural biomass material energy crops and residues into non-ethanol biofuels (e. g.  biobutanol, green gasoline, green diesel, aviation fuel), fuel additives, and other products to be used as fuel; development of improved biocatalysts and thermochemical processes for advanced biofuel production, and byproducts from the advanced biofuel production stream that will optimize the economic feasibility of the production of biofuels.  This solicitation seeks to support innovativetechnologies that will minimize adverse environmental impacts during conversion (for example: reduction of energy use and water use during conversion; reduction of harmful byproducts from conversion) and have carbon reduction benefits. Applications developing technology for ethanol production (grain or cellulosic) or co-products from ethanol production will not be accepted in this topic area, but may be submitted to other topic areas if appropriate (see Other Key Information below). Applications not addressing economic and environmental sustainability may be returned to the applicant without review.
2.     Advanced biofuels and biobased products from animal manure or carcass waste. 
3.     New Non-food Biobased Products from New Industrial Crops ? Identification of markets and development of new biobased products and processes for making products from new industrial crops (including algae). These products should be economically competitive and have carbon reduction benefits.
4.     New processes for the manufacture of biobased plastics, lubricants, coatings, paints, and packaging.  New processes that develop biobased industrial chemicals that will be competitive with equivalent petroleum-based products as to cost and performance.
Investigators are encouraged to contact Dr. William Goldner, National Program Leader for SBIR Biofuels and Biobased Products at wgoldner@nifa.usda.gov regarding questions about the suitability of research topics or to arrange a telephone consultation.

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