Anticipated opening is December 2023
- Local Government
- Native/Tribal Entity
- State Government
- Transit Authorities
- Energy Infrastructure
- Environmental Clean-up
Reserved for Energy
If issued, this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will support the development of planning and strategies for utilizing organic waste as a feedstock for various transportation fuel end products. For many communities, organic waste streams present a variety of economic, environmental, and social sustainability challenges. These waste streams include food waste, municipal wastewater sludges, animal manure, fats, oils, and greases. There are significant costs associated with management of organic waste, including treatment, stabilization, hauling, and disposal costs or tipping fees.
These waste streams also represent major sources of greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to other environmental issues including air and water quality degradation. Increasingly, State and local laws and regulations are requiring that organic waste streams be diverted from landfills, necessitating the implementation of new processing strategies and development of novel business models to meet these requirements.
Municipal entities and local transit authorities also have significant local demand for the energy that can be derived from these waste streams. There are examples where waste-derived biogas or renewable natural gas (RNG) are being used to fuel bus fleets and trash collection vehicles or produce hydrogen for hydrogen-fueled vehicles. These opportunities are often community specific, and the planned FOA is intended to help communities realize these or similar synergies between waste infrastructure and sustainable transportation needs. Permissible fuels from projects funded under this FOA could include renewable natural gas, partially upgraded biogas, hydrogen, biocrude, renewable diesel, renewable di-methyl-ether, or others.
Recognizing that communities may be at different stages in their planning efforts, the planned FOA will seek a phased approach to achieve the outcomes described above. Topic Area 1 is intended to support feasibility studies. For communities that may have already identified potential solutions for their waste/transportation needs, Topic Area 2 would support more detailed engineering design work to position these entities for future projects and demonstrations.
It is therefore anticipated the FOA may include the following Areas of Interest:
- Topic Area 1 is aimed at helping move communities beyond a conceptualization phase by supporting in-depth feasibility analysis relating to waste-to-fuels approaches. While technical assistance programs can accomplish some of these objectives, direct financial assistance can close this capacity gap.
- Topic Area 2 is targeted toward communities that have previously completed feasibility analyses and are seeking funding to further refine their project concept. Lack of municipal and non-profit staff capacity and availability of funding often puts detailed design work out of reach for many communities; Topic Area 2 is intended to close that gap for completing detailed engineering design. Topic Area 2 will also allow a limited amount of experimental work, intended to generate the data required to refine the engineering design and/or data needed for permitting or air quality analysis. The experimental work can either take place onsite or be done remotely, provided the waste streams being used are sourced from the recipient community. Model waste streams will not be permitted. The use of real waste streams (as opposed to model waste streams) will increase the likelihood of technical success by ensuring the process is sufficiently robust.
This is a Notice of Intent (NOI) only. DOE may issue a FOA as described herein, may issue a FOA that is significantly different than the FOA described herein, or may not issue a FOA at all.