The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has recently announced up to $30 million in funding for a new program that focuses on renewable energy to convert air and water into cost-competitive liquid fuels.
The program, titled Renewable Energy to Fuels through Utilization of Energy-dense Liquids (REFUEL), is aimed at developing technologies that use renewable energy to convert air and water into carbon neutral liquid fuels – which can be converted into hydrogen or electricity to provide power for sustainable transportation.
The majority of vehicles in the transportation sector depend on liquid fuels such as gasoline or diesel to operate. While liquid fuels are energy dense and can be stored for a long period of time, liquid fossil fuels emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the environment. These emissions account for over 20 percent of the U.S.’s total greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the overall effects of climate change.
REFUEL seeks to apply electrochemical techniques in an effort to transform renewable resources into liquid fuels, where consumers will be able to store and transport the sustainable fuels via existing infrastructure.
The $30 million is set to be allocated to a small businesses (up to $5 million) and an additional $25 million made available to all applicants.
This from ARPA-E:
ARPA-E is encouraging outstanding scientists and engineers from different organizations, scientific disciplines, and technology sectors to form new project teams for the REFUEL program. ARPA-E believes that interdisciplinary and cross-organizational collaborations can facilitate scientific and technological discoveries that a single group alone would not be able to achieve.