On April 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the 38 small businesses that will collaborate with researchers from eight national laboratories under the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot, which aims to foster a strong partnership between the labs and clean tech small businesses. The 38 businesses represent the third round of SBV, which brings the total number of partnerships under the program to 114. SBV provides small businesses with access to unique national lab facilities and experts to test, develop, and validate their innovative products. The following national labs have received $200,000 in funding to collaborate with small businesses focused on bioenergy projects:
- The Argonne National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will work with Gevo to create a blending model that works over a variety of representative gasoline base fuel compositions by developing a synergistic and antagonistic relationship between gasoline and isobutanol;
- The Idaho National Laboratory will work with Cogent to improve its small-scale gasifier for distributed waste-to-energy applications and markets by properly homogenizing and sizing the feedstock material so that it can be continuously fed into the gasifier and meet real-world feedstock processing requirements;
- The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will work with Kalion to reach full manufacturing scale production of glucaric acid and glucuronic acid by creating a manufacturing-ready production strain and scaling up that strain;
- The Oak Ridge National Laboratory will work with Synvitrobio to develop cell-free based analytical tools that significantly accelerate the design-build-test cycles for converting renewable biomass to higher-order chemicals, such as mevalonate and vanillin; and
- The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will work with ThermChem to identify the potentially valuable and intermediate chemicals in the aqueous phases of hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) process liquids and convert them into value-added biochemical/bioproducts.
SBV is part of the Tech-to-Market Program within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which aims to eliminate common barriers that prevent market exploration of new energy technologies.