DOE Launches Clean Fuels and Products Program to Decarbonize Transportation

by | May 30, 2023

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Clean Fuels and Products Shot, the seventh Earthshot installation, which intends to reduce carbon emissions from the fuel and chemical industry. The program aims to tackle greenhouse gas emissions by harnessing sustainable sources of carbon. The DOE envisions an 85% reduction in emissions compared to fossil-based sources by 2035. 

The Clean Fuels and Products Shot aligns with the national goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and the initiative focuses on developing sustainable feedstocks and conversion technologies that can produce essential fuels, materials, and carbon-based products. These alternatives will be better for the environment than their petroleum-derived counterparts, reducing the carbon footprint associated with their production and consumption.

Earthshot’s Greener Transportation Sector

As transportation is a major contributor to carbon emissions, the Clean Fuels and Products Shot aims to change that by reducing carbon-based chemicals.

Through this initiative, the clean fuels project will target the production of 100% sustainable aviation fuel, 50% of maritime, rail, and off-road fuel, and 50% of carbon-based chemicals using sustainable carbon resources by 2050. By achieving these goals, the U.S. can significantly reduce its carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, eliminating more than 650 million metric tons per year, according to the DOE.

U.S. Leadership in Clean Fuel and Chemical Production

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm emphasized the importance of decarbonizing the transportation and chemical industries and diversifying the domestic supply chain with cost-competitive, clean alternatives.

To support the goals of the clean fuels and energy program, the DOE has invested in the Biofuels National User Facility at Idaho National Laboratory. This state-of-the-art facility has undergone a $15 million upgrade over three years, funded by the DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office. The facility’s capabilities will accelerate technology development and pave the way for large-scale commercialization of these clean alternatives.

Clean Fuels and Products is part of the DOE’s broader Energy Earthshots portfolio, and it is a collaborative effort involving various DOE offices, including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, among others. 

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