The award is conditional upon final approval of the application and any supplemental information as well as completion of negotiations.

The grant award will be used to manufacture and install at RETC a 20 ton-per-day ClearFuels biomass gasifier designed to produce synthesis gas from various wood waste and sugar cane bagasse feedstocks. The gasifier will be integrated with Rentech’s existing PDU at the site, which uses the Rentech Process and UOP’s upgrading technologies to produce renewable drop-in synthetic jet and diesel fuels at demonstration scale.

This joint demonstration of an integrated bio-refinery is anticipated to be completed in late 2011 and will lead to the final design basis for commercial facilities that are expected to use the combined technologies. The proposed team for the demonstration project includes ClearFuels, Rentech, URS, Linde/Hydro-Chem, Hawaiian Electric Company, National Renewable Energy Lab and Hawaii Natural Energy Institute.

Rentech has a 25% strategic ownership interest in ClearFuels, which has begun development of multiple commercial-scale biomass-to-energy projects in the southeastern US, Hawaii and internationally. These projects are expected to use an integrated ClearFuels-Rentech design and be co-located at biomass processing facilities.

Eric Darmstaedter, chief executive officer of ClearFuels, said: “We are very pleased with our collaborative discussions with DOE. We expect to complete submission of required supplemental information and start receiving funds in the next few months to facilitate the demonstration of our integrated technologies.”

D Hunt Ramsbottom, president and chief executive officer of Rentech, said: “We are pleased that the DOE has acted quickly in granting this award. The award recognizes the potential value of integrating Rentech’s and ClearFuel’s technologies for the production of renewable synthetic fuels.

“We believe that the deployment of our joint technologies at commercial-scale renewable energy projects will play an important role in helping our country meet its goals for sources of low-carbon renewable fuels and green jobs.”