Pilot or demonstration bio-refineries stand to be awarded $20m in the current year under the said FOA and an additional $20m in 2013, subject to congressional budgeting for the program.

Using biomass as input the refineries are expected to produce fuel that can be directly used. Feedstock in any combination and technologies in any mould can be used by the pilot bio-refineries so long as the output constitutes bio-fuel.

As per the FOA, the proposed funding is for both new demonstration scale facilities and retrofit of existing facilities to meet the pilot specifications.

The FOA requires the proposed technologies to either use lignocellulosic or waste-based feedstock or algal type feedstock, for the production of acceptable bio-fuel.

For the purpose of the FOA a pilot of pilot scale facility should have a throughput of at least one dry ton feedstock per day whereas the same for a demonstration-scale bio-refinery would be at least 50 ton feedstock per day.

Expected to be in the range of $5m to $7m each, the DoE is hopeful of making 2-4 awards this year and an additional 2-3 in the year 2013.