Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition

Department for Transport Ricardo Energy & Environment E4tech

Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition

The Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition was launched on the 10th December 2014 by the Department for Transport (DfT), Ricardo Energy & Environment and E4tech to support the production of UK-based advanced biofuels. The Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition will provide up to £25 million in grant funding over 3 years (2015-18) for major demonstration projects providing transformative and innovative solutions.The Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition will operate in two phases; Phase 1 (Expressions of Interest) and Phase 2 (Funding). Phase 2 is now complete. The following 3 projects have been approved for a grant award:


Project name

Lead Organisation


Delivering the world's first advanced biobutanol plant   

Celtic Renewables Limited


Demonstration of the RefnovaTM process for pyrolysis oil production

Nova Pangaea Technologies Limited


Integrated Compressed Biomethane Plant

Advanced Plasma Power Ltd

The following diagram outlines the steps within the Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition, from initial applications to final projects.

Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition steps

You must pass Phase 1 to be eligible for Phase 2. Phase 1 is a detailed application stage where your project will be reviewed by the Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition panel. This is an essential step of the competition process.

We anticipate the Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition panel will approve up to 5 projects at Phase 1. Only those projects approved at Phase 1 will have the opportunity to develop and submit an application for Phase 2 funding; such funding is likely to be awarded to up to 3 projects.

Of key importance in making funding decisions will be:

  • Value for money (including additionality) and potential economic benefits to the UK
  • Clarity and quality of the application in meeting the objectives
  • Level of ambition and innovation
  • The resilience of the overall portfolio to identified risks


Projects that are funded through the Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition should demonstrate:

  • Key innovations inherent in the proposed technology pathway.
  • An understanding of the market context (size, readiness, target market, cost levels) with a clear view of where their product would fit.
  • A clear strategy for commercialising the technology and the products.
  • An expectation to produce at least 1 million litres of biofuel per year (by the end of 2018).
  • That the Consortia have the necessary expertise and experience to deliver the Project to its objectives.
  • The ability to match fund the project’s costs (in line with State Aid rules).
  • A clear strategy for communicating the successful delivery of the project, together with the technological advances, to the wider bioenergy community and the public.

How to apply

Phase 1 is now closed to applications. 

Any questions?

Please email if you have any questions when filling in your application to the Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition. Responses will be posted on this website within 3 working days.

State Aid Information

The Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition is being delivered under the EU General Block Exemption Regulations (2014) Article 41: Investment aid for the promotion of energy from renewable sources.

It is important to note that only the additional costs of an advanced biofuels demonstration plant compared to the ‘normal’ costs of a conventional plant are eligible for calculating aid intensity, not the full cost. Environmental investment aid for the promotion of energy from renewable energy sources shall be compatible with the common market provided the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The aid intensity shall not exceed 50% of the eligible costs. However, the aid intensity may be increased by 20 percentage points for aid awarded to small enterprises and by 10 percentage points for aid awarded to medium-sized enterprises.
  • The eligible costs shall be the extra investment costs necessary to achieve a level of environmental protection. The extra investment costs shall be established by comparing the investment with the counterfactual situation in the absence of State Aid; the correct counterfactual shall be the cost of a technically comparable investment that provides a lower degree of environmental protection and that would credibly be realised without aid.
  • The eligible investment shall take the form of investment in tangible assets and/or in intangible assets.
  • The maximum grant that can be awarded per project is set at €15 million (approximately £12 million).