Sbir 16 1 Topics For Argumentative Essays

Updated, March 2, 2017 | We published an updated version of this list, “401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing,” as well as a companion piece, “650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.” We also now have a PDF of these 200 prompts.

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What issues do you care most about? What topics do you find yourself discussing most passionately, whether online, at the dinner table, in the classroom or with your friends?

Our annual Student Editorial Contest invites you to write an evidence-based persuasive piece on an issue that matters to you. To help jump-start your brainstorming, we have gathered a list of 200 writing prompts from our daily Student Opinion feature that invite you to take a stand.

Though you won’t be limited to these topics for the contest, you’ll see that our list touches on every aspect of modern life, from politics to sports, culture, education and technology. We hope the range inspires you, and we hope the fact that each question links to at least one related Times article gives you a starting point for finding evidence.

So skim the list below to think about the topic you’d most like to take on.

For more information, here are links to our spring 2014 editorial-writing contest, a list of winners from that contest and a related lesson plan on argumentative writing.


  1. Is Cheating Getting Worse?
  2. Should Students Be Able to Grade Their Teachers?
  3. Does Your School Hand Out Too Many A’s?
  4. Should Middle School Students Be Drug Tested?
  5. Should Reading and Math Be Taught in Gym Class Too?
  6. How Seriously Should We Take Standardized Tests?
  7. How Well Do You Think Standardized Tests Measure Your Abilities?
  8. Do You Spend Too Much Time Preparing for Standardized Tests?
  9. Should Schools Offer Cash Bonuses for Good Test Scores?
  10. Should We Rethink How Long Students Spend in High School?
  11. Do Schools Provide Students With Enough Opportunities to Be Creative?
  12. What Are You Really Learning at School?
  13. How Important Is Arts Education?
  14. Does Gym Help Students Perform Better in All Their Classes?
  15. Who Should Be Able to See Students’ Records?
  16. Are Children of Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Public Education?
  17. What Is the Right Amount of Group Work in School?
  18. Is Your School Day Too Short?
  19. Do You Think a Longer School Calendar Is a Good Idea?
  20. Should the Dropout Age Be Raised?
  21. Should Students Be Allowed to Skip Senior Year of High School?
  22. How Does Your School Deal With Students Who Misbehave?
  23. Should Schools Be Allowed to Use Corporal Punishment?
  24. How Big a Problem Is Bullying or Cyberbullying in Your School or Community?
  25. How Should Schools Address Bullying?
  26. Should Schools Put Tracking Devices in Students’ ID Cards?
  27. What Do You Think of Grouping Students by Ability in Schools?
  28. Do We Need a New Way to Teach Math?
  29. Does Class Size Matter?
  30. Should All Students Get Equal Space in a Yearbook?
  31. Is Prom Worth It?
  32. How Important Are Parent-Teacher Conferences?
  33. Should All Children Be Able to Go to Preschool?
  34. Should Colleges Use Admissions Criteria Other Than SAT Scores and Grades?
  35. What Criteria Should Be Used in Awarding Scholarships for College?
  36. Do You Support Affirmative Action?
  37. Do College Rankings Matter?
  38. How Necessary Is a College Education?
  39. Should Engineers Pay Less for College Than English Majors?

  40. Technology and Social Media

  41. Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive?
  42. Does Technology Make Us More Alone?
  43. Are You Distracted by Technology?
  44. Do Apps Help You or Just Waste Your Time?
  45. Do You Spend Too Much Time on Smart Phones Playing ‘Stupid Games’?
  46. Has Facebook Lost Its Edge?
  47. Does Facebook Ever Make You Feel Bad?
  48. Should What You Say on Facebook Be Grounds for Getting Fired?
  49. Should People Be Allowed to Obscure Their Identities Online?
  50. What Should the Punishment Be for Acts of Cyberbullying?
  51. Is Online Learning as Good as Face-to-Face Learning?
  52. Do Your Teachers Use Technology Well?
  53. Should Tablet Computers Become the Primary Way Students Learn in Class?
  54. Can Cellphones Be Educational Tools?
  55. Should Computer Games Be Used for Classroom Instruction?
  56. How Young Is Too Young for an iPhone?
  57. Should Companies Collect Information About You?
  58. Would You Trade Your Paper Books for Digital Versions?
  59. Are Digital Photographs Too Plentiful to Be Meaningful?
  60. Do You Worry We Are Filming Too Much?
  61. Would You Want a Pair of Google’s Computer Glasses?
  62. How Would You Feel About a Computer Grading Your Essays?
  63. What Role Will Robots Play in Our Future?
  64. How Many Text Messages Are Too Many?
  65. How Much Do You Trust Online Reviews?

  66. Arts and Media: TV, Music, Video Games and Literature

  67. Why Do We Like to Watch Rich People on TV and in the Movies?
  68. Do TV Shows Like ‘16 and Pregnant’ Promote or Discourage Teenage Pregnancy?
  69. Does TV Capture the Diversity of America Yet?
  70. Is TV Too White?
  71. Is TV Stronger Than Ever, or Becoming Obsolete?
  72. Does Reality TV Promote Dangerous Stereotypes?
  73. What Current Musicians Do You Think Will Stand the Test of Time?
  74. What Artists or Bands of Today Are Destined for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
  75. What Musician, Actor or Author Should Be a Superstar, but Hasn’t Quite Made It Yet?
  76. Will Musical Training Make You More Successful?
  77. Should Video Games Be Considered a Sport?
  78. Should Stores Sell Violent Video Games to Minors?
  79. Can a Video Game Be a Work of Art?
  80. Do Violent Video Games Make People More Violent in Real Life?
  81. When Should You Feel Guilty for Killing Zombies?
  82. What Game Would You Like to Redesign?
  83. What Were the Best Movies You Saw in the Past Year?
  84. To What Writer Would You Award a Prize?
  85. Do You Prefer Your Children’s Book Characters Obedient or Contrary?
  86. Where Is the Line Between Truth and Fiction?
  87. Can Graffiti Ever Be Considered Art?
  88. Do We Need Art in Our Lives?
  89. What Makes a Good Commercial?
  90. Why Did a Cheerios Ad Attract So Many Angry Comments Online?
  91. Does Pop Culture Deserve Serious Study?

  92. Gender Issues

  93. Do Parents Have Different Hopes and Standards for Their Sons Than for Their Daughters?
  94. Is School Designed More for Girls Than Boys?
  95. Is There Too Much Pressure on Girls to Have ‘Perfect’ Bodies?
  96. How Much Pressure Do Boys Face to Have the Perfect Body?
  97. Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks?
  98. Is It O.K. for Men and Boys to Comment on Women and Girls on the Street?
  99. What Should We Do to Fight Sexual Violence Against Young Women?
  100. How Do You Feel About Rihanna and Chris Brown Getting Back Together?
  101. Do Fraternities Promote Misogyny?
  102. Why Aren’t There More Girls in Leadership Roles?
  103. Why Aren’t More Girls Choosing to Pursue Careers in Math and Science?
  104. Should Women Be Allowed to Fight on the Front Lines Alongside Men?
  105. Do You Believe in Equal Rights for Women and Men?
  106. Are Women Better at Compromising and Collaborating?
  107. Do Boys Have Less Intense Friendships Than Girls?

  108. Sports and Athletics

  109. If Football Is So Dangerous to Players, Should We Be Watching It?
  110. Should Parents Let Their Children Play Football?
  111. Should College Football Players Get Paid?
  112. When Do Pranks Cross the Line to Become Bullying?
  113. Has Baseball Lost Its Cool?
  114. Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense?
  115. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams to Use Native American Names and Mascots?
  116. Where Should Colleges and Sports Teams Draw the Line in Selling Naming Rights?
  117. Should Colleges Fund Wellness Programs Instead of Sports?
  118. Is Cheerleading a Sport?
  119. How Big a Deal Is It That an N.B.A. Player Came Out as Gay?
  120. Should There Be Stricter Rules About How Coaches Treat Their Players?
  121. Should Athletes Who Dope Have to Forfeit Their Titles and Medals?
  122. Should Sports Betting Be Legal Everywhere?
  123. Should Home-Schoolers Be Allowed to Play Public School Sports?
  124. Would You Want a Bike Share Program for Your Community?

  125. Politics and the Legal System

  126. What Local Problems Do You Think Your Mayor Should Try to Solve?
  127. If You Were Governor of Your State, How Would You Spend a Budget Surplus?
  128. When Is the Use of Military Force Justified?
  129. What Is More Important: Our Privacy or National Security?
  130. Should the U.S. Be Spying on Its Friends?
  131. Do You Trust Your Government?
  132. What Do You Think of the Police Tactic of Stop-and-Frisk?
  133. Do Rich People Get Off Easier When They Break the Law?
  134. Should Rich People Have to Pay More Taxes?
  135. Do Laws That Ban Offensive Words Make the World a Better Place?
  136. Is It Principled, or Irresponsible, for Politicians to Threaten a Shutdown?
  137. Do Leaders Have Moral Obligations?
  138. Do Great Leaders Have to Be Outgoing?
  139. How Should We Prevent Future Mass Shootings?
  140. Should Guns Be Permitted on College Campuses?
  141. Would You Feel Safer With Armed Guards Patrolling Your School?
  142. What Is Your Relationship With Guns?
  143. Do You Support or Oppose the Death Penalty?
  144. When Should Juvenile Offenders Receive Life Sentences?

  145. Parenting and Childhood

  146. Do We Give Children Too Many Trophies?
  147. When Do You Become an Adult?
  148. When Should You Be Able to Buy Cigarettes, Drink Alcohol, Vote, Drive and Fight in Wars?
  149. Should the Morning-After Pill Be Sold Over the Counter to People Under 17?
  150. Should Birth Control Pills Be Available to Teenage Girls Without a Prescription?
  151. Is Modern Culture Ruining Childhood?
  152. Are Adults Hurting Young Children by Pushing Them to Achieve?
  153. How, and by Whom, Should Children Be Taught Appropriate Behavior?
  154. What Can Older People Learn From Your Generation?
  155. Do ‘Shame and Blame’ Work to Change Teenage Behavior?
  156. How Should Children Be Taught About Puberty and Sex?
  157. Is Dating a Thing of the Past?
  158. How Should Parents Handle a Bad Report Card?
  159. Should Children Be Allowed to Wear Whatever They Want?
  160. How Should Educators and Legislators Deal With Minors Who ‘Sext’?
  161. Do You Think Child Stars Have It Rough?

  162. Health and Nutrition

  163. Is Smoking Still a Problem Among Teenagers?
  164. Are Antismoking Ads Effective?
  165. Is Drinking and Driving Still a Problem for Teenagers?
  166. Do You Think a Healthier School Lunch Program Is a Lost Cause?
  167. How Concerned Are You About Where Your Food Comes From?
  168. Is It Ethical to Eat Meat?
  169. Do You Prefer Your Tacos ‘Authentic’ or ‘Appropriated’?
  170. Should the Government Limit the Size of Sugary Drinks?
  171. Should Marijuana Be Legal?
  172. Should Students Be Required to Take Drug Tests?

  173. Personal Character and Morality Questions

  174. Do Bystanders Have a Responsibility to Intervene When There is Trouble?
  175. Should You Care About the Health and Safety of Those Making Your Clothing?
  176. Can Money Buy You Happiness?
  177. Does Buying and Accumulating More and More Stuff Make Us Happier?
  178. Are We Losing the Art of Listening?
  179. Do People Complain Too Much?
  180. Can Kindness Become Cool?
  181. Which Is More Important: Talent or Hard Work?
  182. How Important Is Keeping Your Cool?
  183. When Should You Compromise?
  184. Is Your Generation More Self-Centered Than Earlier Generations?
  185. Can You Be Good Without God?
  186. Have Curse Words Become So Common They Have Lost Their Shock Value?
  187. What Words or Phrases Should Be Retired in 2014?
  188. What Words or Phrases Do You Think Are Overused?
  189. Should Couples Live Together Before Marriage?
  190. How Important Do You Think It Is to Marry Someone With the Same Religion?
  191. How Long Is It O.K. to Linger in a Cafe or Restaurant?
  192. Does Keeping a Messy Desk Make People More Creative?
  193. How Important Is Keeping a Clean House?

  194. Science

  195. Should Scientists Try to Help People Beat Old Age So We Can Live Longer Lives?
  196. Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate?
  197. When Is It O.K. to Replace Human Limbs With Technology?
  198. Do You Think Life Exists — or Has Ever Existed — Somewhere Besides Earth?
  199. Should Fertilized Eggs Be Given Legal ‘Personhood’?
  200. How Concerned Are You About Climate Change?

  201. Other Questions

  202. Is It Wrong for a Newspaper to Publish a Front-Page Photo of a Man About to Die?
  203. What Causes Should Philanthropic Groups Finance?
  204. Should Charities Focus More on America?
  205. Should the Private Lives of Famous People Be Off Limits?
  206. Did a Newspaper Act Irresponsibly by Publishing the Addresses of Gun Owners?
  207. Would You Rather Work From Home or in an Office?
  208. What Time Should Black Friday Sales Start?
  209. Do You Shop at Locally Owned Businesses?
  210. How Much Does Your Neighborhood Define Who You Are?

Please Note that a Letter of Intent is due Tuesday, September 05, 2017


Maximum Phase I Award Amount: $150,000

Maximum Phase II Award Amount: $1,000,000

Accepting SBIR Applications: YES

Accepting STTR Applications: YES


Developing technologies designed to close waste loops and optimize resource utility is strategically important, and is viewed by the US Department of Energy as critical to maintaining and advancing sustainable economic growth in a resource constrained world. Viewing wastes, such as traditional wet organic wastes and even inorganic waste gases such as CO2, as resources is a paradigm driving new innovations that will allow higher value fuels and products to be generated from underutilized renewable feedstocks. Beyond simply using waste feedstocks, new systems and strategies for wet and gaseous wastes need to be developed to improve the carbon conversion efficiency of wet wastes and to better manage carbon dioxide emissions. This solicitation therefore seeks proposals for engineered systems that move beyond traditional anaerobic digestion for wet waste conversion, or that couple unique catalytic and biological approaches to manage waste carbon.

Within the constraints detailed in each section, grant applications are sought for the following subtopics:


a. Beyond Biogas: Valorization of Wet Organic Waste Streams

Organic waste streams contain substantial amounts of chemical energy. Since these resource streams, including, but not limited to, food and beverage wastewaters, municipal wastewater, livestock manure slurries, the non-recyclable fraction of municipal solid waste, and other industrial food wastes are biogenic in origin, energy produced from them can be considered renewable, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has done in granting eligibility to fuels produced from these sources for cellulosic Renewable Identification Numbers(1). While some of the available energy is currently being captured, a significant amount remains untapped(2-4).

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is interested in processes to produce biofuels, bioproducts, and/or relevant precursors from these wet organic feedstocks. One particular focus is to extend the idea of Integrated Biorefineries (IBRs) to wet organic waste streams(5), in support of burgeoning industry interest in “energy-positive water resource recovery” facilities, which produce clean water, energy, and nutrients from municipal wastewaters(6, 7). The DOE’s recent report on Biofuels and Bioproducts from Wet and Gaseous Waste Streams(8) identified several possible technological pathways to achieve these aims; this portion of the solicitation seeks to build on that document. In particular, it targets alternatives to traditional anaerobic digestion that produce products with better value propositions than biogas, such as relevant intermediates to enable the production of jet and diesel blendstocks.


While some specifics vary, the following criteria will apply to all applications:

- Proposed systems must utilize wet organic waste streams as the primary feedstock to produce fuels, or fuel and product mixtures. Wet waste streams are defined in the Bioenergy Technologies Office Multi-Year Program Plan(9). For purposes of this subtopic, biogas is specifically excluded as a feedstock or process intermediate. Note that anaerobic systems that generate and upgrade intermediates other than biogas, such as the carboxylate pathway, will be considered.

- By Phase II, and preferably within Phase I, proposed projects should employ actual (rather than model or synthetic) waste streams as feedstocks.

- Successful applications will propose to develop and run pilot systems by the end of Phase II, at a relevant scale (e.g., 100–1,000 L reactor volume).

- Proposals must include quantifiable phase I objectives, the attainment of which will be a key evaluation factor in the consideration of phase II applications

- Applications must address the energy efficiency of the system. Successful applications will minimize the ratio of required energy inputs to the energy potential of proposed outputs.

- Carbon efficiency is another important metric. Applications will be evaluated on their probability of maximizing the utilization of the biogenic carbon available in relevant resource streams.

- Projects that contribute to and/or leverage the development of fundamental scientific knowledge in areas, including, but not limited to, advanced separation strategies for volatile fatty acids, carboxylic acids or products derived therefrom from heterogeneous aqueous mixtures, improved understanding of product toxicity to heterogeneous microbial and archaeal communities, and advances in toolkit development in terms of proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, and other related areas are of particular interest.

-End products should include at least either three carbon molecules, or at least two carbon molecules with one or more double bonds. Acetylene is specifically excluded.

- Proposals that utilize algae, even if grown on wastewater, and dry waste streams, such as corn stover, or the herbaceous and woody fractions of municipal solid waste, will be considered non-responsive.

- Feedstocks that could be processed to inputs for human or animal food or feed products, including waste glycerol from biodiesel processes, are specifically excluded.

- Transesterification of yellow grease to produce biodiesel is also specifically excluded. Brown grease, however, is an acceptable feedstock. Renewable diesel is strongly preferred over biodiesel as an end product.

- In all cases, the DOE is interested in projects that present the possibility of producing commercially relevant and economically competitive higher hydrocarbons from biogenic sources to displace petroleum. Examples include, but are by no means limited to, butanol, 1,4-butanediol, and medium-chain fatty acids, such as succinic, muconic, and lactic acids.

- Additionally, proposals that strive to complete the conversion of relevant feedstocks to jet or diesel blend stocks suitable for incorporation into existing refinery processes by the end of phase II are particularly encouraged.

- Hydrogen, ethanol, and methanol are not allowed as end products, but are acceptable as intermediates, if the proposal is clear how the intermediates will be incorporated into processes to produce biofuels or bioproduct precursors by the completion of phase II.

- Applications that propose to produce only biopower will be considered non-responsive.

Although all topical applications that conform to the above constraints will be considered, there is particular interest in systems that employ either arrested methanogenesis or hydrothermal liquefaction technologies. Some specific considerations for various systems are:

 Arrested methanogenesis (production of biofuels and bioproduct precursors via arrested methanogenesis)

One of the clearest participant messages from the 2014 Waste-to-Energy workshop was that anaerobic digestion that produces biogas might not be the most cost-effective pathway to liquid fuels(10). In response to this input, the DOE seeks alternatives to the methanogenesis stage of anaerobic digestion. Production of biofuels and bioproduct precursors from volatile fatty acids is one promising option, and other possibilities will be entertained(11). Applications should address specific mechanisms to constrain methanogenesis, measures to minimize inhibition of valuable product production, and strategies to convert the products of the earlier stages of anaerobic digestion into biofuels and bioproduct precursors(12-15). Successful proposals will articulate strategies to address the challenges of intermediate and product separations, and success will be judged by cost-effective titers and yields of final products, not simply volatile fatty acids. Again, applications that propose to complete conversion of relevant feedstocks to jet or diesel blend stocks by the end of phase II are particularly encouraged, and co-products are welcomed.

 Hydrothermal liquefaction (conversion to jet and diesel blendstocks using sub- and supercritical fluids)

Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) of wet organic waste streams using subcritical water to produce biofuels and bioproduct precursors is a promising technological pathway.(16) While BETO is already active in this area, this subtopic solicits additional proposals that utilize the following substances as solvents/reactive participants:

1. Subcritical water;(17, 18)

2. Supercritical water,(19-21) or;

3. Sub- or supercritical organic liquids, including supercritical CO2 .(22)

Other organic substances are also welcomed as solvents, provided that they provide a net benefit in greenhouse gas reduction or cost advantages versus traditional waste disposal alternative such as incineration, anaerobic digestion, or landfilling. In all cases, the goal is to produce jet and diesel refinery blendstocks that align with BETO’s 2017 and 2022 cost targets, as articulated in the office’s Multi-Year Program Plan.(9) Preference will be given to applications that propose a full chain of production for drop-in biofuels, and articulate a clear and credible path to market. Proposals that include co-products, particularly replacements for petrochemical feedstocks, in order to improve their techno-economic argument are also welcomed.

Questions – Contact: Mark Philbrick,


b. Non-Photosynthetic Carbon Dioxide Reduction and Biological Intermediate Upgrading

The potential environmental and economic benefits associated with carbon dioxide capture and utilization are drawing increased attention across industry, academia, and the general public. By capturing and subsequently utilizing CO2, carbon capture and utilization (CCU) enables greater carbon management and more efficient use of existing fossil resources. Annually, the US transportation and power sectors combine to produce over 5 gigatons of CO2 (1). Utilization of CO2 not only improves the environmental impact of energy production, but it also incentivizes the monetization of a cheap and abundant carbon resource. Carbon capture is an emerging technology with several commercial-scale successes occurring earlier this year (2) (3), indicating that a future infrastructure to enable greater carbon capture and utilization is a real possibility.

Although there is a large supply of CO2, one critical aspect of its utilization is its low energy content, which makes it relatively difficult for natural biological systems to efficiently reduce CO2 to organic carbon. In fact, even the most robust photosynthetic biological systems are relatively inefficient and slow at utilizing CO2; only about 5% of the energy hitting most plants in the form of light is theoretically used to fix carbon (4). However, once reduced, biological systems can much more easily manipulate simple organic molecules to synthesize more valuable products (5) (6). Leveraging this attribute of biological systems is a staple of the growing bioeconomy.

The US power grid is quickly changing as renewable resources make significant headway in contributing to our generation capacity. By 2018, the electricity generation of solar and wind across the US is projected to be over 870 GWh/day, or about 8% of all our electricity (7). As more renewables are deployed, curtailment of this power becomes a necessity. The power grid in California often sees midday periods where over 40% of the electricity is generated by solar and wind and when electricity supply outpaces demand, that power can be wasted (8) (9) (10) (11). Texas similarly has curtailment issues at times of high wind and low energy demand, setting up conditions where the price of electricity becomes negative (12). The ability to flexibly utilize surplus electricity on the grid during times of high generation could be a valuable grid management tool in a future with high renewable resource penetration and can serve as a strategy to better manage two novel “wastes”: CO2 and electricity.

The Department of Energy seeks grant applications that propose to demonstrate engineered systems that leverage electricity to power carbon dioxide reduction and employ biological processes to convert the reduced carbon intermediate to a final biofuel or enabling bioproduct.

Deployed systems would be required to show that input CO2 will be sourced from either a waste gas point source or the atmosphere (i.e. CO2 feedstock generation for such systems cannot be the intended purpose for consuming biomass or fossil resources). Engineered systems could exploit a catalytic, thermochemical, or electrochemical process to reduce CO2. From there, the process could use any non-photosynthetic biological mechanism to upgrade the reduced form of carbon into a biofuel or enabling bioproduct. Other items for applicants to consider:

- Examples of organic carbon intermediates generated from CO2 include (but are not limited to): formic acid, methanol, carbon monoxide and methane.

- Hydrogen, ethanol, and methanol are not allowed as end products, but are acceptable as intermediates, if the proposal is clear how the intermediates will be incorporated into processes to produce biofuels or bioproducts by the completion of Phase II.

- While the final biofuel or bioproduct is the focus of this study, applicants must source their reduced carbon intermediate from CO2 (i.e. biological processes that simply use a 1C organic feedstock are not in scope). This can be accomplished by a) acquiring the intermediate from a producer/partner who specifically generates the CO2-derived intermediates or b) having the development of CO2 reduction technology as a part of the scope-of-work. Ideal applicants will already have some previously demonstrated capabilities in either the CO2 reduction or biological upgrading portion of this effort.

- Successful applications should propose technologies that, by the end of Phase II, could operate at a significant throughput of CO2/intermediate per day at 100L reactor volume and preferably greater.

- Applicants should consider the robustness of any catalysts/biocatalysts used for the CO2 reduction and upgrading.

- While applicants can assume that the electricity used for the reduction of CO2 is both cheap/surplus and low-carbon, applications must address the energy efficiency of the system. Successful applications will minimize the ratio of required energy inputs to the energy potential of proposed outputs and justify greater electrical requirements with greater carbon efficiencies.

- By the end of Phase II, projects must present a preliminary technoeconomic analysis (TEA) which associates minimum fuel selling prices (MFSPs) to various electricity and carbon prices, and specifically what prices (perhaps even negative electricity and carbon prices) that offer fuel products at or below $3/GGE. Successful applications will outline how such a TEA will be performed and highlight data to be obtained in Phases I and II that would enable the needed analysis.

- Proposed systems should eventually (end of Phase II) function as modular units which can be deployed to defined sources of CO2.

Questions – Contact: Ian Rowe,


c. Other

In addition to the specific topics listed above, the DOE invites grant applications in other areas that fall within the scope and align with the objectives of the topic descriptions. We welcome other engineered systems which address the utilization of organic wet waste and inorganic gaseous waste streams.

Questions – Contact: Mark Philbrick, on organic wet waste systems or contact Ian Rowe, on inorganic gaseous waste systems


References: Subtopic a:

1. National Archives And Records Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, 2014, Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: RFS Pathways II, and Technical Amendments to the RFS Standards and E15 Misfueling Mitigation Requirements, Federal Register, Vol. 79, Issue 138, pp. 42128-42167.

2. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2017, Materials and Waste Management in the United States Key Facts and Figures.

3. Shen, Y., Linville, J.L., Urgun-Demirtas, M., Mintz, M.M., and Snyder, S.W., 2015, An Overview of Biogas Production and Utilization at Full-scale Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) in the United States: Challenges and Opportunities Towards Energy-neutral WWTPs, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 50, pp. 346-362.

4. Tarallo, S., ENV-SP Black & Veatch, 2014, Utilities of the Future Energy Findings, Final Report, Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), IWA Publishing, Alexandria, VA, pp. 86.

5. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, 2015, Bioenergy, Integrated Biorefineries.

6. U.S. Department of Energy, Energetics Incorporated, 2015, Energy Positive Water Resource Recovery Workshop Report, P. 58.

7. Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), 2011, Energy Production and Efficiency Research - The Roadmap to Net-Zero Energy, WER Foundation, p. 8.

8. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, 2017, Biofuels and Bioproducts from Wet and Gaseous Waste Streams: Challenges and Opportunities, p. 147.

9. U.S. Department of Energy, 2016, Bioenergy Technologies Office Multi-Year Program Plan, p.258.

10. U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, 2015, Waste-to-Energy Workshop Summary, Bioenergy Technologies Ofice, Energetics Incorporated, p. 53.

11. Lee, W.S., Chua, A.S.M., Yeoh, H.K. and Ngoh, G.C., 2014, A Review of the Production and Applications of Waste-derived Volatile Fatty Acids, Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol. 235, pp. 83-99.

12. Vajpeyi, S., and Chandran, K., 2015, Microbial Conversion of Synthetic and Food Waste-derived Volatile Fatty Acids to Lipids, Bioresource Technology, Vol. 188, pp. 49-55.

13. Yun, J.H., Sawant, S.S., and Kim, B.S., 2013, Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates by Ralstonia Eutropha from Volatile Fatty Acids, Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol. 30, Issue 12, pp. 2223-2227.

14. Gaeta-Bernardi, A., and Parente, V., 2016, Organic Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) as Feedstock for Biodiesel Production: A Financial Feasibility Analysis, Renewable Energy, Vol. 86, pp. 1422-1432.

15. Tice, R.C., and Kim, Y., 2014, Methanogenesis Control by Electrolytic Oxygen Production in Microbial Electrolysis Cells, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 39, Issue 7, pp. 3079-3086.

16. Kaushik, R., Parshetti, G.K., Liu, Z. and Balasubramanian, R., 2014, Enzyme-assisted Hydrothermal Treatment of Food Waste for Co-production of Hydrochar and Bio-oil, Bioresource Technology, Vol. 168, pp. 267-274.

17. He, C., Wang, K., Giannis, A., Yang, Y. and Wang, J-Y., 2015, Products Evolution During Hydrothermal Conversion of Dewatered Sewage Sludge in Sub- and Near-critical Water: Effects of Reaction Conditions and Calcium Oxide Additive, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 40, Issue 17, pp. 5776-5787.

18. Malins, K., Kampars, V., Brinks, J., Neibolte, I., Murnieks, R. and Kampare, R., 2015, Bio-oil from Thermo-chemical Hydro-liquefaction of Wet Sewage Sludge, Bioresource Technology, Vol. 187, pp. 23-29.

19. Akizuki, M., Fujii, T., Hayashi, R., and Oshima, Y., 2014, Effects of Water on Reactions for Waste Treatment, Organic Synthesis, and Bio-refinery in Sub- and Supercritical Water, Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, Vol. 117, Isssue 1, pp. 10-18.

20. Hung Thanh, N., Yoda, E., and Komiyama, M., 2014, Catalytic Supercritical Water Gasification of Proteinaceous Biomass: Catalyst Performances in Gasification of Ethanol Fermentation Stillage with Batch and Flow Reactors, Chemical Engineering Science, Vol. 109, pp. 197-203.

21. Zhang, L, Xu, C., and Champagne, P., 2010, Energy Recovery from Secondary Pulp/Paper-mill Sludge and Sewage Sludge with Supercritical Water Treatment, Bioresource Technology, Vol. 101, Issue 8, pp. 2713-2721.

22. Huang, H-j, Yuan, X-z, Li, B-t, Xiao, Y-d and Zeng, G-m., 2014, Thermochemical Liquefaction Characteristics of Sewage Sludge in Different Organic Solvents, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 2014, Vol. 109, pp. 176-184.


References: Subtopic b:

1. U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2017, U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2015; p. 18.

2. Archer Daniels Midland Company, 2017, ADM Begins Operations for Second Carbon Capture and Storage Project.

3. U.S Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, 2017, Petra Nova, World’s Largest Post-Combustion Carbon-Capture Project, Begins Commercial Operation.

4. Zhu, X-G., Long, S.P., and Ort, D.R., 2008, What is the Maximum Efficiency with Which Photosynthesis Can Convert Solar Energy into Biomass?, Current Opinion in Biotechnology, pp. 153-159.

5. Leonhartsberger, Susanne, Korsa, Ingrid and Bock, 2002, The Molecular Biology of Formate Metabolism in Enterobacteria, Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol. 4, Issue 3, pp. 269-276

6. Tonge, G.M., et al., 1974, Metabolism of one Carbon Compounds: Cytochromes of Methane- and Methanol-utilising Bacteria, FEBS Letters, FEBS Press, pp. 106-110

7. U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2017, Short-Term Energy Outlook.

8. California Independent System Operato, 2014, Renewables Integration, State of the Grid, A Review of 2014.

9. Golden, R., and Paulos, B., 2015, Curtailment of Renewable Energy in California and Beyond, The Electricity Journal, pp. 36-50.

10. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Bloom, A., Townsend, A., Palchak, D., et al., 2016, Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study, p.234.

11. National Renewable Energy Lab, Bird, L., Cochran, J., and Wang, X., 2014, Wind and Solar Energy Curtailment: Experience and Practices in the United States, p. 58.

12. Gross, D., 2015, The Night They Drove the Price of Electricity Down, Slate, The Juice.

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