Funding Agency:
Department of Energy

ARPA-E seeks to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with commercial air travel at minimum economic cost by developing elements of an ultra-high efficient aircraft propulsion system that uses Carbon Neutral Liquid Fuels (CNLFs).2 Since these fuels generally either have lower specific-energies (kWh/kg) or are projected to have higher cost than traditional fossilbased jet fuels, ultra-high conversion efficiency is critical for the economic viability of this approach. An electrified propulsion system framework postulated by ARPA-E (Fig. 1) could potentially leverage multiple sources of stored energy (e.g. CNLF, batteries, etc.) to facilitate emerging propulsion concepts (e.g. distributed propulsion) and enable net-zero carbon emissions for long range, narrow-body, commercial aircraft. 

The objective of the Range Extenders for Electric Aviation with Low Carbon and High Efficiency (REEACH) program is the development of one element of the electrified propulsion system framework: a system for the conversion of chemical energy contained in energy dense CNLFs (green block in Fig. 1) to electric power for aircraft propulsion and hotel loads. (The development of the all-electric powertrain depicted in Fig. 1 is the objective of a separate ARPA-E FOA.3 )

The approach taken in the REEACH program is to pursue the development of the energy storage and power generation sub-system in a four-year effort with two distinct phases:

Phase I: Energy Storage and Power Generation (ESPG) system conceptual design and fuel conversion component risk reduction.

Phase II: Design and developmental prototype demonstration of a sub-scale fuel-to-electric power conversion device using a CNLF.

The current FOA and associated funding applies only to Phase I. However, ARPA-E requires that applicants include proposed task descriptions and budgets for both Phase I and II. 

Deadline for Concept Papers: Jan. 31, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

SBA rules and guidelines govern eligibility to apply to this FOA. For information on program eligibility, please refer to SBA’s “Guide to SBIR/ STTR Program Eligibility” available at http://sbir.gov/sites/default/files/elig_size_compliance_guide.pdf.

Amount Description

Applicants must apply for a Combined Phase I/II/IIS Award. Combined Phase I/II/IIS Awards are intended to develop transformational technologies with disruptive commercial potential. Such commercial potential may be evidenced by (1) the likelihood of follow-on funding by private or non-SBIR/STTR sources if the project is successful, or (2) the Small Business Concern's record of successfully commercializing technologies developed under prior SBIR/STTR awards. Phase IIS awards are a “sequential” (i.e., additional) Phase II award, intended to allow the continued development of promising energy technologies. Combined Phase I/II/IIS awards may be funded up to $3,610,000 and may have a period of performance up to 48 months (4 years). 

ARPA-E reserves the right to select all or part of a proposed project (i.e. only Phase I, or only Phase I and Phase II). In the event that ARPA-E selects Phase I only or Phase I/II only, then the maximum award amount for a Phase I award is $252,131 and the maximum amount for a Phase I/II award is $1, 933,010.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

January 31, 2020