It has been just over two years since the USDA invested $80 million to facilitate the development of a sustainable wood to biofuels and co-products industry in the northwest United States.  This investment created the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) and Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB): two projects with multiple partners focused on softwood and hardwood feedstocks respectively.

These projects are proceeding amidst efforts from other northwest-based organizations (state government, research labs, industry, non-governmental organizations) who also contribute to developing wood biomass as a resource for fuel and novel products.

With so much activity devoted to wood-based biofuels and co-product development here in the Northwest, NARA, the USDA and Washington State Extension will sponsor a Northwest Wood-Based Biofuels + Co-Products Conference set for April 28-30, 2014 in Seattle Washington.

For conference information and to submit abstracts for oral and/or poster presentations, visit here.

This event will bring together the global, national, and regional communities of researchers, business leaders, government agencies, and economic development personnel to share research findings, ideas, and strategies that promote the sustainable development of a wood-based biofuels and co-products industry here in the northwest United States. Feedstocks of interest for this conference include forest slash, purpose-grown woody crops, and small diameter timber from hazardous fuel treatments and forest health restoration projects.

“Northwest stakeholders will come away from this conference with a clear understanding of what’s needed to develop a supply chain for this industry and the role that they could play in making it a success”, says Vikram Yadama, NARA Outreach Team leader and conference director. “In addition, there are many outside the northwest United States with similar challenges to developing feedstocks, fuels, supply chains, and products who we hope to attract to share our ideas and learn from their experience.”

A preliminary agenda features updates in the opening afternoon from regional government-funded projects. The second day will offer three parallel tracks covering 1) wood biomass transport and processing, 2) economic, social and environmental sustainability, and 3) pretreatment and conversion technologies. The final day will be devoted to co-product development from underutilized residual streams. The conference will also offer time for discussion and networking opportunities plus a poster session.

A conference steering committee has been formed and members include:

Charles Burke, Washington State University, NARA

Bob Dingethal, Gifford Pinchot Task Force

Karl Englund, Washington State University, NARA

Matt Krumenauer, Oregon Department of Energy

Scott Leavengood, Oregon State University, NARA

Eini Lowell, US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, NARA

Peter Moulton, Washington State Department of Commerce

Scott Stanners, British Columbia Bioenergy Network

Vikram Yadama, Washington State University, NARA

For more information contact Vikram Yadama at (509)-335-6261