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Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) offer 60-day public comment on Principles & Criteria

RSB logo

* Note: This notice appears on the NARA blog due to a request from RSB on 1/28/15 to disseminate this information to a wider audience. 

A 60-day public consultation period for revisions to the RSB‘s Principles & Criteria begins today. Comments, questions and suggestions are requested for the following documents:

RSB Principles & Criteria

Guidance on P&Cs

Use of Terms

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Biofuels Digest provides update on Gevo Inc.

gevo

Gevo Inc. is a NARA affiliate organization. With NARA, they are developing a yeast biocatalyst that makes isobutanol from simple sugars derived from wood residuals. In addition, they work with NARA’s techno-economic team to determine the costs involved with producing isobutanol and the conversion of isobutanol to biojet.

Biofuels Digest just published a brief review that describes Gevo’s technologies and their recent advances and challenges.

Read Gevo: Biofuels Digest’s 2015 5-minute …more

Determining soil nitrogen content in working forests

Data probes in deep soil
Data probes in deep soil

Trees need nitrogen to grow. If soil nitrogen levels are low, then growth is limited. The ability to accurately monitor the amount of soil nitrogen in a working forest is helpful for predicting future growth and for knowing when to take corrective action (fertilizer, altered management practices) when soil nitrogen levels decline.

Efforts to monitor …more

Determining CO2 emissions over time

Representation of carbon balance in the working forest. Image contained in paper:
Representation of carbon balance in the working forest. Image contained in paper:

The USDA-NIFA, through NARA, funds research to determine the environmental impact from a wood-based biofuel and chemical industry. To gauge how this industry would affect greenhouse gas (GHG) levels, a life cycle assessment (LCA) is being developed. In this case, …more

Water analysis tool for energy resources (WATER)

Slurry from pretreated wood
Slurry from pretreated wood

Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory have developed a online program (WATER) designed to provide analysis on water demand for use in developing biofuels from multiple feedstocks including forest wood biofuels.

WATER adopts a water footprint methodology and contains extensive climate, land use, water resource, and process water data.

Free access is available here.

Packing forest residues for transport

Vertical blowing of forest residuals
Vertical blowing of forest residuals

Transporting a low value product like forest residuals from a timber harvest site to a processing facility represents a significant economic and logistical challenge for a wood to biofuel supply chain. One way to ensure that transport costs are as low as possible is to maximize the amount of wood residuals carried per trailer load.

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NARA’s 2014 peer-reviewed publications

Journals with 2014 NARA publications
Journals with 2014 NARA publications

In 2014, NARA researchers published 25 papers in peer-reviewed journals. These publications help transfer NARA research to a wide audience. Here is a brief narrative to how these peer-reviewed papers complement NARA’s goals and contribute towards evaluating the use of forest residuals as a feedstock to produce chemical products.

NARA goal 1: Sustainable …more

US Navy uses Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet fuel for supersonic flight

gevo

The US Navy is testing a 50/50 alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) fuel produced by Gevo Inc. for use with their F/A-18 “Hornet” jets. They recently announced their first successful supersonic flight using Gevo’s ATJ fuel derived from isobutanol.

You can read Gevo’s press release here.

Gevo is an affiliated member of NARA. For NARA, they are adapting their ATJ technology to use the simple sugars contained in forest residuals as a feedstock for isobutanol …more