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Webinars for educators highlight NARA’s environmental sustainability research

Washington State University graduate student Ross Wickham measures streambed particles.
Washington State University graduate student and NARA researcher Ross Wickham measures streambed particles.

NARA’s Education Team partners with high school teachers in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana to help them prepare student teams to participate in the Imagine Tomorrow competition. This partnership encourages new high school teams to enter the event and helps transfer NARA research to …more

Forest residual-to-biofuel facility site analysis available for Washington and Oregon

IDX students and mentors touring Weyerhaeuser’s Longview facility
IDX students and mentors touring Weyerhaeuser’s Longview facility

NARA is tasked with helping U.S. Northwest stakeholders identify depot and biorefinery site locations suitable for a developing industry that uses forest residuals to produce bio-jet fuel and valued co-products. To do this, undergraduate/graduate students in the Integrated Design Experience (IDX) course at Washington State University rank prospective sites …more

May 3-4: Conference unites wood-to-biofuel industry

29 March, 2015

Seattle, Wash. – The second Northwest Wood-Based Biofuels + Co-Products Conference will be May 3-4 at the Seattle Airport Marriott.

It will highlight research findings to promote collaboration among attendees to convert wood to biofuels. A unique track for K-12 educators will provide lesson plans to connect bioenergy to STEM education. Although the focus will be on regional efforts, a national and global perspective will be included.

Early registration through April 3 costs $250; a subsidized rate …more

Lincoln County Port Authority in Montana has acquired a boiler located at Libby’s Kootenai Business Park

A 80,000 lbs of steam per hour (@ 450psi) capacity boiler has been acquired by the Lincoln County Port Authority. With some retrofitting, the plant could produce up to 5 to 7 megawatts of electricity or a combination of steam and electricity. The boiler is fitted with an electrostatic precipitator. Upon request, the Port Authority can provide the Engineering study that evaluated the retrofit to produce power generation.

Lincoln County Boiler

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Teacher professional development for energy literacy

High school teachers participating in a teacher workshop at the McCall Outdoor Science School. Photo courtesy of MOSS.
High school teachers participating in a teacher workshop at the McCall Outdoor Science School. Photo courtesy of MOSS.

The USDA-NIFA, through NARA, supports programs to educate K-12 students and increase their level of bioenergy literacy. Curriculum units have been developed for middle and high school students that explore …more

Putting “sustainability” in energy education

Danica Hendrickson, curriculum director at Facing the Future, introduces curriculum units to high school teachers. Photo courtesy of MOSS.
Danica Hendrickson, curriculum director at Facing the Future, introduces curriculum units to high school teachers. Photo courtesy of MOSS.

Research performed by NARA members contributes to an understanding of how to develop a sustainable wood residual-to-biojet fuel and co-product industry. Sustainability in this case refers to economic, social …more

Wood-to-alcohol conversion technology suitable for a pulp mill retrofit

Schematic of mild bisulfite pretreatment process. Courtesy of Junyong Zhu at USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.
Schematic of mild bisulfite pretreatment process. Courtesy of Junyong Zhu at USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.

Building a biorefinery to convert wood residues into chemical products like biojet fuel is expensive. The projected capital investment exceeds $850 million. An alternative, and potentially less costly approach, is to retrofit …more