In the past decade, funding agencies (USDA-NIFA and DOE), stakeholder coalitions (SAFN), state agencies, and industry have invested millions of dollars and substantial time to envision a Pacific Northwest industry that uses wood-based biomass to produce liquid biofuels and other co-products. USDA-NIFA funded programs like the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) and Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB) will end in 2016. These programs, in collaboration with stakeholders, produced tools and information that will assist all parties engaged in developing a sustainable wood-to-biofuels industry in the Northwest.
With this backdrop, the USDA-NIFA and WSU Extension will sponsor the 2nd Northwest Wood-Based Biofuels and Co-Products Conference (NWBCC) to be held in Seattle May 3-4th, 2016.
The overarching goal of the 2nd Northwest Wood-Based Biofuels + Co-Products Conference is to communicate research findings and promote collaboration so that attendees can approach commercialization using underutilized wood resources or dedicated wood feedstocks in a strategic and sustainable manner. Specific conference tracks will focus on feedstock logistics, conversion technologies, sustainability, bioenergy literacy and commercialization. Although the focus will be on regional efforts, a national and global perspective will also be included.
A list of confirmed speakers is available on the conference website. Confirmed speakers include representatives from Red Rock Biofuels, Alaska Airlines, Boeing, the Port of Seattle, Anellotech, Oakridge National Laboratory, FPInnovations, Cool Planet and Cosmo Specialty Fibers.
K-12 education track
This conference offers a unique track designed to help formal and informal K-12 educators learn about bioenergy and wood-based biofuels and of the lesson plans and strategies developed to connect bioenergy to STEM education. The intent is to increase bioenergy awareness in the classroom so that students become citizens who are better informed and can contribute to a bio-energy workforce. Western Washington University (contact Danica.Hendrickson@wwu.edu) and the University of Idaho (contact firstname.lastname@example.org) will offer professional development credits for educators attending the conference.
Early registration is $250 for the general audience, and a subsidized rate is available for K-12 educators. High school and university students who present a poster at the conference receive complimentary registration.
The first NWBCC was held in 2014 and drew over 200 participants. A majority were affiliated with either industry or academia with government and environmental organization representatives also present.