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Creating Biojet Fuel

NARA represented at CAAFI 2014 General Meeting in Washington DC


NARA Director Ralph Cavalieri attends CAAFI 2014 General Meeting and Expo
NARA Director Ralph Cavalieri attends CAAFI 2014 General Meeting and ExpoCAAFI 2014 General Meeting & Expo

Posted by Michael Wolcott, NARA project co-director

NARA is well represented at CAAFI’s flagship meeting around alternative aviation fuels. We are joining a majority of the biofuels industry, the US air carriers, Boeing, FAA, USDA, DOE, NIST, EPA, and …more

Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies (BANR)

beetle kill






On November 6th 2013, the US Department of Agriculture awarded nearly $10 million to fund research to develop renewable fuel and biochar production using insect-killed trees in the Rocky Mountain region as a sustainable feedstock. The award was provided to the Bioenergy Alliance of the Rockies (BANR): a consortium of academic, industry and government organizations led by Colorado State University.

BANR’s website can be …more

Variations of forest residual biomass



Thinning and harvesting forests in the Pacific Northwest generate lots of residual woody biomass. Currently, much of that biomass is left in slash piles while a small percentage is used to heat buildings or generate electricity. By law, those slash piles left unused are burned to reduce forest fire hazard. This process contributes to smoke and air pollution. NARA is helping to develop an industry that converts this unused …more

Forest Inventory and Utilization Data


PNW_biomass_availability copy

One of the services provided by NARA affiliate, The University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), is publically available forest industry data. Much of the information they provide and compile contributes to NARA’s efforts to produce supply chain, environmental and economic sustainability analyses, models and GIS applications useful to an emerging wood-based biofuels industry in the Pacific Northwest.  Listed below are two sources of …more

Improving simple sugar yields from wood residuals


cellulase_enzyme copy
Illustration of cellulase enzyme on cellulose


Materials built from simple sugar molecules are the foundation of plant systems. Many plants, like corn, use these sugar-based materials to store energy in the form of starch. We then use these materials for food and increasingly as fuels and chemicals. Simple sugars are also used in structural plant materials that humans cannot …more

John Sessions to receive national award from the Society of American Foresters

John Sessions, NARA’s team leader for feedstock logistics and distinguished professor and chair of the Forest Operations Management program in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University (OSU) will receive the Award in Forest Science, one of nine national awards given by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). Below is the news release distributed by SAF:

The Society of American Foresters (SAF) has announced that John Sessions, distinguished professor and chair of the Forest Operations Management program in the College …more

Transporting Biomass



An initial techno-economic analysis for the NARA biojet scenario has been completed. With the premise of constructing totally new facilities and current feedstock availability and costs, we estimate the manufacturing cost to produce biojet fuel derived from woody residuals at 2-3 times above the current market price for petrochemical-based jet fuel. Our current efforts are now aimed at reducing this initial cost estimate on many fronts. In the …more

Estimating Forest Biomass

Estimating Tree Biomass, Carbon, and Nitrogen... copy 2


Developing improved tools and methods used to estimate the amount of residual biomass potential contained in a softwood plantation or forest is a key task for the NARA project. The amount of forest residues available affects how much biojet fuel and co-products are produced, the location sites for depots and conversion plants and the overall sustainability of the residual wood to biojet …more

Characterizing Various Feedstocks

NARA Woody Forest Feedstocks-Total Polysaccharides. Image created by Gevan Marrs, Weyerhaeuser
NARA Woody Forest Feedstocks-Total Polysaccharides. Figure created by Gevan Marrs, Weyerhaeuser

Gevan Marrs at Weyerhaeuser generated this above figure. Packed with useful information, it is often used in NARA presentations. The purpose of this article is to define elements in the figure and provide some analysis. A bulk of the information presented in the …more