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Wood to biofuel conference targets commercialization and education

Dr Bill Goldner (USDA-NIFA) addresses the 2016 NWBBCP conference in Seattle, WA
Dr Bill Goldner (USDA-NIFA) addresses the 2016 NWBBCP conference in Seattle, WA

The 2nd Northwest Wood-Based Biofuels + Co-Products Conference was held May 4-5, 2016 in Seattle WA. The USDA-NIFA and WSU extension were the conference sponsors. NARA played a lead role in developing this conference, which drew 170 participants.

Representatives from …more

Production of Lignocellulosic Isobutanol by Fermentation and Conversion to Biojet

A recent webinar titled “Production of Lignocellulosic Isobutanol by Fermentation and Conversion to Biojet was provided by Gevo representatives Andrew Hawkins and Glenn Johnston. This webinar is part of the NARA webinar series.

Gevo has developed fermentation and process technology to convert biomass sugars to isobutanol and further into renewable jet fuel through chemical processing. As a key member of the NARA project, Gevo has developed GIFT®, Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology, to produce isobutanol at high productivity, titer, …more

Sugar yields from two feedstock sources

Pretreated FS-10 post-harvest forest residuals. NARA image.
Pretreated FS-10 post-harvest forest residuals. NARA image.

Pretreatment is the process that breaks up major wood components (lignin and polysaccharides like hemicelluloses and cellulose) so that enzymes can degrade (hydrolyze) the polysaccharides into simple sugars. Effective pretreatment and hydrolysis are necessary to achieve high sugar quality and yield. The sugars derived from the pretreatment/hydrolysis process can serve …more

Lignin to plastic opportunities

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Under the conditions evaluated by NARA to convert post-harvest forest residuals into biojet fuel, approximately two-thirds of the woody material is left over as a byproduct. This left over material is rich in lignin, a complex polymer molecule found in plant cell walls.

The USDA-NIFA, through the NARA grant, funds research to develop high-value chemicals and materials that can be made from the lignin-rich material left after the various …more

Extractives found in post-harvest forest residuals

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When it comes to evaluating an industry that uses post-harvest forest residuals (slash) to make bio-jet fuel and co-products, the primary components in softwoods, like Douglas-fir, receiving the most industrial interest are cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. The cellulose and hemicellulose contain the simple sugars used to biofuel and other chemical products. The lignin is a byproduct of the fuel conversion process and can be used to make additional products like …more

Measuring soil nutrient levels of intensively harvested forests

 

Soil monitoring equipment
Soil monitoring equipment

Those who consider the use of port-harvest forest residuals as a feedstock for biofuel or energy production are interested to know how biomass removal affects soil temperature, water retention and nutrient levels. These effects are being measured at Long-Term Soil Productivity Sites (LTSP) throughout the U.S including the NARA LTSP site in southern Oregon. As the name implies, …more

NARA introduces webinar series

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The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) is concluding its final year under the contractual terms with the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Many of the outputs generated from this project are recorded in peer-reviewed journals or documents in various NARA reports.

Another format used to rapidly introduce NARA outputs to a wide audience is through webinars. In October 2015, NARA launched a …more

NARA 2015 Annual Meeting

Participants at the 2015 NARA annual meeting held in Spokane , WA
Participants at the 2015 NARA annual meeting held in Spokane , WA

In mid September, NARA conducted its 2015 Annual Meeting in Spokane, WA. This meeting marked the conclusion of the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance Project’s fourth year, and the launch of its last year under the contractual terms with the United States …more

NARA students provide supply chain data for the Olympic Peninsula

IDX students observe collection and processing equipment for post-harvest forest residual in the Olympic Peninsula.
IDX students observe collection and processing equipment for post-harvest forest residual in the Olympic Peninsula.

Students enrolled in the Integrated Design Experience (IDX) course at Washington State University are showing people what a wood-to-bio-jet fuel supply chain might look like.

The IDX students are working on behalf of NARA …more