(75b) Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest – A Multidisciplinary Research Program To Produce Sustainable Biofuels From Woody Biomass

Gustafson, R. - Presenter, University of Washington

The overall goal of this proposal is to prepare the Pacific Northwest for introduction of a 100% infrastructure compatible biofuels industry using sustainable and regionally appropriate woody energy crops. The research will mitigate technology risks along the entire supply chain so that an advanced biofuels industry, which uses purpose-grown woody energy crops and makes significant contributions towards the Renewable Fuel Standard Two (RFS2) targets, can be built in the Pacific Northwest. This project will revitalize the region’s forestry industry with establishment of a sustainable advanced biofuels industry that supports large and small growers and brings jobs to rural communities. We have five major areas in the project:

FEEDSTOCK – Develop superior poplar biomass feedstock and establish demonstration tree farms that use silvacultural practices with minimal environmental impact.

CONVERSION – Build on ZeaChem technology for ethanol production from woody biomass to develop efficient processes for converting biomass into hydrocarbons that are 100% compatible with fuel infrastructure.

SUSTAINABILITY – Assess the economic, environmental, and social impacts that a large biofuels production system will have on the Pacific Northwest.  Define optimal system of poplar tree farms and biorefineries.

EXTENSION – Build a critical mass of competent small- and medium-size growers to provide the industry with supply of purpose-grown woody energy crops, and address the needs and concerns of stakeholders that will be impacted by an advanced biofuels industry in the Pacific Northwest.

EDUCATION – Build a critical mass of well-trained workers capable of filling the crossdisciplinary needs of the industry.

The talk will outline our proposed work and some of what we have learned in the first two years of the project.