Pacific Region Bioenergy Partnership

Bioenergy Research Symposium – 2012

Bioenergy is one of the most diverse, complex and promising renewable energy resources available today. Nowhere is the diversity of bioenergy resources more robust than here in the Pacific Northwest, where cutting-edge research supports a broad range of rapidly evolving, innovative technologies.

From energy cropping systems to drop-in biofuels, anaerobic digestion to pyrolysis, and numerous value-added co-products, the Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium (held November 13, 2012, in Seattle, Washington) offers an in-depth exploration of the full scope of research efforts. The Symposium was designed to:

  • Strengthen regional bioenergy research and development efforts
  • Provide a forum for reporting research to a diverse audience
  • Stabilize public R & D funding, including support for lab build-out
  • Chart pathways toward commercialization
  • Support effective networking on research priorities

Agenda, Session Descriptions and Presentations

Opening Plenary

Perspectives and Priorities for Bioenergy Research in the Pacific Northwest

Ralph Cavalieri, WSU Associate Vice President for Alternative Energy
Rick Gustafson, UW College of the Environment
James Olson, UBC Pulp and Paper Centre
Rick Orth, PNNL Chemical and Biological Process Development Group
John Sessions, OSU College of Forestry

Pacific Northwest Oilseed Crop Adaptation

Canola and camelina offer farmers and end users opportunities to expand locally produced biofuel and food production. Adaptation of these new crops to the region requires agronomic research to establish best management practices and approaches tailored for our unique production systems, soils and environment. Recent regional oilseed research and revelations will be reviewed.
Moderator: Bill Pan, WSU
Rewriting the Oilseed Management Playbook for the Pacific Northwest (Bill Pan, WSU)
End Use Oil Characteristics: Genetics and Environment Matter (Ian Burke, WSU)
Oilseed Fertilizer Management: It’s Not Your Father’s Wheat (Rick Koenig, WSU)
Syncing Chemical Rotation with Crop Rotation (Frank Young, WSU)

Woody Biomass Development, Preparation & Logistics

Predictable feedstock volumes, pricing and characteristics are essential components of economically and ecologically viable biomass‐based energy systems. Panel members will discuss current efforts to identify, harvest, aggregate and transport appropriately-sourced wood-based feedstocks in the Pacific Northwest.
Moderator: Vikram Yadama, WSU
Washington State Forest Biomass Assessment (Luke Rogers, WSU)
Woody Biomass Lifecycle Assessment by Biofuels (Indroneil Ganguly, UW)
Stocked Stands to Standing Stocks: Sustainable Forest Management and Bioenergy (John Bailey, OSU)
Geospatial Soil Risk Assessments and BMP Development for Biomass Harvesting (Mark Kimsey, UI)

Oilseed Economics, Breeding and Lifecycle Assessment

Long-term sustainability of new cropping systems is dependent on sustained economic viability, documentation of positive agronomic and environmental impacts of whole systems through life cycle analyses, and the continued infusion of improved crop genetics. Recent regional oilseed research and revelations will be reviewed.
Moderator: Mary Beth Lang, WSDA
Oilseed Economics (Vicki McCracken, WSU)
Oilseed Variety Development: A Key to Successful Crop Adaptation (Scot Hulbert, WSU)
Lifecycle Assessment: Is Oilseed-Biodiesel Good for the Environment? (Bill Pan, WSU)

Pretreatment Options for Woody Biomass

Numerous public and private researchers are actively exploring treatments to prepare and fractionate woody biomass into chemical constituents for downstream conversion. This session will explore many of the most promising pathways for pretreatment of regional forest-derived feedstocks.
Moderator: Rick Gustafson, UW
Cellulosic Sugar as a Fuel or Bio-Product Intermediate (Dwight Anderson, Catchlight)
Optimizing Pretreatments for Softwoods: Finding the Right Compromize (Richard Chandra, UBC)
Effect of Physical Characteristics of Biomass on Ethanol Yield (Renata Bura, UW)

Lunch Keynote Speaker

Frank Boteler, USDA NIFA - Evolving Priorities for NIFA-Funded Bioenergy Work

Innovations in Bioprocessing

Increasing interest in waste-to-energy technologies, nutrient management, process efficiencies and economies-of-scale is driving innovative research into bioprocessing pathways. This panel will explore exciting discoveries looking to advance to commercial-scale applications.
Moderator: Craig Frear, WSU
Nutrient Recovery from High-Solids Anaerobic Digestion (Craig Frear, WSU)
New High-Solids Anaerobic Digestion Systems (Shulin Chen, WSU)
Integrating Pyrolysis and Anaerobic Digestion (Manuel Garcia-Perez/Matthew Smith, WSU)
Breaking the Barrier of Biomass Conversion Using Wet Explosion Pretreatment (Philip Teller, WSU)

Conversion to Drop-In Fuels

Conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks to hydrocarbon fuels is a major focus of bioenergy research efforts. Presenters will detail mechanical, thermal, chemical and combined approaches being explored in the Pacific Northwest.
Moderator: Rick Orth, PNNL
Improving the Economics of Lignocellulose Conversion to Transportation Fuels (Patricia Irving, InnovaTek)
Northwest Efforts Toward Producing Aviation Fuels Using Hybrid Approaches (John Holladay/Richard Hallen, PNNL)
Thermochemical and Hydrothermal Conversion Processes (Fernando Resende, UW)
Catalytic Upgrading of Intermediate Products (Rich Hallen, PNNL)

Bioprocessing Co-Products

Co‐products can make a huge difference in bioenergy economics, in many cases generating revenue streams essential to the viability of a project. This set of rapid-fire presentations will profile various co‐products that can contribute to the emerging bioeconomy.
Introduction/Moderator: Michael Wolcott, WSU
Products from Thermochemical/Biochemical Hybrid Processes (Manuel Garcia-Perez, WSU)
Production of Oxidized and Reduced Derivatives of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (Mike Lilga, PNNL)
Pyrolysis Blanket: A Low-Cost in-Forest Processing Technology (Daniel Schwartz, UW)
WSU NARA Co-Product Research (Jinwen Zhang, WSU)
Biorefinery Production of Fiber, Energy and Chemicals from Agricultural Residues (Bill McKean, UW)