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Feature Stories

Equipment Changes Make Harvesting More Efficient, Less Stressful

In May, modifications to the New Holland FB130 coppice header debuted for the second harvest at the Pilchuck poplar demonstration farm. The header is now framed by revolving augers that help guide the poplar stems and branches into the rotating drums drums of the machinery.
Wood chips

The Devil is in the Details: Understanding Poplar’s True Potential as an Energy Feedstock through Biomass Studies

Although sunny field tours through towering, leafy poplars are lovely, it’s really after the harvest that AHB poplars earn their keep. Following the harvest of the hybrid poplar demonstration farms at Jefferson, OR and Hayden, ID, GreenWood Resources sent sizable biomass samples to several laboratories for analysis and chemical characterization.
An image showing a worker taking a soil sample at the Pilchuck Demonstration site.

Field and genetic research investigates poplar bioenergy farm sustainability

By Cat Gowan, WSU Extension, and Amy Klocko, OSU | January 2017; Determining the environmental sustainability of growing poplar for biofuels and bio-based chemicals has been an important part of the AHB project.…
Attendees of the Poplar Willow Forum walking through the poplar trees at the tour of the Woodburn Wastewater Treatment Facility

Poplar and Willow Take Center Stage at National Working Forum

Discussions on utilizing poplar and willow for phytoremediation, wastewater treatment, and nutrient contaminant buffers outlined how multiple environmental uses are currently applied in municipalities and businesses.

Brian Stanton teaches a captivated group of young students about poplar phenotypes.

Inspired Young Students Research Poplar Phenotypes

Nearly 100 third grade scientists gathered to present their findings to researchers at GreenWood Resources in Westport, Oregon after studying hybrid poplar phenotypes. The field trip was the finale of a genetics unit that began nine weeks earlier at Jackson Elementary School in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Students holding their solar cars, one of the activities in the energy literacy lesson.

Solar, Bio, or Thermal? Energy Lessons for Young Learners Spark Interest and Possibilities

Sarah Lane, WSU Extension Energy Intern and member of the AHB Extension team, taught 700 students about different types of energy and the role it plays in their lives.

Students in the Plant Operations program at WWCC preparing food waste for composting with chipper.

Bioenergy Workforce:

A growing number of students recognize the value of instruction and hands-on experience to meet the needs of a growing bioproducts workforce. In the Plant Operations program at Walla Walla Community College students can earn certificates in Bioproducts, Biomass Feedstock Management, Plant Operations, and a transfer degree in Plant Operations.
Student giving a tour of the UW conversion lab

Breakthrough on Catalysts for Poplar-based Jet Fuel

New research is identifying catalysts to produce bio-jet fuel from simple organic molecules such as ethanol. The research is being conducted by the AHB conversion team working in the University of Washington (UW) Biofuels and Bioproducts Laboratory in collaboration with ZeaChem.
Tim Rials and Magen Shedden of IBSS taking inventory at a Mississippi poplar tree plantation

Taking Stock of Hybrid Poplar Bioenergy Plantings

Measurements are critical to predicting the yield and market potential of a poplar bioenergy farm. The AHB feedstock team measures poplars annually at the demonstration sites to track intermediate growth. This data will be used to help future growers estimate their biomass yields in order to make contracts with buyers.
Washington State University