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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

Over the past five years, AHB researchers have investigated soil and water impacts, wildlife presence and biodiversity, air quality concerns, and strategies for genetic containment of poplar bioenergy farms.
Attendees of the Poplar Willow Forum walking through the poplar trees

Poplar and Willow Take Center Stage at National Working Forum

By Betsy Fradd, WSU Extension | June 2016 Participants of the Poplar and Willow Forum toured the wastewater treatment plant in Woodburn, Oregon where poplar is grown with irrigated wastewater and biosolids. “The most promising…
Brian Stanton teaches a captivated group of young students about poplar phenotypes.

Inspired Young Students Research Poplar Phenotypes

By Adriene Koett-Cronn, Oregon State University | June 2016 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…
Young hands holding solar cars

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

By Betsy Fradd, WSU Extension | June 2016 Sarah Lane, WSU Extension Energy Intern, brought energy lessons to classrooms this spring. It could be that veggie burger they had for lunch, the shower taken the…
Students in the Plant Operations program at WWCC preparing food waste for composting with chipper.

Bioenergy Workforce:

Expanding Program Provides New Courses and Industry Experience to New and Returning Students By Betsy Fradd, WSU Extension Chris Madsen needed to change careers. After owning and operating his own construction business for over twenty…
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.
Two men and a woman take inventory of the poplar trees.

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.