Developing test batches of ethanol and jet fuel, improving the conversion processes, and figuring out what to do with every part of the poplar tree makes for a better, more efficient system. So far, the results of the poplar studies are very encouraging!
Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB) is a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded research project that is investigating the development of a regional biofuel and bio-based chemical industry from locally grown hybrid poplar trees.
Poplar trees are useful in a variety of environmental applications in addition to being a promising bioenergy crop. Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest is leading research to develop a renewable fuel and bio-chemical industry in the Pacific Northwest where poplar trees will be the primary feedstock.
Researchers at AHB are investigating the economic feasibility of four, 100 million gallon a year bio-jet fuel refineries in the Pacific Northwest. The proposed locations were selected based on models that considered poplar yields and grower adoption estimates, existing infrastructure, and logistical costs.
AHB is working to enhance rural prosperity in the Northwest through job creation and training. Safe, skilled, and motivated technicians and operators are in demand throughout the region’s agroforestry and industrial sectors.
The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of a product incorporates all greenhouse gas emissions in the fuel’s production pathway to the equivalent emission of carbon dioxide (CO2). In doing so, the climate change impacts of different fuel sources can be easily compared.
Advancing Bioenergy in the Northwest Through Education
As the bioenergy sector grows in the Pacific Northwest, people with skills and knowledge will be needed to drive the next generation of innovations. Programs at Oregon State University and Walla Walla Community College (through partnership with the Agriculture Center of Excellence), created as part of the Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest project, aim to meet these needs.
On the conversion pathway to renewable drop-in transportation fuels, intermediate bio-chemicals are produced with high economic value, which can reduce risk for new biorefineries. The “bridge to biofuels” shows the building blocks of drop-in biofuels and discusses the uses and opportunities of intermediate bio-chemicals.
As part of a national effort, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded two $40 million grants in fall 2011 to develop a sustainable wood to biofuels industry in the Northwest.
Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest began as an USDA NIFA funded initiative in September 2011 to lay the foundation for a hardwood biofuels industry in the Northwest. This brief provides an overview of key accomplishments after two years.
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has invested $156 million in seven projects across the US to assist with the research and development for regionally-based advanced biofuel industries.