Renewable Biomass and Agriculture Resources for Biofuels
Biofuel made from wood, grasses, or non-edible parts of plants is known as cellulosic biofuel. Cellulose is contained in nearly every natural, free-growing plant, tree, and bush. Cellulosic biomass is an ideal choice for biorefining because it grows throughout the world and replenishes quickly and easily in poor quality soil. Because of this diverse and abundant availability of raw materials, cellulosic biofuel production has an advantage over those processes that rely on corn and cane sugars.
In the AHB project, we are envisioning using hybrid poplars grown on bioenergy farms as the primary biomass to fuel future biorefineries. These poplars will be grown as short rotation woody crops and harvested on three year rotations.
Poplar wood has been successfully converted to liquid fuels by both biochemical and thermochemical methods.
Supplemental biomass will come from agriculture residues such as corn stover and wheat straw, which are suitable feedstocks readily available around the Northwest.
Making Biofuels and Biochemicals from Poplar Trees
Nature took millions of years to convert plant materials into fossil fuels through various natural processes. We now have the technologies in place to produce equivalent liquid biofuels in industrial settings within a few days!