About IBSS

Integrated Systems

Addressing the complexity of biomass-to-biofuels production, and the need for a 'systems' approach to decision-making and designing sustainable solutions is a priority to the IBSS Partnership. To address the intricate nature of the 'systems' approach, the Partnership has grouped their research into four blocks of activities: Herbaceous Crops, Woody Crops, System Metrics and Crosscutting and Embedded E2O.

Herbaceous Crops

The first block consists of the development, production, and logistics of herbaceous feedstocks, specifically switchgrass and sorghum. Herbaceous Feedstock Development focuses on developing higher yielding, more reactive switchgrass and sorghum that are suitable for field assessment and deployment. In addition to improved feedstock production on marginal quality land, there is a real need to better understand and document the quality of herbaceous materials under realistic storage conditions. The Partnership has been tasked with demonstrating sustainable benefits from paired watershed data and creating regional production guidelines based on soil type, quality, and prior land use. The Partnership will leverage previous work to improve supply chain energy balance, lower cost from harvesting, transportation and storage, and create a web-based logistics decision model for landowners and service providers.

Woody Crops

The second block consists of the activities to address the unique strengths and limitations of woody feedstocks. Woody biomass considered in this Partnership includes, loblolly pine, poplar, eucalyptus and sweetgum. These species were selected by the Partnership fordifferent attributes, but all can realistically be grown on millions of acres of land across the SE US. For example, there are currently more than 30 million acres in loblolly pine plantations and tens of millions of acres in unmanaged stands of loblolly pine and sweetgum, while poplar, eucalyptus, and sweetgum have the potential to be grown on millions of acres. Each of these woody crops is currently in various stages of genetic and silvicultural management improvement, and thus they offer viable options worth evaluating as bioenergy feedstocks. While working in the woody crops "block," the Partnership will develop new varieties of pine and hardwood crops with improved reactivity and higher yield, reduce establishment costs for bioenergy plantations and enhance public access to plantings for improved public education and acceptance. Inregards to logistics, the Partnership will optimize harvesting and transportation systems and create cost and productivity models.

Systems Metrics

Block 3 or "system metrics" is designed to generate the economic, environmental and social metric and data to evaluate and direct the sustainable production from southeast regional systems. The Partnership will customize the currentmodeling tools, and verify or collect additional high quality data for the southeast US. These tools will be used to conduct modeling work to quantifythree key metrics: 1) national and regional economic interactions, 2) landscape scale environmental impacts, and 3) biorefinery scale life cycle analyses. The proposed modeling systems will be used to identify the preferred feedstock supply scenarios in a site specific manner, and biorefinery configuration including the impacts of scale and co-generation of biopower. Expected outcomes include: demonstrated reductions in reportable health and safety incidents, IBSS-produced feedstock adopted by commercial partners and science-based output that can be used to inform the public discussion on the benefits and costs of biofuels deployment.

Cross-cutting and Embedded E2O

While the three previous blocks (herbaceous crops, woody crops and system metrics) have focused on the research, development, and deployment plans for overcoming barriers to biofuels deployment, the E2O section will outline the Partnership's plans for education, extension, and outreach activities. These activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Publicly accessible biomass science informatics database for the southeast U.S.
  • Regionally deployed programs for training Certified Biomass Production Advisors and Biomass Procurement Professionals
  • IBSS partners providing structured education content in K-12, undergraduate, graduate programs and other stakeholder groups
  • SEED Fellowship program for under-represented communities
  • Provide a publicly available "Readiness Index" for the southeast
Document Actions
Personal tools