Feedstock Production & Logistics Progress

IBSS works to develop and deploy sustainable production systems for biomass feedstocks, including switchgrass, pine, and hardwoods, so feedstocks can be easily and affordably converted to drop-in fuels, co-products and other value added chemicals.

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Significant Feedstock Production & Logistics Milestones

  • First Production of Drop-In Fuels from a USDA-Sponsored AFRI-CAP Project at Magnitude Beyond Lab/Pilot Scale
  • Harvest, preprocessing, transport, and further processing has been demonstrated for short rotation hardwoods and pine harvested in Alabama and North Carolina
  • Four demonstration plantings of short-rotation hardwoods (Poplar, Eucalyptus, Sweetgum) have been established in Alabama and Tennessee
  • Feedstock sustainability measures are actively producing data points, including measures of water use and quality at the watershed scale

Significant Feedstock Production & Logistics Accomplishments

IBSS demonstrates the feasibility of large-scale production of fuels that "drop-in" to existing systems:

  • Gasification of feedstocks using Fischer-Trophsch synthesis to make diesel fuel at Rentech's Bioenergy Center of Excellence
  • Production of 1,000 gallons of "green" diesel fuel for demonstration in vehicles and agriculture / silviculture equipment

IBSS collaborates with industry leaders to continually enhance feedstock quality, supply, and expertise:

  • Continues to develop educational products such as the Certified Biomass Professionals courses
  • Initiated studies of blended feedstock to understand effects of inorganics on gasification performance, syngas composition, bio-oil quality, and char reactivity
  • Developed logistics paths for switchgrass with modeled costs estimated for several scenarios (e.g., round bale, stored on farm; square bale, stored on farm; field chop and haul to preprocessing facility).
  • Analyzed distribution of business establishments and employment comprising value chains for advanced biofuels (based on switchgrass) using IMPLAN and County Business Pattern data

IBSS identifies and overcomes feedstock acquisition, harvest, transport, and processing barriers:

  • Created logistical pathways for chip at harvest site, chip at landing, and size reduction at a central facility
  • Initiated feedstock estimates including cost and carbon emissions
  • Conducted supply chain modeling of costs and energy flow for all IBSS feedstock systems
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