Emerging Feedstocks – Genetically Modified Trees

Genetically modified trees have been extensively academically explored as ideal feedstocks for pulp/paper and cellulosic ethanol. Novel trees include modifications that increase cellulose content, reduce lignin content, and even change lignin monolignol ratios. However, companies considering investing in these engineered managed forests need to examine technoeconomic feasibility prior to adoption. Specific attention to regulations, site…

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Process Development: Bench to Commercialization

Process development -leading a process from bench-scale optimization and characterization through scale-up to piloting and commercialization requires a variety of knowledge and skills for the process development engineer and scientist.  Beyond core competencies (e.g. chemistry, thermodynamics, mass and energy balances, etc.) of those that work in process development teams, there are additional skills that help…

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Feedstocks: Agricultural

Agricultural Feedstocks for the renewable energy industry include starch and sugar crops (e.g., corn, sorghum), grass crops (e.g., switch grass, miscanthus), oil crops (e.g., soybean, sunflowers), and crop residues (e.g., corn stover, corn cobs, nut shells).  Agricultural feedstocks can create sustainable paths by using marginal croplands to generate energy products, and by adding value or…

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Torrefied Biomass

Torrefied biomass is available, efficient, CO2 neutral and economic, and likely the best solid biomass on the market.  Torrefaction is a thermal pre-treatment technology used to upgrade lignocellulosic biomass to higher quality and more attractive biofuel. In the torrefaction process, biomass is heated to 250-350°C in a low oxygen atmosphere, so that all moisture is…

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Opportunities to Transition Ethanol Facilities to Biochemical Refineries

By: Daniel A. Lane and Joel A. Stone, Lee Enterprises Consulting Opportunities to Transition Ethanol Facilities to Biochemical Refineries? The US commercial petroleum industry started with the drilling by retired railroad conductor Edwin Drake of a well near Titusville, PA in 1859.  Drake’s well sparked an oil boom and over the next couple of years,…

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Biomass Pyrolysis Comes of Age

By Dr. Lorenz Bauer, Lee Enterprises Consulting After many years of development biomass pyrolysis is finally maturing as a commercial technology.  Pyrolysis is not incineration.  The goal is to use heat in the absence of oxygen to convert the biomass to a more useful form while preserving as much of the carbon as possible.  The water…

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Process Integration in Industrial Biotechnology / Synthetic Biology

What does an expert in process integration in the field of industrial biotechnology or synthetic biology do?  First, let’s define terms.  These two terms are frequently interchanged, but are not exactly synonymous; synthetic biology should be considered one of the tools used to build a commercially useful process in the field of industrial biotechnology.  The…

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Biomass Supply Chain Expert – Agriculture

What is an agricultural biomass supply chain expert? Simply put, it is a person that understands the dozens of issues that will affect the production of the tens of thousands of tons of feedstock that a project needs to be profitable as it produces a fuel or chemical.  The expert should know how to get…

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