Conference Unites Emerging Wood-to-Biofuel Industry in Pacific Northwest

fskjd;lfSeattle WA – February 5, 2014 – The Northwest Wood-Based Biofuels + Co-Products Conference is set for April 28-30, 2014 at the Red Lion Hotel Fifth Avenue in Seattle Washington.

The conference website can be viewed here

It has been just over two years since the USDA invested $80 million to facilitate the development of a sustainable wood to biofuels and co-products industry in the northwest United States.  This investment created the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) and Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB): two projects with multiple partners focused on softwood and hardwood feedstocks respectively.

These projects are proceeding amidst efforts from other northwest-based organizations (state government, research labs, industry, non-governmental organizations) who also contribute to developing wood biomass as a resource for fuel and novel products.

With so much activity devoted to wood-based biofuels and co-product development in the Northwest, this conference will provide a timely opportunity for the region to assess developments and form strategic partnerships.

“Northwest stakeholders will come away from this conference with a clear understanding of what is needed to develop a supply chain for this industry and the role that they could play in making it a success”, says Peter Moulton of Washington Department of Commerce and conference steering committee member. “In addition, there are many outside the northwest United States with similar challenges to developing feedstocks, fuels, supply chains and products who we hope to attract to share our ideas and learn from their experience.”

The opening afternoon will feature speakers who provide a big picture perspective from major stakeholders (Commissioner Peter Goldmark, Washington Department of Natural Resources; Carol Sim, Alaska Airlines; Chris Cassidy, USDA Rural Development; and Barbara Bramble, National Wildlife Federation) followed by regional updates from three USDA AFRI-CAP programs (NARAAHB and BANR) and Canadian counterparts. Additional speakers listed here and agenda here.

This event will bring together the global, national, and regional communities of researchers, business leaders, government agencies, and economic development personnel to share research findings, ideas, and strategies that promote the sustainable development of a wood-based biofuels and co-products industry here in the northwest United States. Feedstocks of interest for this conference include forest slash, purpose-grown woody crops, and small diameter timber from hazardous fuel treatments and forest health restoration projects.

The USDA and Washington State University Extension are lead sponsors for the conference.

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