New Consortium Advances Viability of Biofuels

Idaho National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory lead effort to to improve the overall operational reliability of integrated biorefineries 

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office is established the Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium—a research and development consortium dedicated to identifying and overcoming technical uncertainty in research and development of robust biomass supply, preprocessing, and conversion technologies.

The goal of the consortium is to improve the overall operational reliability of integrated biorefineries (IBRs). BETO has identified inconsistent feeding, handling, and initial conversion operations at IBRs as limiting factors in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals. IBR development and operation have suffered from failure to account for the complexity and variability of feedstock properties and composition and from a lack of fundamental understanding of the physics and chemistry of biomass-derived feedstock preprocessing and subsequent deconstruction, combined with poor equipment design and flawed integration. Solving this significant current challenge is essential for advanced biofuels to fully reach their potential and for the economic benefits of new jobs and improved security of our fuel supply to be realized.

FCIC will address the operational reliability challenges that are relevant to industry through a concerted coordination of research efforts among eight national laboratories. This strategic coordination of national laboratory expertise and equipment will increase innovation and accelerate advancements in technology that will be beneficial to the emerging U.S. bioeconomy and to BETO’s goals, as shown in the BETO Multi-Year Program Plan.

Read the full article about the Consortium on DOE’s website