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viernes, 22 de septiembre de 2017

US DOE selects eight projects to optimize integrated biorefinery operations

Last December, the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) informed about its intention of funding projects aimed at the optimization of integrated biorefineries (see previous post). The funding opportunity is coordinated and supported jointly between U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Two days ago, the Secretary of Energy announced that the DOE had selected eight projects to negotiate for up to 15 M$ under this program. These projects will try to solve critical research and developmental challenges encountered for the successful scale-up and reliable operation of integrated biorefineries (IBRs) as well as decrease capital and operating expenses. Below, a table describes the main goal of each project.

Figure 1. NREL's Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility (extracted from its web page). NREL is one of the selected centres for this funding opportunity.

Company or research institute
Project goal
1: Robust, continuous handling of solid materials (dry and wet feedstocks, biosolids, and/or residual solids remaining in the process) and feeding systems to reactors under various operating conditions.
To study and improve feedstock and residual solids handling systems targeted to commercial pyrolysis and gasification reactors.
2: High-value products from waste and/or other undervalued streams in an integrated biorefinery.
Texas A&M Agrilife Research (College Station, Texas)
To develop a multi-stream integrated biorefinery, where lignin waste is fractionated to produce lipid for biodiesel, asphalt binder modifier and carbon fiber.
White Dog Labs (New Castle, Delaware)
To use the residual cellulosic sugars in cellulosic stillage syrup to produce single-cell protein (SCP) for aquaculture feed.
To demonstrate the cost-effective production of biocarbon, carbon nanofibers, polylactic acid and phenol from the waste streams generated in a biochemical platform technology.
3: Industrial separations within an integrated biorefinery.
4: Analytical modeling of solid materials (dry and wet feedstocks and/or residual solids remaining in the process) and reactor feeding systems.
To leverage and extend modeling and simulation tools to develop integrated simulations for feed handling and reactor feeding systems.
Clemson University (Clemson, South Carolina)
To develop analytical tools to identify an optimal IBR process design for the reliable, cost-effective, sustainable and continuous feeding of biomass feedstocks into a reactor.
Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana)
To develop strong, innovative computational and empirical models that rigorously detail the multiphase flow of biomass feedstocks.
Forest Concepts (Auburn, Washington)
To develop robust feedstock handling modeling and simulation tools based on systematic analysis in order to predict mechanical and rheological behavior of biomass flow.

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