Advanced Biofuels

USDA Small Business Innovation Research Program Awards Forest Concepts $350,000 to Advance Biomass Reprocessing Technologies for Cellulosic Ethanol Production

Date Posted: August 19, 2009

Auburn, WA—The USDA Small Business Innovation Research program awarded Forest Concepts with a two-year $350,000 Phase II contract to advance the development of their technologies for reprocessing hog fuel and other chipped woody biomass to create clean streams of wood fiber and bark, while removing dirt, rock and other contaminants.

The cost and yield of most cellulosic biofuels processes is dependent on the quality and uniformity of feedstocks.

Clean wood fiber is the material of choice for most biochemical processes.

Bark has higher energy content for thermal energy production, and reportedly produces higher yield in some gasification systems.

The chip beneficiation process (a fancy term for sorting the wood from the wood) being developed by Forest Concepts can be optimized to produce precision feedstocks for bioconversion or thermochemical processing.

The organic co-products can then be directed to other solid biofuels, soil amendments and other uses.

We are very pleased that USDA is backing this development program that will benefit just about everyone in the cellulosic bioenergy industry,” said Forest Concepts’ Chief Technology Officer Dr. Jim Dooley.

“Regardless of which conversion technologies become the commercial winners in the future, they all are dependent upon clean, high yielding feedstocks.

"We believe that our technology will be key to ensuring cellulosic feedstock quality at the front end of biorefineries.”

“This is our fourth Phase II SBIR contract from USDA, and the second to be directly related to bioenergy feedstock supply technologies,” said Forest Concepts CEO Mike Perry.

“Our research and engineering team applied their sound science and disciplined design approach to bring the past three projects to successful outcomes.

"This project has several significant technical challenges, all of which we fully expect to solve during the next two years.”

For more information, call 253-333-9663.

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