BETO Launches New Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium
(Department of Energy/Ethanol Producer Magazine) The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office is proud to announce the establishment of 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.
FCIC is made up of the following five technical and analysis teams: (1) Feedstock Variability and Specification Development, (2) Feedstock Physical Performance Modeling, (3) Process Integration, (4) System-Wide Throughput Analysis, and (5) Process Control and Optimization.
FCIC will be officially launched with a kickoff meeting on Dec. 11 at NREL, where BETO will provide industry and academic stakeholders with a summary of the consortium’s intended research and development efforts, primary focus areas, and target goals.
FCIC is part of BETO’s Feedstock Supply and Logistics Program, Conversion Research and Development Program, and Advanced Development and Optimization Program, which together fund projects to (1) develop economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable feedstocks for conversion to bioenergy; (2) develop technologies for converting lignocellulosic feedstocks into viable biofuels and bioproducts; and (3) reduce bioenergy production technology uncertainties. These efforts will help the United States move toward an affordable and resilient bioeconomy. For more information, visit the FCIC website. READ MORE