No Crop Left Behind: Inside the USDA’s Bioeconomy Feedstock Strategy
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) … You’d be forgiven if you mistook Ahb Subi Banr-Sbar for a well-placed official in the Iranian government — but, in fact, it’s a 9-project network to facilitate the development of regionally-based industries producing advanced biofuels, industrial chemicals, and other biobased products.
Seven of them were established in a $156 million NIFA commitment to AFRI Regional Bioenergy System’s Coordinated Agricultural Projects, plus two grants that NIFA awarded in recent months that have similar goals.
Because it’s a mouthful, they generally call them CAPs, rather than Coordinated Agricultural Projects. They occasionally get decoded as Challenge Area Partnerships, or even Crop Advancement Projects, or Centers for Agricultural Progress. Under any decoding, it’s CAP and they are about pushing yields, growing regions, logistics for harvest and distribution, and especially for emerging crops and varietals.
Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB)
Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB), led by the University of Washington is working to prepare the Pacific Northwest for a biofuels industry using purpose-grown hardwoods as feedstocks for gasoline and aviation fuels and industrial chemicals.
The CenUSA Bioenergy partnership is led by Iowa State University and is investigating a Midwestern system for producing biofuels and bioproducts using perennial grasses grown on marginal lands. The system improves agricultural sustainability as the perennial grasses reduce nutrient runoff and increase soil carbon sequestration.
Northeast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio)
NEWBio: Northeast Woody / Warm-season Biomass Consortium led by the Pennsylvania State University is investigating a variety of feedstocks including willow, switchgrass, and miscanthus for advanced biofuels.
Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA)
Led by Washington State University, the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) is focused on providing a wide range of research and analyses for a developing industry that converts forest residuals into bio-jet fuel and other co-products.
Southeast Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems (IBSS)
Southeast Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems (IBSS) led by the University of Tennessee is using switchgrass and woody biomass to produce gasoline, butanol, and aviation fuel.
Sustainable Bioproduct Initiative Project (SUBI)
Sustainable Bioproduct Initiative (SUBI): A Regional Program for Production of Multiple Agricultural Feedstocks and Processing to Biofuels and Biobased Chemicals led by Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter is using energy cane and sweet sorghum to produce butanol, aviation fuel, and other industrial chemicals.
The Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies (BANR)
The Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies (BANR) is led by Colorado State University and is investigating use of insect-killed trees as a sustainable feedstock to produce biofuels and biochar.
Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions (SBAR)
The Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions (SBAR) is a multi-level research project that will cultivate two desert-dwelling crops, guayule and guar, for a sustainable bioeconomy. The Energy Independence and Security Act is calling for the production of 36B gallons per year of biofuels by 2022. Combined, guayule (perennial) and guar (annual) feedstocks can provide biomass year round for biofuel production.
Southeast Partnership for Advanced Renewables from Carinata (SPARC)
Through the Southeast Partnership for Advanced Renewables from Carinata (SPARC), we propose to establish a Brassica carinata (carinata) based resilient and sustainable advanced jet fuel and bioproducts supply chain in the Southeast US (SE US). READ MORE