Biomass projects

Bioenergy: Quality of biomass feedstocks and densified solid fuels

Summary reports of recent efforts focused on describing different technologies for converting forest-derived woody biomass into boiler fuel or higher-value products:

Growing Oregon's Biomass Industry

OSU researchers are working in close collaboration with State and Federal agencies and the private sector to develop viable strategies for making better use of the Oregon’s forest biomass. Some areas of particular focus within the College of Forestry are summarized in this 2011 Update on Biomass Research at Oregon State University College of Forestry presentation.

The results of this research are indicating that the highest and best value of Oregon’s forest biomass may not be in its conversion to liquid fuels or generation of utility-scale power, but for more scaled and local uses such district and institutional heating, and as a tool for Stimulating Rural Economies with Forest Biomass. This thinking is becoming more widely accepted.

Oregon’s Forest Biomass Working Group is comprised of a wide range of stakeholders in the private, public, and non-profit sectors working together to advance sustainable biomass utilization in Oregon. In 2012 it issued a strategy for Growing Oregon’s Biomass Industry that emphasizes local-scale thermal applications and market expansion for value-added products made from forest biomass.

Multi-state efforts

Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance

Scott Leavengood and several colleagues in the College of Forestry will be participating in a 5-year, $40 million research and outreach project funded by the US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA).  The project is among one of the largest ever funded by the agency. Washington State University is the lead institution on the project. The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) project is focused on developing a biofuels industry in the northwest. The specific emphasis is the use of biomass for jet fuel. Scott’s role as the Extension & Outreach representative for Oregon will be to disseminate information about the project as it progresses and to help identify potential ‘NARA communities’ (communities in Oregon with good potential for locating a new biofuel processing facility) and then to coordinate dialogue between the research team and these communities.

More information at http://www.nararenewables.org/ and to keep informed about the project, please complete the stakeholder questionnaire to be added to our stakeholder database.

Presentations from the April 2012 International Wood Composites Symposium, for which the theme of the conference was "Managing the Woody Biomass Supply Chain" are on-line at http://nararenewables.org/teams/outreach/2012-iwcs

Also, see the first NARA project newsletter at http://nararenewables.org/news/newsletter

Past Reports

  • Potential Project Survey including Potential Barriers - Environmental Strategies, LLC and Northwest Environmental Business Council collaborated to inventory the biofuels and biomass projects pending in Oregon, and gathered information from individuals and organizations about permitting regulatory barriers that face new or expanding biofuels or biomass facilities in Oregon including suggesting possible solutions.
  • Woody Biomass in Oregon-Current Uses, Barriers and Opportunities for Increased Utilization, and Research Needs - The Oregon Wood Innovation Center at OSU assessed barriers and opportunities to utilization of woody biomass. The report examines implications for research via an overview of Oregon's current primary forest products manufacturing industry combined with estimates of regional biomass supply, review of recent reports related to use of woody biomass for biofuels and bio-based products, and interviews with private landowners and forest industry personnel.