Added Value Preprocessing of Low Quality Biomass for Bioenergy

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-07ER84867
Agency Tracking Number: 82033
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: 06
Solicitation Number: DE-PS02-06ER06-30
Small Business Information
7607 Eastmark Drive, Suite 102, College Station, TX, 77840
DUNS: 184758308
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 K. McKenzie
 (979) 693-0017
Business Contact
 G. Hitchens
Title: Dr
Phone: (979) 693-0017
Research Institution
In an effort to decrease dependency on foreign oil, the United States has recently implemented new strategies to increase demand for alternative renewable fuels. One highly favorable alternative is the conversion of biomass to bioenergy. Although the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee set forth goals for biomass to supply 5% of the nation¿s power, 20% of transportation fuels, and 25% of chemicals by 2030, many technical and economic barriers must be addressed to achieve these goals. This project will develop and exploit a commercially viable, environmentally safe, crop residue biomass preprocessing system that is capable of degrading lignin, increasing bulk density, and eliminating potentially hazardous and competitive microflora in a single unit of operation. This innovative system will benefit the biorefinery industry by allowing for: (1) greater sustainability through conversion of low quality biomass to high energy feedstock; (2) preprocessing at the point of harvest before the biomass is transported; (3) increased transport and storage capacity as a result of densification via lignin degradation; (4) reduced hazards associated with fire caused by exothermic metabolic activity of naturally-occurring microflora during storage; (5) increased biofuel production efficiency by the elimination of competitive microflora; (6) reduced biomass decomposition during storage; and (7) added security through an environmentally friendly, non-residual treatment process. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The biomass preprocessing approach should add significant value to the maturing U.S. biorefinery industry. Just the capability to preprocess biomass at or near its source of production could potentially reduce the overall cost of biomass conversion. In addition, rural economies will benefit from the creation of localized preprocessing facilities or hubs.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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