This five-year, $5.3 million USDA-NIFA Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) project has spurred advances in a wide array of biomass and bioenergy related fields, producing products and outcomes that benefit a broad range of stakeholders.
Forest biomass is a promising feedstock (raw material to supply or fuel a machine or industrial process)for the production of bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts because it is renewable and widely available as a byproduct of forest management. Its harvest and use also has the potential to positively impact rural communities, especially those negatively impacted by upheaval in the forest sector.
However, many obstacles have prevented more widespread use of forest biomass. These include uncertainties related to feedstock (woody material) cost, the performance of new technologies, competitiveness with fossil fuels and existing products, and the environmental, social, and economic impacts of biomass use on forest ecosystems and local communities. The purpose of this project was to quantify, evaluate, and overcome many of these obstacles.
This project brought together an unprecedented team representing five universities, three USDA Forest Service Research Stations, a USDA Forest Service Technology and Development Center, and six industry partners. Research, development, and outreach activities were conducted in eleven states, and resulted in critical advances in biomass feedstock logistics, conversion technology, bioproduct development, and our understanding of the social, environmental and economic impacts of using forest biomass for bioenergy and bioproducts.
The research, development, and outreach of the project was organized into three categories.
For a more detailed description of project accomplishments and outcomes, check out the Project Accomplishments and Outcomes book!
This project was supported by the Biomass Research and Development
Initiative, Competitive Grant no. 2010-05325, from
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food
and Agriculture. We would also like to thank our many stakeholders
and partners for their contributions to the project.