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Event Details

Ethanol Producers' Technical Workshop:

Building Bridges to More Profitable Ethanol Production

March 22, 2001
8:30 am to 4:00 pm

Crowne Plaza
Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha Meeting Look at Combining Cellulose and Grain Ethanol

A meeting between ethanol producers, production technology providers, and government researchers, at Omaha’s Crowne Plaza Hotel on March 22nd, explored the challenges and opportunities presented by combining cellulosic ethanol streams with existing grain streams. The meeting was sponsored by the Department of Energy through the Western Regional Biomass Energy Program (WRBEP), under the direction of Jeff Graef.

Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Oakridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) presented an overview of their ongoing programs to develop cellulosic-based ethanol production. Breakout sessions were held to identify specific opportunities and barriers related to the incorporation of cellulosic feedstocks into existing grain-to-ethanol plants.

Five specific action items were recommended by the group in order to help speed as well as guide the process:

-Researchers should provide detailed cost and environmental impact information on the incorporation of cellulosic feedstocks to new and existing grain-to-ethanol facilities.

-Corn fiber should be the first to be fully tested to determine the conversion potential and to work out any problems that may be applicable.

-A commercial demonstration plant is necessary. Bench-scale and even small pilot projects have taken the technology about as far as possible. The next step should be to a small-scale commercial facility. It could be adjacent to a new plant, as part of the research planned for the ethanol pilot plant at Southern Illinois University, or in an existing commercial production facility.

-The development of a “lender handbook” designed to help the financial industry understand the opportunities of an expanding ethanol industry.

-Form a working group comprised of ethanol producers, process design companies, and researchers.

The general consensus of the group was that cellulosic ethanol was important to the long-term future of the industry. There was also general agreement that corn stover and other field residue crops will likely be high on this list of cellulosic feedstocks to be incorporated with existing ethanol facilities and that near-term research should focus on those feedstocks.

A second meeting of the same type is planned for April 26th in Minneapolis. BBI International will organize both meetings. For more information go to www.bbibiofuels.com

About the Programs

Renewable Diesel Workshops:
NREL Goals: ..."to educate key public officials and the general public about biodiesel as a transportation fuel" and ..."to build state and local coalitions that would form the nuclei of a support group that would promote and eventually lead to local biodiesel production and use."

Ethanol Producers' Technical Workshops:
Perspectives from ethanol producers, production technology providers, and government researchers. Those in attendance were given the task of exploring the challenges and opportunities presented by combining cellulosic ethanol streams with existing grain streams.

US DOE Ethanol Workshop Series:
A series of one-day, state-level workshops to educate key public officials and the general public about ethanol as a transportation fuel.

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