Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Tech Today: Centers of Energy Excellence Website offers updates on biofuels research

From Tech Today:

HOUGHTON -- Researchers from Michigan Tech and Michigan State University have established a new website, www.michiganforestbiofuels.org, to keep the public informed on the research being conducted by two state-supported Centers of Energy Excellence. David Shonnard, Robbins Chair Professor of Sustainable Materials and director of Michigan Tech's Sustainable Futures Institute, serves on the steering committee for both centers.

Both research projects focus on wood-based biofuels. One, the Feedstock Supply Chain Center of Energy Excellence, is developing a sustainable biofuel supply chain to a planned cellulosic ethanol facility in Kinross, in the eastern Upper Peninsula. The other, the Forestry Biofuel Statewide Collaboration Center, examines the forest feedstock supply infrastructure for woody biomass in the entire state of Michigan.

Research for each project involves determining biomass availability, looking into the sustainable production of woody material and examining how to improve the efficiency of the supply chain for woody biomass.

Editor's Note: On Saturday, March 19 -- as part of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) conference, "Celebrate the U.P." -- A Panel Discussion with the Public titled "The U.P.'s Role in our Energy Future -- the pros and cons of wind power and biofuels" will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Room 323 of Finlandia University's Jutila Center in Hancock. Panelists will include Robert Froese, associate professor, Michigan Tech School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, presenting "The impacts of using forest biomass for energy production" and Marvin Roberson, Sierra Club Forest Ecologist, presenting "Woody Biomass – A Viable Alternative?" For the full schedule of the UPEC conference, click here for their Spring 2011 Newsletter.

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