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Renewable Energy Biomass Education Field Days

Practical, science-based information on implementing biomass-based renewable energy technologies on the land was provided to producers, landowners and land managers at the Renewable Energy Biomass Education Field Days Nov. 16-18, 2010, in Knoxville, Tenn.


The Field Days program was specifically designed to provide landowners and land managers with the information resources they need to make decisions about implementing renewable energy technologies. The program offered multiple opportunities for interaction between Field Day participants and lecturers—experts from private industry, the academic community, NGOs and government agencies.


This Field Days program was a collaboration of Farm Foundation, NFP and five USDA agencies—Rural Development, the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Forest Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


The Field Days curriculum reflected the multiple issues involved in biomass-based energy production—from feedstock production and refinery conversion technologies to handling, storage, legal and financial issues.  Speaker presentations are provided below as available.


Tuesday, Nov. 16

Opening Keynote Address

Sarah Bittleman, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, USDA


Session I – Biomass – Potential and Hurdles

Biofuel Demand

 Chris Tindal, DASN Energy Office


An Agricultural Perspective on Biomass Production

Bob Perlack, Oak Ridge National Laboratory


A Forestry Perspective on Biomass Production

Robert Rummer, USDA Forest Service


Session II – Biomass Feedstock Production

Selection and Use of Native Grasses for Biomass Feedstocks

 John Englert, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service


Jim Perdue, USDA Forest Service


Equipment needs for feedstock production

 Ray Huhnke, Oklahoma State University


Session III – Harvesting, Handling, Transportation and Storage

 Steve Searcy, Texas A&M University


 James Larson, University of Tennessee


Wednesday, Nov. 17

Session IV - Biomass Conversion Processes: Options and Issues

Engineering and Science of Conversion Processes
 Robert Brown, Iowa State University


Economics of conversion processes

 Francis Epplin, Oklahoma State University


Session V – Marketing Options and Business Models

Contract agreements and business models

 Kelly Tiller, Genera Energy



 John J. VanSickle, University of Florida


Biorefinery business models funded by USDA Rural Development

 Tony Crooks, USDA Rural Development


Session VI – Case Study: DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol

The Biorefinery From Concept to Operation

Kyle Althoff, DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol


Feedstock Production

Brad Black, Color Wheel Farm


Transport and Storage Logistics

 Sam Jackson, Genera Energy


Market sources

John Yeager, Rogers Petroleum


Afternoon Tour:  Color Wheel Farm, DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol Plant, and Genera Biomass Innovation Park


Thursday, Nov. 18

Session VII – Financial and Legal Concerns

Harrison Pittman, National Agricultural Law Center

Ann Duignan, J.P. Morgan

 Christopher Clark, University of Tennessee


Session VIII- Environmental Concerns

 Brent Bailey, 25X’25 Alliance


National Water Use Implications of Biofuel Feedstock Production

 Noel Gollehon, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA


 Paul N. Argyropoulos, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Session IX - Government Policies and Programs

Panel discussed government program options:

Bill Hagy, Special Assistant to the Secretary, Renewable Energy Policy, USDA Rural Development

Carmela Bailey, National Institute of Food and Agriculture,USDA Research Education & Economics

 Stefanie Aschmann, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Robert Rummer, U.S. Forest Service

 Valri Lightner, National Biomass Program Office, U.S. Department of Energy







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