|Southeast Biomass Research Center|
Canal Point, Florida
College Station, Texas
El Reno, Oklahoma
Florence, South Carolina
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
New Orleans, Louisiana
Raleigh, North Carolina
USDA Biomass Research Centers
On October 21, 2010 Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack announced the initiation of the USDA Biomass Research Centers. The purpose of the centers was to coordinate researh to help ensure that dependable supplies of feedstocks are available for the production of advanced biofuels that are called for in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. These centers are networks of existing ARS and Forest Service Research and Development facilities across the country.
The main objectives are to:
Increase biomass production efficiency to increase grower profits and reduce biorefinery transaction costs.
Optimally incorporate biomass and other dedicated feedstocks into existing agriculture and forestry-based systems.
Address the uncertainties of expanded production up-front to avoid negative impacts on existing markets and ecosystem services.
Develop and find new ways to utilize value-added co-products to help enable commercially preferred bio-refining technologies.
The Southeast Regional Biomass Research Center (SERBRC) is one of four regional centers in the United States. The Southeast is expected to supply nearly half of the required feedstock to supply advanced biofuel to meet the RFS2 goals by 2022. Researchers from USDA/ARS research stations across the Southeast are assessing economic feasibilities and environmental effects of production systems of herbaceous grasses, and oil seed crops. Research is conducted on biomass from switchgrass, giant miscanthus, energycane, sugarcane, energy beet, sweet and biofuel sorghum as well as oilseed from canola/rapeseed, camelina and sunflower. In collaboration with other labs, conversion efficiency to bio-based fuels and chemicals of specific feedstock species and varieties has been evaluated as well as use of co-products such as biochar. Winter cover crops are being studied for the potential of reducing inputs and increqase outputs, reducing erosion, and improving soils for subsequent crops.
Overview of Research Centers:
SE Biomass Center Workshop overview