Pacific Region Bioenergy Partnership

Bioenergy Research Symposium - 2010

Bioenergy is the most diverse, complex, and promising renewable energy resource we have today. Nowhere is the diversity of bioenergy resources more robust than here in the Northwest, where a broad range of new and innovative technologies are emerging.

From anaerobic digestion to pyrolysis, the Washington State Bioenergy Research Symposium (held November 8, 2010, in Seattle, Washington) explored and examined in depth the full scope of research efforts in the Northwest with a focus on Washington State's leadership in bioenergy development.

Agenda, Session Descriptions and Presentations


Peter Goldmark, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands

Feedstocks – How Much and Where?

Questions related to available and sustainable supply of various biomass feedstocks have become more frequent as biomass-based energy systems have become more prevalent. Information on supply can have a significant influence on scale, location, and processing technology selection.
Panel members discussed current efforts to evaluate supply of various biomass feedstocks in Washington.
Moderator: Rachael Jamison, WA Department of Natural Resources
Speakers and Presentations: Bill Pan, Washington State University
John Calhoun, University of Washington
Craig Frear, Washington State University

Cellulosic Conversion – Status of Research, Development & Deployment

State, regional and national research teams are exploring a wide range of biochemical and thermochemical conversion technologies for cellulosic feedstocks. This session reviewed efforts to translate exciting discoveries into commercial-scale production.
Moderator: Peter Moulton, WA Department of Commerce
Speakers and Presentations: Doug Dudgeon, Harris Group
Rick Orth, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Jack Saddler, University of British Columbia

Advances in Research on Dairy Manure Digesters

Washington State has supported extensive research in improving anaerobic digestion technology for manure, co-digestion of manure with food processing waste, and development of nutrient coproducts. This panel presented the latest in the research results with a focus on co-digestion, advances in nutrient recovery, and what’s being learned from new AD technology using stacked tires in a covered lagoon.
Moderator: Mary Beth Lang, WA Department of Agriculture
Speakers and Presentations: Chad Kruger, Washington State University
Craig Frear, Washington State University
Troy Green, JUB Engineering
Mary Beth Lang, WA Department of Agriculture

Thermal Conversion – Pyrolysis and Gasification

Developing a clean energy economy and mitigating climate change are two of the Governor’s key environmental priorities. This panel addressed those key themes as they discuss technologies and the commercial development of processes and projects to sequester carbon in soils and recover fuels and energy.
Moderator: Mark Fuchs, WA Department of Ecology
Speakers and Presentations: Manuel Garcia-Perez, Washington State University
Jim Amonette, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Doug Elliott, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Innovations in Bioprocessing

Increased pressure to make the most from our wasted resources has spawned many innovations in bioprocessing. Whether creating fuels from algae or joules from lawn clippings, this panel talked about their work exploiting multiple biological pathways to capture renewable fuels and energy.
Moderator: Chery Sullivan, WA Department of Ecology
Speakers and Presentations: Tim Ewing, Washington State University
Shulin Chen, Washington State University
Eric Leonhardt, Western Washington University

Keynote Address

Representative Jay Inslee, Washington State Congressman

Bioconversion – Sugar Platform

Enzymatic conversion of lignocellulosic sugars can yield a wide variety of biofuels and value-added coproducts. This panel presented promising pathways being explored in the region, and discussed their potential role as cornerstones for biorefinery development.
Moderator: Rick Gustafson, University of Washington
Speakers and Presentations: Dan Verser, ZeaChem
Renata Bura, University of Washington
Birgitte Ahring, Washington State University

Biocrops: Oil Seeds, Cellulose, Algae

The demand for renewable biofuels and bioenergy is enormous, and no one feedstock source will be able to be the sole source of raw material to meet societal demand. Biofuel production starts with identification of biological organisms that have 1) high capacity for economical and sustainable biomass production, 2) characteristics amenable to industrial conversion to biofuels, and 3) potential to produce ancillary benefits such as enhanced ecosystems services or useful and valued coproducts. Three researchers, focused on very different feedstocks (oilseed crops, cellulosic perennial crops and algae) discussed the latest genetic, biological and production research being conducted to increase their commercial viability.
Moderator: Bill Pan, Washington State University
Speakers and Presentations: Scot Hulbert, Washington State University
Brad Hunter, GreenWood Resources
Jon Magnuson, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Bioenergy Co-Products

Co-products make a huge difference in bioenergy economics, and in many cases their financial contribution is essential to the viability of a project. This is a rapid fire set of presentations on various co-products that can contribute to the emerging bioenergy-bioeconomy.
Moderator: David Sjoding, U.S. Department of Energy NW Clean Energy Application Center
Speakers and Presentations: Shulin Chen, Washington State University
Kristiina Vogt, University of Washington
Brenton Sharratt, USDA – ARS
Scott Stanners, British Columbia Bioenergy Network