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Bioenergy Research Lab
Oregon's long-standing commitment to biobased R&D includes wide-ranging research on biofuels, bioproducts, and environmental remediation. Given the tremendous diversity of climate, geology, and soils within the Western Region, Oregon's focus has been on identifying those feedstocks uniquely appropriate for the state and complementary to those of other regions.
In addition to examining types of feedstocks, Oregon has been conducting further R&D into biomass production and conversion (especially in the areas of agricultural and timber residues, which represent major feedstock opportunities in the Western states), biogas from animal and urban wastes, and transportation fuels, in conjunction with power generation and co-product development. Examples of valuable co-products under investigation are industrial proteins and enzymes, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, "natural" crop control chemicals, and structural materials that could be obtained from each state's unique crops and plants.
Oregon investigators are also conducting R&D in processing technology that includes microbial and solar driven hydrogen fuel cells, microprocessing of biodiesel production, and processing biosensors. In the area of bioremediation, scientists at Oregon State University's Klamath Experiment Station have been investigating the possibility of using fast-growing hybrid poplars and other crops to treat sewage effluent.
By Peg Herring, 541-737-9180
Source: William Jaeger, 541-737-1419
CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new economic analysis of biofuels by Oregon State University sets a cautionary tone for the large-scale production of biofuels in Oregon. Results of the study suggest that the "net energy" of biofuel is expensive when all costs of its production and delivery are taken into account. [more]
Oregon farmers and ranchers have made many energy efficiency improvements, and some have even installed renewable energy projects. However, many opportunities remain. A report released this week from the Oregon Department of Agriculture describes the types of projects that farmers and ranchers have installed, identifies existing resources to help farmers and ranchers complete these projects, and suggests strategies to promote greater energy efficiency and renewable energy adoption in agriculture.
Download the report (2.1 MB pdf)
The Oregon Senate has passed a bill that would require the state forestry department to perform inventories of potential woody biomass resources for energy production.