BSEL Partnership

Research

1. Bioresources

Advantages of bioresources

  • Can be more sustainable than traditional alternatives (focus on lignocellulosic wastes rather than food-chain crops).
  • Domestically produced and support the State’s agriculture economy.
  • Help reduce dependency on foreign energy.
  • Support farmers and rural communities (improved economics, new markets, improved competitive position, etc.)

Why the focus on “Bio” resources?

Bioresources can be used as feedstocks for:

  • Bioproducts: useful non-energy products derived from bioresources.
  • Biopower: biomass power systems that use biomass feedstocks instead of traditional fossil fuels (natural gas, oil or coal) to produce electricity.
  • Biofuels: liquid or gaseous fuels derived from biomass which substitute for petroleum products such as gasoline or diesel.

2. Research Areas at BSEL

  • Biofuels (oils, biodiesel, ethanol and other alcohols, diesel, gasoline, “crude oil”, biogas, syngas, etc.)
  • Biochemicals (specialty chemicals such as enzymes, catalysts, proteins, paints, inks, surfactants, polymers, lubricants, solvents, plant-made pharmaceuticals, etc.)
  • Biomaterials (fiber products, lumber, leather, processed foods, laminates, roofing, plastics, insulation, etc.)
  • Bioprocesses (biological, chemical and thermal conversion methods, improved process engineering, etc.)

3. Research Capabilities

  • Lignocellulosic bioethanol laboratories.
  • High-pressure catalytic reactor rooms for hydrogenation and other chemical processing.
  • Bioprocessing laboratories for developing and engineering fungal fermentations.
  • Supporting wet chemical laboratories for synthesis and preparation of catalysts and feedstocks.
  • Combinatorial Catalysis Research Laboratory, which houses PNNL’s state-of-the-art, rapid-throughput catalyst discovery instrumentation.
  • 2,500 square-foot high-bay facility for integration and scale-up of the various processing steps in bioproducts manufacture.