Biofuels Publications

39 Publications

Site-Specific Trade-offs of Harvesting Cereal Residues as Biofuel Feedstocks in Dryland Annual Cropping Systems of the Pacific Northwest, USA

Huggins, D.R., C.E. Kruger, K.M. Painter, D.P. Uberuaga. BioEnergy Research. June 2014, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 598-608.

Efficient Use of Algal Biomass Residues for Biopower Production with Nutrient Recycle: Final Project Report

Jarvis, E. R. Davis, C. Frear. Aug 2013.

Oilseed Production Case Studies in the Eastern Washington Low-to-Intermediate Rainfall Zone

Sowers, K., D. Roe, and B. Pan. 2012. Extension Bulletin EM048E.

Camelina Production in the Dryland Pacific Northwest

Hulbert,S., S. Guy, B. Pan, T. Paulitz, B. Schillinger, D. Wysocki, and K. Sowers. 2011. DRAFT Extension Fact Sheet.

Oilseed Production Case Studies in the Eastern Washington High Rainfall Zone

Sowers, K., D. Roe, and B. Pan. 2011. Extension Bulletin EM037E.

2011 Oilseed Production Workshops

Three oilseed crop production workshops were held the last week of January 2011 at Okanogan, Reardan and Colfax, Washington. Presenters included regional producers, university researchers, agency personnel, and industry representatives. Attendance surpassed 250 during the three days, indicating a renewed interest in utilizing oilseed crops for rotation benefits, potential economic advantages, high quality meal for livestock, and ‘home-grown’ biodiesel.

WSU Bioprocessing and Bioproducts Engineering Laboratory

Professor Shulin Chen’s Research Laboratory group at the WSU Department of Biological Systems Engineering. Research efforts include organic waste inventory and characterization; anaerobic digestion of manure and food processing wastes; High Solids Anaerobic Digestion for the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Wastes (OFMSW); recovery of nutrients and fertilizers from organic wastes; and pre-treatment technology for advanced biofuels derived from organic wastes.

Pacific Regional Biomass Energy Partnership

This is a 6-state effort supported jointly by the State Energy Offices and the US Department of Energy that provides a clearinghouse for information on bioenergy in the region. It is the repository for a number of research reports and tools developed by CSANR and our colleagues.

Biofuels Cropping Systems Research and Extension Project

Pacific Northwest cropping systems are dominated by irrigated specialty crops (ie. fruits and vegetables), high quality forages, and a dryland cereal grain system (primarily wheat). It is highly unlikely that we will ever seen the fence-row to fence-row production of commodity crops that fit the model of first generation biofuel crops (ie. corn and soybeans). However, a number of interesting alternative crops that could be used for first or second generation biofuels / bioproducts could prove to be interesting options that enable farmers to manage their current cropping systems more sustainably. For instance, the brassica crops (canola, mustard, camelina, etc.) are a valuable rotational crop for wheat by providing biological and management tools that enable producers to break up weed and disease cycles that affect wheat production. Some of the high-biomass producing grasses could provide tools to both dryland and irrigated producers to restore degraded soils. A long-term biofuels croppping systems research project to develop and evaluate the use of biofuel crops in Washington cropping systems (statewide) was established in 2007.

Biofuel Economics and Policy for Washington State

This report is a comprehensive response to 2007 Washington State legislation (HB 1303) that tasked Washington State University to 1) analyze the types and corresponding amounts of biofuel in the state and 2) recommend viable incentive programs to promote biofuel market development. Inside you will find policy recommendations based on analysis of a broad set of policy options, including renewable fuel standards and subsidies, carbon taxes, as well as approaches to support research, implementation of new technologies, and creation of infrastructure.

WA Biomass Inventory

Precision Conservation: site-specific trade-offs of harvesting wheat residues for biofuel feedstocks

Huggins, D.R., & Kruger, C.E. (2010). In R. Khosia (Ed.), Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Precision Agriculture. 10th International Conference on Precision Agriculture, Denver, CO. Colorado State University.

Bioenergy as an Agricultural GHG Mitigation Strategy in Washington State

Chapter 22 in Climate Friendly Farming: Improving the Carbon Footprint of Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest. Full report available at

Potential for a Sugar Beet Ethanol Industry in Washington State

A Report to the Washington State Department of Agriculture. School of Economic Sciences. WSU. March 2009

Organic Waste to Resources Research and Pilot Project Report: Converting Washington Lignocellulosic Rich Urban Waste to Ethanol

Rick Gustafson, Renata Bura, Joyce Cooper, Ryan McMahon, Elliott Schmitt, and Azra Vajzovic, September 2009. This study investigated the potential of producing ethanol from three primary sources: mixed waste paper, yard trimmings, and a laboratory prepared mixture (50/50 food & paper) representing MSW. Pretreatment consisted of dilute acid hydrolysis (mixed paper and MSW), and steam explosion (yard waste). Ethanol yields of 105, 90 and 55 gal/ton were found for the MSW, mixed paper, and yard waste. A preliminary Life Cycle Assessment showed that overall environmental impacts of ethanol production from MSW are highly beneficial compared to landfill. Conversion of the MSW mixture to ethanol was found to be economically viable.

Organic Waste to Resources Research and Pilot Project Report: Producing Energy and Fertilizer from Organic Municipal Solid Waste: Enhancing Hydrolysis and Bacterial Populations and Mixing and Thermodynamic Modeling of New Solid Waste Treatment Technology

Usama Zaher, Shulin Chen, Chenlin Li, Liang Yu, and Timothy Ewing, June 2009. This project developed, tested and modeled a high solids anaerobic digester consisting of a solids reactor and a leached liquids UASB for reacting volatile fatty acids. At near neutral pH the system improves methane production 50% over existing digesters, while return flow reseeds the solids digester with high titer micro-organisms that improved biological kinetics. The dual reactors system provides for control of digester limiting acid and ammonia processes, while allowing for nutrient recovery, and significantly improves performance for capital outlay.

Study of a two-stage growth of DHA-producing marine algae Schizochytrium limacinum SR21 with shifting dissolved oxygen level.

Chi, Z., Liu, Y., Frear, C., Chen, S., (2009) Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 81(6), 1141-1148.

Organic Waste to Resources Research and Pilot Project Report: The Next Step for Biomass Energy Development in Clallam County

Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development, Institute forWashington′s Future, and Northwest Cooperative Development Center, September 2009. New technologies allow us to harness the energy in animal and plant biomass to generate electricity and fuel vehicles. The energy derived biomass resources that are produced and harvested sustainably is considered renewable. This report is a primer on biomass power for Clallam County and funding opportunities.

Organic Waste to Resources and Pilot Project Report: Biodiesel and Biohydrogen Co-Production with Treatment of High Solid Food Waste

Yubin Zheng, Jingwei Ma, Zhanyou Chi, and Shulin Chen, September 2009. two-step process was developed as a potential technology to produce hydrogen and biodiesel from food waste. The first process use fermentative bacteria to breakdown glucose from food waste to produce hydrogen and volatile fatty acids (VFA). The VFA are then fed to yeast for simultaneous carbon sequestration resulting in production of biodiesel from the oil-producing microbial biomass.

Organic Waste to Resources Research and Pilot Project Report: New Biorefinery Concept to Convert Softwood Bark to Transportation Fuels Final Report to the Washington State Department of Ecology

Manuel Garcia-Perez, Shulin Chen, Shuai Zhou,Zhouhong Wang, Jieni Lian, Robert Lee Johnson, Shi-Shen Liaw and Oisik Das, September 2009. This project tested a new pretreatment concept to enhance the production of sugars from the fast pyrolysis of wood and straw. It proved that sugars recovered from pyrolysis can be easily converted into ethanol. These two results are important because they show that fast pyrolysis of wood or straw followed by bio-oil hydro-treatment can create green gasoline and diesel (from lignin), as well as ethanol (from cellulose).

Organic Waste to Resources Research and Pilot Project Report: Waste to Fuels Technology: Evaluating Three Technology Options and the Economics for Converting Biomass to Fuels

Hayk Khachatryan, Ken Casavant, and Eric Jessup, Jie Chen, Shulin Chen, and Craig Frear, September 2009. This study further investigated biomass from the 2005 biomass inventory by comparing three fuel technologies: cellulosic biomass conversion by fermentation for ethanol, or gasification for mixed-alcohols, and anaerobic digestion of high volatile solids biomass for methane production. The study then integrated the major cost factors: biomass availability, feedstock prices, transportation costs, processing costs, and geographic distribution into a comprehensive model framework using GIS and MATLAB-SIMULINK models, to assess final delivered fuel cost.

Trade-offs between bio-energy and soil carbon sequestration on the Palouse: Evaluating Sustainable Options.

Poster presented at 2008 BIOAg Symposium. Pullman, WA.

A Rising Price Tide has Raised All Commodities, but Winter Canola Still Nets Less than Soft White Winter Wheat in the Irrigated Columbia Basin.

2008 Dryland Field Day Abstracts: Highlights of Research Progress, pp. 20-21. Crop & Soil Sciences, WSU.

Soybeans Successfully Produced in the Treasure Valley – Spring 2008

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

Crop Residue Use: Evaluating Trade-offs

2007 Crops & Soils Field Day Proceedings.

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