The DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office has shaped the vision of a national, commodity-scale feedstock supply system, supporting the expansion of the bioenergy industry in the U.S. Much progress has been made to improve biomass feedstock supply systems, moving towards sustainable and economic commodity feedstocks that leverage existing high-capacity solids and liquids-handling infrastructure. The INL Bioenergy Program's mission is to support DOE in achieving their vision by developing processes and technologies through applied science and engineering that removed the barriers associated the sustainable, efficient feedstock supply. The Bioenergy Program at INL is focused on transforming raw biomass from the field into customized feedstocks that can be sustainable and economically supplied to biorefineries, while meeting conversion in-feed specifications.
INL is the leading authority on bioenergy. Specifically, INL’s research is focused on addressing barriers associated with efficiently, economically, and sustainably supplying large quantities of quality feedstock to future biorefineries. This effort includes (but is not limited to) improving feedstock preprocessing technologies, understanding feedstock variability and its implications on conversion processes, feedstock supply system design and analysis, and at-scale equipment testing and design. INL feedstock research and development occurs at several scales, including from laboratory-scale, to bench-scale prototyping, to pilot-scale testing and demonstration. Those efforts include partnerships with other national labs, industry, and academia, and contribute to the vision of a nationwide, commodity-scale bioenergy feedstock supply system.
INL manages the DOE-funded Biomass Feedstock National User Facility (BFNUF), which is comprised of the Process Demonstration Unit (PDU), a modular research system for testing feedstock formulation processes, collecting process data, and producing small and large quantities of feedstocks for conversion testing. BFNUF also includes the Biomass Characterization Laboratory and Bioenergy Feedstock Library, which enable bioenergy developers to understand feedstock quality and its potential impact on conversion performance.