In Michigan, Bruce Dale at Michigan State University has developed a new model that he hopes will improve biomass transportation logistics in order to make the use of biomass energy more efficient. The model is called “regional biomass processing depots” which would be strategically located facilities to process the biofuel feedstocks before they are shipped to a refinery.
The centers would process up to 200 tons of feedstock per day and then ship the processed material on to larger refineries, with farmers potentially owning part of the depots and benefiting from the added value. Dale is pointing to pretreating biomass with hot ammonia, in a process called ammonia fiber expansion, to create a “dense, stable, storable material that’s easy to ship and convert to biofuel.”
More background on the story from the Digest
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