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Northeast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium


2013 NEWBio Symposium and Annual Meeting Recap

wang and hess confer at newbio symposium
Jingxin Wang, Professor of Wood Science & Technology at West Virginia University, confers with Richard Hess, Director of Idaho National Laboratory's Energy Systems & Technologies Division. Photo credit: P. Craig.

The NEWBio Bioenergy Symposium on August 16th provided attendees lively discussions, informative industry presentations, and interactive activities centered on building a roadmap for bioenergy development in the Northeast U.S. The Symposium was open to the public and offered participants the opportunity to learn about NEWBio's overall vision and successes and challenges from its first year of operations. Six industry partners and collaborators presented updates on their businesses. Dante Bonaquist (Praxair, Inc) discussed the economics of Praxair's natural gas enhancement. Paul Lewandowski (AFS Energy Systems) described the status of AFS's heating project with the state of Vermont, and Nan Li (Primus Green Energy) detailed the process of her company's "Syngas-to-Gasoline" technology. Attendees also heard from Jon Griswold of Aloterra Green Energy, Calvin Ernst (Ernst Biomass) and Dennis Rak (Double A Willow and Double A Vineyards).

NEWBio project thrust leaders presented shorts on each of NEWBio's seven task areas: human systems, feedstock improvement, harvest-preprocessing-logistics, sustainability systems, extension, safety and health, and education. The focus next shifted to breakout sessions and discussions on planning for and stimulating growth within four bioenergy industry sectors: biofuels production, combined heat and power production, pellet manufacture and use, and alternate markets.

boateng and goldner exchange comments
Kwesi Boateng, Chemical Engineer with the USDA's Eastern Regional Research Center and William Goldner, National Program Leader for the USDA-AFRI-NIFA Sustainable Bioenergy Initiative, exchange comments at the symposium. Photo credit: P. Craig.

The Symposium concluded with poster presentations by NEWBio students and faculty. The session provided an opportunity to share research on topics ranging from biomass growth on marginal soils to Salix Genome Mapping. Attendees judged student posters based on overall quality of the research and clarity and quality of the poster. SUNY-ESF Ranger School undergraduate Shannon Hennessey garnered the most votes for her presentation on "Genetic Approaches to Increase Anthracnose Resistance in Switchgrass. Trevor Zuroff and Amanda Ramcharan, both Ag and Bioengineering graduate students at Penn State, placed second and third, respectively.

Symposium presentations will be posted online and available for viewing here.

Story credit: Rachel Passmore, Penn State Class of 2014 and NEWBio Intern

calvin ernst and wei jiang confer at symposium
Calvin Ernst, of Ernst Biomass, discusses the morning session with Wei Jiang, Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Ecosystem Science & Management at Penn State. Photo credit: P. Craig.

symposium auditorium during morning session
Symposium attendees during the morning session in the auditorium of Penn State's Forest Resources Building. Photo credit: P. Craig.








NEWBio (consortium members below) is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2012-68005-19703 
from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
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