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Title: MSU-Northern Bio-Energy Center of Excellence

Abstract

The goal of this project was to establish the Bio-Energy Center (the Center) of Montana State University Northern (MSUN) as a Regional Research Center of Excellence in research, product development, and commercialization of non-food biomass for the bio-energy industry. A three-step approach, namely, (1) enhance the Center’s research and testing capabilities, (2) develop advanced biofuels from locally grown agricultural crops, and (3) educate the community through outreach programs for public understanding and acceptance of new technologies was identified to achieve this goal. The research activities aimed to address the obstacles concerning the production of biofuels and other bio-based fuel additives considering feedstock quality, conversion process, economic viability, and public awareness. First and foremost in enhancing the capabilities of the Center is the improvement of its laboratories and other physical facilities for investigating new biomass conversion technologies and the development of its manpower complement with expertise in chemistry, engineering, biology, and energy. MSUN renovated its Auto Diagnostics building and updated its mechanical and electrical systems necessary to house the state-of-the-art 525kW (704 hp) A/C Dynamometer. The newly renovated building was designated as the Advanced Fuels Building. Two laboratories, namely Biomass Conversion lab and Wet Chemistry lab were also added to themore » Center’s facilities. The Biomass Conversion lab was for research on the production of advanced biofuels including bio-jet fuel and bio-based fuel additives while the Wet Chemistry lab was used to conduct catalyst research. Necessary equipment and machines, such as gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry, were purchased and installed to help in research and testing. With the enhanced capabilities of the Center, research and testing activities were very much facilitated and more precise. New biofuels derived from Camelina sativa (camelina), a locally-grown oilseed crop was developed through a chemical process for converting the oil extracted into jet fuel. Promising methods of synthesizing heterogeneous metal complex catalyst that support the chemical conversion process were likewise developed. Breaking-down lignin to valuable chemicals using a metal complex catalyst was also investigated. Lignin is an organic polymer that binds around cellulose and hemicellulose fibers which strengthen cell walls in woody biomass. Test results showed promise and could lead to further exploration of using lignin for fuels and fuel additives. These findings could create another value-added product from lignin that can be sourced from beetle kill trees and product residues from cellulose ethanol plants. Coupled with these research discoveries was the provision of technical support to businesses in terms of product development and commercialization of bio-based products. This in turn opened new avenues for advancing the bio-energy industry in the region and helped support the regional agricultural-based economy through developing biofuels derived from feedstock that are grown locally. It assisted in developing biofuels that reduce exhaust emissions and improve engine performance.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [2]
  1. Montana State Univ. Northern, Havre, MT (United States)
  2. Montana State Univ. Northern, Havre, MT (United States). Bio-Energy Center of Excellence
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Montana State Univ. Northern, Havre, MT (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1345395
Report Number(s):
DOE-MSUN-0003137
1177687
DOE Contract Number:
EE0003137
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; Bio-Energy Center; biodiesel; biofuels; advanced biofuels; Montana; bio-energy

Citation Formats

Kegel, Greg, Windy Boy, Jessica, Maglinao, Randy Latayan, and Abedin, Md. Joynal. MSU-Northern Bio-Energy Center of Excellence. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1345395.
Kegel, Greg, Windy Boy, Jessica, Maglinao, Randy Latayan, & Abedin, Md. Joynal. MSU-Northern Bio-Energy Center of Excellence. United States. doi:10.2172/1345395.
Kegel, Greg, Windy Boy, Jessica, Maglinao, Randy Latayan, and Abedin, Md. Joynal. Thu . "MSU-Northern Bio-Energy Center of Excellence". United States. doi:10.2172/1345395. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1345395.
@article{osti_1345395,
title = {MSU-Northern Bio-Energy Center of Excellence},
author = {Kegel, Greg and Windy Boy, Jessica and Maglinao, Randy Latayan and Abedin, Md. Joynal},
abstractNote = {The goal of this project was to establish the Bio-Energy Center (the Center) of Montana State University Northern (MSUN) as a Regional Research Center of Excellence in research, product development, and commercialization of non-food biomass for the bio-energy industry. A three-step approach, namely, (1) enhance the Center’s research and testing capabilities, (2) develop advanced biofuels from locally grown agricultural crops, and (3) educate the community through outreach programs for public understanding and acceptance of new technologies was identified to achieve this goal. The research activities aimed to address the obstacles concerning the production of biofuels and other bio-based fuel additives considering feedstock quality, conversion process, economic viability, and public awareness. First and foremost in enhancing the capabilities of the Center is the improvement of its laboratories and other physical facilities for investigating new biomass conversion technologies and the development of its manpower complement with expertise in chemistry, engineering, biology, and energy. MSUN renovated its Auto Diagnostics building and updated its mechanical and electrical systems necessary to house the state-of-the-art 525kW (704 hp) A/C Dynamometer. The newly renovated building was designated as the Advanced Fuels Building. Two laboratories, namely Biomass Conversion lab and Wet Chemistry lab were also added to the Center’s facilities. The Biomass Conversion lab was for research on the production of advanced biofuels including bio-jet fuel and bio-based fuel additives while the Wet Chemistry lab was used to conduct catalyst research. Necessary equipment and machines, such as gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry, were purchased and installed to help in research and testing. With the enhanced capabilities of the Center, research and testing activities were very much facilitated and more precise. New biofuels derived from Camelina sativa (camelina), a locally-grown oilseed crop was developed through a chemical process for converting the oil extracted into jet fuel. Promising methods of synthesizing heterogeneous metal complex catalyst that support the chemical conversion process were likewise developed. Breaking-down lignin to valuable chemicals using a metal complex catalyst was also investigated. Lignin is an organic polymer that binds around cellulose and hemicellulose fibers which strengthen cell walls in woody biomass. Test results showed promise and could lead to further exploration of using lignin for fuels and fuel additives. These findings could create another value-added product from lignin that can be sourced from beetle kill trees and product residues from cellulose ethanol plants. Coupled with these research discoveries was the provision of technical support to businesses in terms of product development and commercialization of bio-based products. This in turn opened new avenues for advancing the bio-energy industry in the region and helped support the regional agricultural-based economy through developing biofuels derived from feedstock that are grown locally. It assisted in developing biofuels that reduce exhaust emissions and improve engine performance.},
doi = {10.2172/1345395},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 02 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Thu Mar 02 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • MSU-Northern established the Bio-Energy Center (the Center) into a Regional Research Center of Excellence to address the obstacles concerning biofuels, feedstock, quality, conversion process, economic viability and public awareness. The Center built its laboratories and expertise in order to research and support product development and commercialization for the bio-energy industry in our region. The Center wanted to support the regional agricultural based economy by researching biofuels based on feedstock’s that can be grown in our region in an environmentally responsible manner. We were also interested in any technology that will improve the emissions and fuel economy performance of heavy dutymore » diesel engines. The Center had a three step approach to accomplish these goals: 1. Enhance the Center’s research and testing capabilities 2. Develop advanced biofuels from locally grown agricultural crops. 3. Educate and outreach for public understanding and acceptance of new technology. The Center was very successful in completing the tasks as outlined in the project plan. Key successes include discovering and patenting a new chemical conversion process for converting camelina oil to jet fuel, as well as promise in developing a heterogeneous Grubs catalyst to support the new chemical conversion process. The Center also successfully fragmented and deoxygenated naturally occurring lignin with a Ni-NHC catalyst, showing promise for further exploration of using lignin for fuels and fuel additives. This would create another value-added product for lignin that can be sourced from beetle kill trees or waste products from cellulose ethanol fuel facilities.« less
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