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Bioeconomic Development Institute
Demonstration Projects

Carbon-Negative Renewable Distillate Fuels: Conversion of Willow Feedstocks Into Liquid Fuels and Biochar

Project Lead—Tristan Brown

WillowThe overall goal of this integrated agricultural project is to advance the adoption of distillate fuels from willow biomass through research and education. The research function includes both technology development in biomass processing to distillate fuels, and economic, social, and environmental analyses of factors influencing the deployment of this technology. The education function will provide (1) educational experiences in economic and environmental analysis to undergraduate students and (2) knowledge about low carbon fuels to professionals responsible for creating agriculture and environmental policy. The supporting objective of the technology development research function is to investigate key processes for the conversion of shrub willow into carbon-negative distillate fuels. The supporting objective of the education function of this project is to provide knowledge and skills to professionals making policy by utilizing the outputs of this project to develop policy recommendations that will support the deployment of lignocellulosic distillate fuels. The project goals will be accomplished via engagement with stakeholders in feedstock production, conversion, analysis, and government policy professionals. The research function’s supporting objective is to demonstrate a novel strategy and approach for a scalable willow feedstock conversion system that provides beneficial ecosystem services in the form of carbon-negative renewable distillate fuels. The education function’s supporting objective is to identify social, behavioral, technical, and economic barriers to the adoption of carbon-negative renewable distillate fuels in NYS and develop and implement strategies for alleviating these barriers. This project ultimately aims to improve the sustainability of agricultural bioenergy systems.