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The Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Feedstock Supply and Logistics (FSL) program focuses on technologies and processes that transform renewable carbon sources into conversion-ready feedstocks.

Research and development (R&D) to transform renewable carbon and waste resources into feedstocks for conversion to biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower will sustainably expand biomass resource potential in the United States.

Top left: Switchgrass harvest. Top right: Switchgrass, baled. Bottom left: Chopped and ground switchgrass. Photos courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
FSL R&D focuses on improving the reliability of methods to convert renewable carbon and waste resources into conversion-ready feedstocks. Top left: Switchgrass harvest. Top right: Switchgrass, baled. Bottom left: Chopped and ground switchgrass.

Biomass Feedstocks as a Renewable Carbon Source

Terrestrial lignocellulosic biomass (i.e., plants and plant-based materials not used for food or feed) is an abundant, renewable, and sustainable resource for producing biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. Biomass and other renewable or re-usable carbon sources commonly used for bioenergy

applications include:

  • Agricultural residues (e.g., corn stover)
  • Algae
  • Dedicated energy crops (e.g., switchgrass, miscanthus, energy cane, sweet sorghum, high biomass sorghum, hybrid poplars, and shrub willows)
  • Forestry residues (e.g., logging residues and forest thinning)
  • Waste streams and re-useable carbon sources (e.g., the non-recyclable organic portion of municipal solid waste, biosolids, sludges, waste food, plastics, CO2, industrial waste gases, and manure slurries).
Examples of bioenergy feedstock sources researched by BETO's FSL program.
Examples of bioenergy feedstock sources researched by BETO's FSL program.

BETO FSL Program R&D Overview

The FSL program develops science-based strategies and technologies to reduce the cost, improve the quality, and increase the quantity of sustainable, renewable, and re-usable carbon-based feedstocks. The FSL program is divided into two R&D areas:

FSL R&D scope and interface diagram.
FSL R&D scope and interface diagram.

Each R&D area is composed of activities which help improve the efficiency and reliability of feedstocks for conversion into biofuels, bioproducts, and bioenergy. These include:

  • Resource mobilization
  • Supply chain analysis
  • Harvest and collection
  • Storage
  • Transport and handling
  • Preprocessing and quality improvement
  • Supply system integration.

Feedstock-Conversion Interface Activities 

Feedstock conversion interface consortium

R&D activities that are focused on the interface of feedstock supply systems and feedstock conversion are coordinated through FSL's collaboration with the Conversion R&D and Advanced Development and Optimization (ADO) programs on the Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium (FCIC).

The Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium (FCIC) is an integrated and collaborative network of eight national laboratories dedicated to addressing technical risks and understanding how biomass properties influence collection, storage, handling, preprocessing, and conversion technologies with the goal of improving the overall operational reliability of integrated pioneer biorefineries.

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