1 September 2002
Research groups: Turn farm waste into energy
Washington—Four major Northwest U.S. research organizations are bringing together industry, processors, growers, universities, and federal laboratories to develop new methods to convert agricultural and food processing wastes into commercially valuable "bio-based" energy and industrial products.
Members of the new Northwest Bioproducts Research Institute include the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.; the Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory in Idaho Falls, Idaho; and Washington State University and the University of Idaho.
Under terms of the agreement, participants will collaborate to form a nationally renowned, multidisciplinary research and development program that examines and develops methods to convert agricultural and food processing residue and wastes into bio-based fuels, power, and industrial products such as chemicals for plastics, solvents, and fibers.
The participants said industry, processors, and growers can use the institute's products and technologies and, in some cases, will profit from the discoveries through licenses. The four institutions will use their own laboratory facilities. In addition, the agreement also calls for the consortium to seek public and private support for new research facilities.
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