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Washington State Bioenergy Project Reports

Under the direction of Governor Christine Gregoire and the Washington State legislature, state agencies and universities are engaged in a number of actions to reduce state fossil fuel emissions and move toward energy independence. Bioenergy is a key component of this effort and work is underway in a number of areas including biofuel crop research; biomass inventory work and organic waste recovery. These and other research and policy initiatives are designed to advance the sustainable use of Washington grown, Washington owned biomass resources.

Following is a brief summary of most of the major state supported bioenergy activities to date. Some of these projects have been completed and their results are posted. Other projects are still underway and their results are not yet available.

  1. Washington State Biofuels Advisory Committee
    The Biofuels Advisory Committee was established to advise the Director of Agriculture on the implementation of the minimum renewable fuel content requirements. Their final report can be downloaded at http://agr.wa.gov/bioenergy/BiofuelsAdvisoryCommitteeReportAugust2007FINAL.pdf
  2. Energy Freedom Program.
    The Energy Freedom Program was established in 2006 under E3SHB 2939 to, “promote public research and development in bioenergy, and to stimulate the construction of facilities in Washington to generate energy from farm sources or convert organic matter into fuels.” (RCW 43.325). The 2008 annual report, which provides a summary of current Freedom Fund projects is available at http://www.cted.wa.gov/DesktopModules/CTEDPublications/CTEDPublicationsView.aspx?tabID=0&ItemID=6698&MId=863&wversion=Staging. The 2006 and 2007 annual reports are available on the WSDA website: http://www.agr.wa.gov/bioenergy.
  3. Biofuel Quality Standards.
    The Department of Agriculture adopted quality and labeling standards for ethanol and biodiesel fuels. The standards are available at http://www.agr.wa.gov/bioenergy/standards.htm.
  4. Washington State University Biofuels Market Incentives
    In April 2007, the Washington State Legislature passed E2SHB 1303, an “act relating to providing for the means to encourage the use of cleaner energy”. Chapter 4, Section 402 directs Washington State University to provide recommendations for bioenergy market incentives and research and development grants. The December 2008 report Biofuel Economics and Policy for Washington State is available at http://www.ses.wsu.edu/research/EnergyEcon.htm.
  5. Governor’s Climate Change Challenge Phase 1 & Phase 2
    The December 2008 report, “Leading the Way: Implementing Practical Solutions to the Climate Change Challenge”, contains strategies and opportunities to reduce GHG emissions for consideration by the Governor and the Legislature. The report was developed by Washington’s Climate Action Team (CAT) and focused on four areas - environment, transportation, reducing the waste stream, and the role of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). This report builds off the CAT’s 2007 interim report, "Leading the Way: A Comprehensive Approach to Reducing Greenhouse Gases in Washington State”.
  6. UW Forest Bioenergy Utilization
    HB 1128, Chapter 522 directs the University of Washington College of Forest Resources to identify barriers to using the state’s forest resources for fuel production. The final report, Wood to Energy in Washington:Imperatives, Opportunities, and Obstacles to Progress, June 2009, can be viewed at http://www.ruraltech.org/pubs/reports/2009/wood_to_energy/index.asp
  7. Review of Pipeline Utility Corridor Capacity and Distribution for Petroleum Fuels, Natural Gas and Biofuels in Southwest Washington
    This project was initiated by the Washington legislature in 2007 based on growing concerns from constituents in southwest Washington regarding high gasoline and diesel prices and increased price volatility. The study assessed the infrastructure, supply and demand, and pricing patterns for petroleum products, biofuels, and natural gas to determine the level of supply capability into the region, demand trends, and the future outlook. The 2007 report is available at http://www.efsec.wa.gov/Studies_pipeline%20capacity.shtml
  8. UW Forest Biomass Market Assessment ( HB1128, Sec 308(19)
    HB 1128 Sec 308(19) directs the UW College of Forest Resources to explore potential markets for renewable energy from biomass from Washington forests, with a focus on material removed from Eastern Washington forests as part of forest health improvement efforts. The report is due June 30, 2009.
  9. WSU Sugar Beets for Production of Biofuels (HB1128, Sec 309(4).
    The WSU College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences is directed to evaluate the use of sugar beets as a feedstock for biofuels. The report is available at http://agr.wa.gov/AboutWSDA/Docs/Ethanol from WA Sugar Beets WSU Study March2009.pdf. Research on other WSU biomass related work can be viewed at http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/arc/index.html.
  10. WSU Biofuels Cropping Research and Extension Project (Appendix A)
    More than twenty WSU and USDA scientists located across Washington State are evaluating numerous alternative crops that could feed biofuel production in the state. The project is evaluating crop adaptation and productivity in four major growing regions of Washington – eastern WA (high rainfall, and low to intermediate rainfall), central irrigated WA, and western WA. The final 2008 Biofuels Cropping System report is available at http://css.wsu.edu/biofuels/final_report_2008/2008 Biofuels CroppinG_Systems_Research_Progress_Report_final.pdf. Additional information on WSU biofuels cropping research is available at http://css.wsu.edu/biofuels/index.html.
  11. The Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL)
    BSEL is a $24 million joint effort between Washington State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The research facility is located on the Tri-Cities campus and is focused on turning agriculture waste into viable products, like plastics, solvents and fibers. Additional information is available at http://bsyse.wsu.edu/bbel/index.html.
  12. Washington State Ferry Biodiesel Research and Demonstration Study
    Washington State Ferries (WSF) is partnering with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) and other regional stakeholders to test the use of biodiesel in the marine environment. The project is a three-phased pilot test of biodiesel fuel use on ferries which includes scientific research and a fuel test/demonstration. The final report is available at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/environment/biodiesel.
  13. Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) Biofuel and Bioenergy Performance Review
    JLARC completed an evaluation of the legal history, public policy objectives, and revenue impacts of the various tax preferences for production and distribution of wood biomass biofuels and biodiesel. This report is available at http://www.leg.wa.gov/reports/Preliminary_ProposedFinals/2008%20Expedited%20Tax%20Pref%20Preliminary.pdf
  14. Washington State Department of Ecology-Organic Wastes to Resources Research Projects.
    In 2007, the Legislature funded Ecology’s Organic Waste to Resources program. Ecology has used about $730,000 to fund a number of research projects including: Converting Rich Urban Waste to Ethanol (UW); Using Bio-refineries to Convert Softwood Bark to Transportation Fuels (WSU); Turning Waste Organic Material into a Soil Amendment to Help Store Carbon (WSU); Diversion of Organic Material from Landfills Through Composting, Land Application and Anaerobic Digestion(WSU/UW); Treating Solid Food Wastes to Generate Biohydrogen and Biodiesel(WSU); and, Converting Washington Biomass to Bioethanol to Reduce Carbon Emissions (WSU). A project summary is available at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2008news/2008-058.html. An update on project status will be available in 2009. Additional project information may be available at http://www.cfr.washington.edu/CFRPublic/Research/BSERes.aspx; and, http://bsyse.wsu.edu/bbel/index.html.
  15. Washington State Biomass Inventory
    The Department of Ecology and the Washington State University completed an inventory of Washington’s biomass resources. The report is entitled Biomass Inventory and Bioenergy Assessment: An Evaluation of Organic Material Resources for Bioenergy Production in Washington State. An interactive county by county biomass resource mapping database can be viewed at the Pacific Regional Biomass Energy website.
  16. Washington State University College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) Bioproducts Report
    The February 2008 report is available at http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/arc/images/ARC%20Bioproducts%20Report.pdf
  17. Renewable Diesel White Paper
    The August 2007 report "Renewable Diesel Technology" was completed for the Washington State Biofuels Committee and outlines the current state of renewable diesel technology in the US.
  18. Biodiesel Adoption in Washington- July through December, 2008
    The Department of General Administration report on biodiesel use by state agencies is available at http://www.ga.wa.gov/News/BiodieselReport.pdf.
  19. 2008 Motor Fuel Quality Program Report
    The Washington State Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures report on biodiesel and ethanol fuel quality is available at http://www.bioenergy.wa.gov/Documents/MotorFuelQualityProgram2008.pdf.
  20. Washington State Forestland Database
    The Washington State Forestland Database was developed to provide a comprehensive platform for understanding the spatial characteristics of all private forestland ownership in the state, including family forests. The Database is an ArcGIS 9.2 Geodatabase and designed for use in Microsoft Access or any ESRI ArcGIS product. Tha database is available at http://www.ruraltech.org/projects/wrl/fldb/.
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