Guiding Documents

This page is a continually evolving document, representing some of the original thoughts regarding this workshop and the collective wisdom of the planning committee on the focus of the meeting.

Please feel to edit for clarity and inserting items that may have been missed. Use the "EDIT" link at either the top or bottom of the page.


PURPOSE:
The need to develop alternatives to petroleum-based, liquid transportation fuels for national, economic, and environmental security is well established. It is also recognized that although first-generation biofuels from corn, soybean, and sugarcane were the “low-hanging” fruits in this process, they are not a long-term solution because of real and perceived land use conflicts, growing global population, and ever-increasing need for abundant food, feed, and fiber production. Conversely, lignocellulosic feedstocks from agricultural crop residues, woody species, fast-growing energy crops, and other sources can be used for biofuels production without competing for land resources being used for food, feed and fiber production. Biomass can be reclaimed from municipal solid waste streams and from residual products of certain forestry and farming operations. It can also be grown on idle or abandoned cropland. The uncertainty lies in how to develop sustainable biomass supplies at a price that adequately compensates producers for opportunity costs, input costs, labor and management expertise as well as collection, transport, and storage. This Conference and accompanying book will rigorously address issues associated with developing a sustainable supply of feedstocks for all advanced biofuels platforms.

The workshop will focus on sustainability by examining natural resource, economic, and other factors that must be sensitive to regional differences in many areas, including plant species, climate, soil resources and culture.

TIMELINE:
Date: September 28-30, 2010
Location: Embassy Suites, Centennial Olympic Park Hotel Link
City: Atlanta, GA

Workshop Outline and Summary

Summary
This workshop will differentiate itself from the myriad of other biofuels conferences and workshops by having a very directed, outcome-based goal: Development of regional specific roadmaps for sustainable feedstock production and delivery.

In order for agriculture to play the lead role in solving our nation’s bioenergy problems, it is imperative that we come as close as possible to achieving the feedstock supply projected in the Billion Ton Report by the DOE and USDA . Already identified in the latest NAS report is more than 500 million tons. This workshop is intended to produce and deliver a road map for achieving the remaining 500 million tons of feedstock necessary to support a sustainable biofuels industry.

Recognizing that feedstock supplies must be achieved in a sustainable manner that protects soil, water, and air resources, as well as the producer communities, wildlife, and biodiversity and all other ecosystems services impacted by any future changes, a rigorous roadmap is needed to guide feedstock harvest, storage and transport for the next 20 years.

Workshop Goal
Analysis of production (as defined above) for all biofuel feedstocks (in no particular order: municipal waste, woody species, perennial crops, cover crops, crop residues, etc.) prior to reaching any processing facility (in either a centralized or distributed production model). Presentations and papers will include both a national perspective and regional strategies, recognizing differences, benefits and challenges, and subtleties within and between regions of the United States.

Deliverables
1) Regionally specific feedstock roadmaps
2) Post workshop publication
Both products will emphasize how to solve these issues in a sustainable manner

Workshop Model
How the Road Map will be delivered:

  1. Planning team identifies critical pieces, issues to be addressed (16-20 max)
  2. Authors (or teams of authors) selected by planning team for development of drafts
  3. Authors write papers (Length TBD) and circulate to peer review panel (TBD by committee)
  4. Final Draft copies posted on internet/sharepoint for pre-workshop review by registered attendees
  5. Authors present white papers at workshop
  6. Workshop participants develop regionally specific roadmaps through consensus breakouts
  7. Authors revise white papers based on feedback and consensus building at workshop
  8. Final product, including the chapters and regional roadmaps are to be published within three months of workshop

Intended Participation
Primary justification for attending this workshop is to participate in the roundtable consensus building on the white papers and to contribute to the development and production of the road map and post workshop publication. There will also be an opportunity for other volunteered posters to highlight registrants' ongoing research.

Expectations
Authors will use an outcome-based approach to propose solutions for the problem/issue they are asked to address.
Participants will contribute to the final consensus for each of these issues.
Organizers will produce a working document that serves as a road map to achieving sustainable feedstock production at a level to support the Billion Tons per year goal.

Current Contributing Sponsors

  • USDA-ARS
  • US DOE
  • Sun Grant
  • USDA-NRCS
  • Monsanto
  • International Plant Nutrition Institute

APPROACH:
The importance and magnitude of this Conference and subsequent publication will provide an opportunity for multiple agencies, institutions, and industries to actively participate and thus ensure all aspects of sustainability from the field to conversion facility are rigorously and scientifically examined.

A 25-member Planning Committee will has attempted to rigorously identify all aspects that should be considered for sustainable feedstock development, production, harvest, storage, transport, and delivery to a conversion facility. Advanced book sales and commitments to purchase will help raise the funds in addition to contributions from the various Agencies, Industries, and Institutions represented on or contacted by members of the planning team.

Our workshop goal is for ~150 attendees who will hear the various presentations and then spend the majority of the day to develop regionally specific roadmaps to help guide development and delivery of sustainable feedstock supplies to various conversion platforms.

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