The Secretary of Energy recently announced significant new initiatives, including the National Advanced Biofuels Consortium, which is to be led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Voiland School faculty in Pullman and at the Bioproducts Science and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL) at WSU/TriCities will contribute to the execution of these projects. Voiland Distinguished Professor Yong Wang, who is a joint WSU/PNNL employee, will play a key role in catalytic pyrolysis and catalyst development related to syngas conversion and novel approaches to remove oxygen from biomass. WSU STAR Researcher and Voiland School Faculty member, Birgitte Ahring, the Director of the WSU Center for Bioproducts and Bioenergy, will do pretreatment of biomass raw materials to create a dedicated sugar stream, which will be supplied to the different partners in the project. This work will make use of the newly established pilot facility at BSEL and will use innovative separation technologies. Catchlight Energy, whose Bioconversion Lead Dwight Anderson serves on the Voiland School Advisory Board, is one of the consortium members. Learn more of this initiative at http://www.pnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=773 and of the DOE announcement at http://www.energy.gov/news/8519.htm.
The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering was recently featured on the front page of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News for its 10th place ranking among the top clean-technology universities in the nation by Shawn Lesser of Sustainable World Capital.