GRAINNET Breaking News
Date Posted: Oct. 14 2008

Siemens Partners With USDA ARS to Improve Conversion of Second-Generation Feedstocks to Chemicals and Biofuels

Atlanta, GA—Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. and the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) that will improve the processes used to convert second generation, non-food-based, biofuel feedstocks, including perennial grasses, animal wastes and agricultural residues such as corn stover, into liquid bio-fuel intermediates, such as bio-oil.

As part of the CRADA, Logical Innovations of Richmond, VA, will work with researchers at USDA/ARS's Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) in Wyndmoor, PA, to improve on pyrolysis oil production via innovative control technologies.

They will install a distributed control system (DCS) based on Siemens SIMATIC(R) PCS 7 Box technology on ERRC's bench scale, fluidized bed pyrolysis system that heats the biomass in a reactor and converts it to liquid bio-oil, bio-char, and synthetic gas.

The project will be commissioned in late 2008.

"We think distributed control will help accelerate second generation biofuels and biochemicals development by improving the repeatability, consistency and efficiency of our research processes," said USDA/ARS Research Leader Dr. Kevin Hicks.

According to Dave Hankins, vice president of Siemens Chemical and Pharmaceutical Center of Competence, the PCS 7 Box technology provides a new level of flexibility to biofuels producers, as well as improves worker safety and equipment protection.

"Siemens is proud to partner with the USDA in this important, environmentally friendly, pilot program," Hankins said.

"This investment in the future of second generation feedstocks is another example of Siemens commitment to alternative fuel development and production.

"New feedstocks that can be quickly and easily processed will benefit the nation and the biochemicals and biofuels industries."

For more information, call 770-751-2211.

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