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Projects in Integrated Biorefinery Processes

A photo of a control room with four large computer screens. A man and a woman are looking at the screens.

The Thermochemical Process Development Unit is equipped with sophisticated process monitoring and operation control systems.

NREL is focused on integrating all the biomass conversion unit operations. With extensive knowledge of the individual unit operations, NREL is well-positioned to link these operations together at the mini-pilot and pilot scales.

Among the integrated biorefinery projects are:

  • Sorghum to Ethanol Research Initiative
    Sorghum shows promising characteristics as a feedstock for biofuel production. However, little basic research data exists. NREL is performing integrated research on sorghum by studying it at every step along the biomass conversion process: compositional analysis, bench-scale pretreatment, enzymatic saccharification and fermentation screening, pilot-scale trials, and technoeconomic and life cycle assessment.

  • Biochemical Process Integration
    Researchers are investigating and improving the biochemical conversion process as a whole. The goal is to demonstrate pilot-scale performance that meets the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office's ethanol cost target of $1.33/gallon.

Learn about capabilities in integrated biorefinery processes.