UMaine’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) facilities in Old Town and in Jenness Hall will upgrade their equipment with $4.8 million awarded from the Defense Logistics Agency. The improved equipment will enable FBRI to continue to increase production, produce new bioproducts, and support ongoing research.
The new equipment will enable researchers to study the creation of renewable fuel from woody biomass materials such as sawdust, tree bark, twigs, and wood chips, which are often considered waste. Wood byproducts are transformed into organic acids, which can be made into renewable fuel, heating oil, chemicals, and other goods.
“It’s a significant upgrade in our pilot-scale infrastructure,” says FBRI Director Hemant Pendse, who is also professor of chemical engineering at UMaine. “This significant investment will allow us to rapidly advance development in several major areas of ongoing research.”