NEWBio Team Defines Human Systems Driving the Bioeconomy Transition

NEWBio research discovers social, cultural, and economic motives behind local bioenergy decisions.

Collaboration between farmers and bioenergy experts
Collaboration between farmers and bioenergy experts. Photo: Great Plains Institute

Landowner and other stakeholder responses to bioenergy crop production play a critical role in the bioenergy industry’s future. NEWBio’s Human Systems Team set out to understand the social, cultural, and economic factors that drive decisions about bioenergy development in the Northeast U.S. Drawing from social science disciplines, the team found evidence that social-cultural and economic factors of bioenergy …

NEWBio Harvest, Preprocessing, and Logistics Team Optimizes Biomass Supply Chain Processes

NEWBio shows producers new methods that can save them sizable costs in their biomass operations, including a 20% reduction in harvesting.

Bioenergy supply chain
Figure 1. Bioenergy supply chain from the production of dedicated energy crops through harvesting, storage, preprocessing and transportation to an end user. Courtesy of Tom Richard.

Harvesting, preprocessing, and storing biomass and then transporting it to biorefineries or other end users is a critical part of the bioenergy supply chain. Those functions can account for more than half the …

NEWBio Feedstock Improvement Team Breeds Better Switchgrass and Willow for the Bioeconomy

Breeding new perennial grass varieties of willow and switchgrass with useful bioenergy traits for the Northeast drives NEWBio team.

Shrub willow
Shrub Willow Canopy. Photo credit: Armen Kemanian.


Perennial crops dedicated to biomass production are just starting to be developed.  Most existing varieties of potential feedstock crops, such as switchgrass, have been bred for use as forage or conservation. But new varieties with traits that bioenergy producers require, especially high yields of biomass, will be a boon to a growing bioenergy industry. …

Research Summary: How Bioenergy Experts Can Improve Public Engagement

By including landowners in conversations about bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, willow and Miscanthus, experts are more likely to promote adoption than by just providing new information.

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Current efforts to engage landowners on the topic of dedicated energy crops may fall short due to a crucial assumption made …

NEWBio Commercial Collaborators: Building a Sustainable Energy Future in the Northeast United States

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Funded by AFRI. Learn More.


The Northeast region of the United States (from the Ohio River to the New England coast) has the natural, social, and technological resources needed to help create a sustainable, rural renaissance by using biomass to create biofuels, biopower, and advanced bioproducts. The Northeast Woody/Warm-Season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio) believes that the path to this vision is through collaboration with commercial innovators along various points of the bioeconomy supply chain. NEWBio’s commercial collaborators, biomass-based …

Bioenergy Crops Provide Valuable Ecosystem Services

Biofuel perennial grass and woody crops provide significant benefits for humankind.

Willow pollinator
Pollinator on shrub willow. Photo: Giuseppe Tumminello, U. Syracuse.


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What Is an Ecosystem Service?

A functioning ecosystem is the intricate environmental relationship of soil, water, microorganisms, …

FAQs about Perennial Grass (Switchgrass) Production for Biofuels

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

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Funded by AFRI. Learn More.


Switchgrass a source of biomass energy
Switchgrass. Photo: Dennis Pennington, Bioenergy Educator, Michigan State University.

Evaluation of Anthracnose Severity on Switchgrass Cultivars and Accessions

Anthracnose may significantly decrease biomass yield of switchgrass. Research explores tolerance of cultivars to Colletotrichum navitas.




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Anthracnose (caused by Colletotrichum navitas) may negatively impact biomass yield of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), often grown for bioenergy purposes. Consequently, evaluating cultivar and accession response to anthracnose is crucial for maximizing production efficiency and developing cultivars …

Introduction to Processing Feedstocks into Biofuels

Processing Biodiesel
From feedstock to fuel. Photos: D.Ciolkosz, M.Szala, Biodiesel Ed at U Idah. CC license

Biomass is transformed into solid & liquid fuels, gas, electricity and heat using a variety of processing methods and equipment.



One of the main barriers to a successful biomass energy industry is the simple fact that most raw biomass is not immediately useful as an …

Renmatix Turns Biomass into Sugars for Industrial Use

Technology patented by Renmatix enables the manufacture of industrial sugars from biomass on a scale that is commercially cost-effective.

renmatix, processing, biofuels
The Plantrose Process is a fast and flexible platform. Photo: Renmatix.



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Renmatix, the leading technology licensor for the conversion of biomass into cellulosic sugar and a commercial partner of …