KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture will host “The Great Experiment: A Decade of Biofuels Science” conference on March 13-14, 2017, at Brehm Animal Science Building on the UTIA campus.
The conference will feature the knowledge gained from over a decade of switchgrass for biofuels science, brought to you by experts directly involved in the project. This decade of experiments was initiated by a $980,000 grant from the federal government and followed by a $70 million investment by the State of Tennessee to develop the science for a Tennessee biofuels industry.
Come see how UTIA specialists from multiple disciplines united to develop the science of converting switchgrass, a native warm-season perennial, for ethanol production.
Conference topics include:
• Growing the feedstock
• Improving genetic material
• Harvesting the feedstock
• Supply chain
• Market possibilities and contracting
• Economic feasibility and implications to the community
• Regional impacts
“It is not often that a university gets the opportunity to explore a topic like the one the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture did the past decade and a half,” said Burton English, a professor in UTIA’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
The conference summarizes material derived from the Great Experiment, which envelops the entire supply chain: from growing feedstock to converting the feedstock into fuel.
“The experiment resulted in numerous papers, an exploration of the knowledge frontier, and placed the University of Tennessee on the map when discussing renewable fuels and products,” said English.
Output from the conference will result in a digital book that contains the presentations, videos, pictures, collected data and links to published material, capturing the breadth of what was learned during the decade-long experiment.
Posters based on the switchgrass-to-ethanol experiment will be on display during the conference, and the first 150 conference registrants will receive USB drives preloaded with materials generated from the biofuels experiments.
The conference begins both days with registration and breakfast from 7:30-8:30 a.m., local time, with the program beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of