Tennessee Opens New Research Facilities at Center for Renewable Carbon
Posted: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 8:01 pm
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture has opened a comprehensive research facility to accommodate faculty and industry initiatives through the new Center for Renewable Carbon (CRC). The new Bioenergy Science and Technology Laboratory is expected to enhance America’s emerging biobased economy through advances in bioenergy and biofuel production economies as well as the development of new chemicals and materials from renewable carbon (biomass) sources.
DiPietro called the CRC and its work the next step in the advancement of a biobased economy. The new CRC Bioenergy Science and Technology Laboratory includes specialized facilities for biomass pre-processing and processing measurement, biomass characterization, and biomass conversion to fuels and potentially useful coproducts like adhesives and carbon fiber. Additional CRC research capabilities include life cycle analysis and a biomass fractionation reactor.
“I am excited by the potential for expanded research and collaboration within the University of Tennessee and for partnerships outside the university,” DiPietro said. “Through the Center for Renewable Carbon and these new labs, the University of Tennessee has an even greater means to impact the state and our nation by solving our need for carbon-based fuel as well as developing new, environmentally sound carbon-based products.”
Dr. Rials believes the CRC has enormous potential to enhance the nation’s quality of life through renewable carbon-based fuels and materials. “Our scientists are working to solve some fundamental questions–to break down some fundamental barriers–to propel renewable carbon sources to the forefront of the next industrial revolution. The CRC’s express purpose is collaborative research and education associated with converting renewable carbon into energy, fuels, and useful industrial chemicals and materials,” he said.
Through a Wood Utilization Program, the CRC will continue the work of the former UT Forest Products Center in support of wood and related materials systems to enhance the competitiveness of the forest products industry. Also, the CRC’s Bioenergy Production and Carbon Cycling Program will research environmental topics including the relationships between land use, bioenergy crops and carbon sequestration.
Peter Muller, sales support manager of Analytical Sciences and Laboratory Services at PerkinElmer, Inc., says the company is excited about the partnership they have formed with scientists in the CRC and looks forward to a continued relationship. “The collaborative efforts between PerkinElmer and the University of Tennessee Center for Renewable Carbon will have a profound impact on the future of America’s energy independence,” he says.