Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's biobased product research is focused on producing high-value bioproducts, such as chemicals for plastics, fibers and solvents, in addition to fuels and power. Since these bioproducts often can be made less expensively than similar products made from petroleum, they can provide the economic driving force necessary to make a biorefinery-based industry a reality. In addition, a biomass-based feedstock offers the opportunity to make entirely new products with processes that are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
The Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Biomass Program includes major programs for developing and improving technology for biomass power; for making biofuels such as ethanol (from biomass residues as well as grain) and renewable diesel; and for making plastics and chemicals from renewable, biobased materials.
PNNL supports the Office of the Biomass Program through development of bio-based products and processes that displace petroleum and support integrated biorefineries, development of catalysis techniques to improve production of chemicals, fuels and power, interaction with major industries to ensure the bio-based processes have impact and that DOE investments are leveraged, and strategic partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the National Bioenergy Center for the benefit of DOE program.