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Join us next year for Biomass ’10: Renewable Power Fuels & Chemicals, July 20-21, 2010, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota

Biomass ’09: Power, Fuels, and Chemicals Workshop Executive Summary

Doug Goehring, North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, gives the keynote address
The Biomass ’09: Power, Fuels, and Chemicals Workshop, sponsored by the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota, attracted more than 300 registrants from more than 25 states and three Canadian provinces. Approximately 100 people registered for the preworkshop tutorial focused on the fundamentals of biomass gasification.

The two-day event was held at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks July 14–15, 2009. It was the 7th annual biomass workshop focused on power, fuels, and chemicals from biomass. This year’s attendees represented more than 180 organizations, nearly 60% of them from private industry.

"Even before the current economic crisis, the United States had set aggressive sustainable biofuels and bioenergy targets," said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. "The program is particularly intriguing this year because of the pressure on biofuels to compete economically. For example, the American Coalition for Ethanol updated us on corn ethanol, which has come under heavy scrutiny lately, and both POET and Abengoa provided a status report on the development of non-corn-based cellulosic ethanol technologies."

Groenewold kicked off the event, followed by a keynote address by North Dakota Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring. Goehring said the production and utilization of energy and fuels derived from biomass sources represent significant opportunities for North Dakota and especially for our agricultural sector.

Goehring added, "The EERC, through its ongoing research and now through this event, provides key players and entities with the latest information they need to bring this promising technology into the marketplace."

The workshop included four main sessions focused on trends and opportunities in biomass utilization, biofuels, feedstocks, and biomass for heat and electricity, with more than 30 speakers, and an expanded exhibit show of 39 exhibitors. Senators Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad provided comments through video presentations.

Event sponsors include Signature Sponsor the North Dakota Department of Commerce Division of Community Services State Energy Program; Partnering Sponsors Barr Engineering Company, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., Great River Energy, Manitoba Hydro, North Dakota Farmers Union, North Central Sun Grant Center (South Dakota State University), and Xcel Energy; and Event Sponsor Otter Tail Power Company.

Next year’s Biomass Workshop is scheduled for July 20–21, 2010, at the Alerus Center.

2009 Biomass Workshop Chairs, Presenters, and Sponsors

Final Demographics
326 people from 24 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 Canadian provinces registered for this year's conference. Attendees represented 182 organizations and a wide range of affiliations, including community and economic developers (4%), financial organizations (2%), government and regulatory (8%), industry (43%), utilities (3%), and research/academia (25%).

Attendee Breakdown

States Represented
  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin