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Advanced Biomass Workshop at UMM November 15

Posted by Melissa Weber, University Relations on Friday, Oct. 26, 2007

Event Date/Time: Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007 7:15 am
Location: UMM Student Center


The University of Minnesota, Morris and the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris will co-host an Advanced Biomass Workshop at UMM on Thursday, Nov. 15. Workshop attendees will hear presentations on regional biomass to energy facilities and participate in discussions on the current science, policy and economics of biomass use. Renewable research, current biomass applications, biomass technologies, sustainable feedstock supplies, and the future directions in biomass energy are just a few of the topics that will be discussed throughout the day.

An impressive roster of speakers from the west central region and greater Minnesota will address conference attendees. Those speaking at the conference represent a variety of biomass and energy production fields.

UMM Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson and Joel Tallaksen, biomass gasification project coordinator from the WCROC, will provide the welcome. A renewable energy research presentation, showcasing the University of Minnesota system, will be given by Greg Cuomo, former head of the WCROC and current director of UMore Park. Lowell Rasmussen, associate vice chancellor for UMM’s physical plant and planning, and William Lee, Chippewa Valley Ethanol Cooperative, will present on the topic of current biomass applications. A presentation on biomass technologies and facilities will be presented by Lanny Schmidt, U of M, and Doug Maust of Hamel Green Abrahamson, Inc., architects.

Following lunch, there will be an opportunity for attendees to participate in topical sections. Don Reicosky and Jane Johnson, both from the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, along with Joel Tallaksen, will discuss sustainable feedstock supplies. Biomass project economics will be presented by Linda Meschke of Rural Advantage, Steve Wagner of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, UMM student Maria Brun and Kevin Triemstra of Golder Associates, Inc.

Other topical sessions will include a presentation on feedstock supply by Eric Woodford, Woodford Custom, Inc., Vance Morey, U of M, and Russell Koopman, Sunrise Agrifuels, Inc. Heather Magee-Hill, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, State Rep. Torrey Westrom (R) 11A and State Rep. Aaron Peterson (DFL) 20A.

Lowell Rasmussen will conclude the discussion with a presentation on the future directions in biomass energy, which will be followed by tour of the biomass plant that is under construction on the Morris campus.

"I'm really pleased that we can draw together so many people who are working on projects and technologies that are or will be up and running very soon," said Joel Tallaksen, biomass gasification project coordinator. "Minnesota is leading the way in agricultural biomass technologies and this conference will bring together some of the most knowledgeable people in the field."

All those who have an interest in their role in biomass energy are welcome to attend the workshop, which will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a complimentary lunch at noon. The fee for attending this conference is $15 per person and free for UMM students with I.D.

A wind conference, sponsored by the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, will be held the following day, Friday, Nov. 16.

Contact Jean Spohr or Joel Tallaksen at (320) 589-1711 to register or for more information.