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UGA licenses technology to make fuel from dead forests and agricultural waste
Date:9/15/2009

lero, said Churchill. He explained, "Infestations of the mountain pine beetle have devastated forests in the western United States and Canada, killing over 40 million acres of pine trees. As the trees decompose and decay, they release millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and the devastation has created a significant and dangerous fire hazard in the western forests.

"Harvesting dead trees and forest residue and converting them to renewable fuel and soil amendment products will help reduce the CO2 released into the atmosphere and reduce the fire danger. The recent fire in the Los Angeles foothills, which was fueled by years of highly flammable dead biomass build-up, is a prime example of a situation where this technology can be put to use. Tolero has the capability to establish pyrolysis facilities to process the dead underbrush and convert it to a renewable fuel that is easy to transport," Churchill said.

Tolero also will convert other types of cellulosic biomass, such as agricultural waste and waste wood pallets, into renewable transportation fuels, heating fuels, soil amendments and industrial products.

"We are glad that our new business partner, Tolero, will be using biomass waste as starting material for the production of biodiesel," said Gennaro Gama, senior technology manager at UGARF charged with the management of UGA's bioenergy technologies. "Not only is this approach socially responsible, since it does not employ food crops as the source of biofuels, it also is ecologically sound, as it will open areas to reforestation and at the same time lead to the production of cost-efficient, sulfur-free fuels," he said.

"This commercialization approach perfectly reflects the social and ecological concerns of UGA's bioenergy researchers and the research partnership formed with Tolero," Gama concluded.


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Contact: Terry Marie Hastings
thasting@uga.edu
706-542-5941
University of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert

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