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Vonore, TN, United States

Parish E.S.,Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Dale V.H.,Oak Ridge National Laboratory | English B.C.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Jackson S.W.,Genera Energy | Tyler D.D.,University of Tennessee
Ecosphere | Year: 2016

This article connects the science of sustainability theory with applied aspects of sustainability deployment. A suite of 35 sustainability indicators spanning 12 environmental and socioeconomic categories has been proposed for comparing the sustainability of bioenergy production systems across different feedstock types and locations. Information on sustainability indicators and associated measurements for the feedstock production and logistics portions of the biofuel supply chain was available from a recent demonstration-scale switchgrass-to-ethanol production system located in East Tennessee. Knowledge pertaining to the available indicators was distributed within a hierarchical decision tree framework to generate an assessment of the overall sustainability of this no-till switchgrass production system relative to two alternative business-as-usual scenarios of unmanaged pasture and tilled corn production. The relative contributions of the social, economic, and environmental information were determined for the overall trajectory of this bioenergy system's sustainability under each scenario. The results show that, within this East Tennessee context, switchgrass production is an attractive option for improving environmental and social sustainability trajectories without adverse economic impacts, which can lead to enhanced sustainability overall. Although external trade does not yet exist for this switchgrass commodity, our economic modeling indicates that switchgrass production can still be beneficial to the counties surrounding the biorefinery in terms of dollars earned and jobs created. The opportunity to use inactive equipment and laborers is a potential benefit captured indirectly by the sustainability evaluation framework. Given the early stage of cellulosic ethanol production, it is currently difficult to determine quantitative values for all 35 proposed sustainability indicators across the entire biofuel supply chain. This case study demonstrates that integration of qualitative sustainability indicator ratings may increase holistic understanding of a bioenergy system in the absence of complete information. Copyright: © 2016 Parish et al. Source


Chugh S.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Yu T.E.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Jackson S.W.,Genera Energy | Larson J.A.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | And 2 more authors.
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2016

Growing biomass crops for energy production on low productivity lands not used for food production has been suggested as an alternative to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuel. Switchgrass is considered a potential feedstock in various states, including Tennessee, given its high biomass content in a wide range of environments. However, its low density relative to energy value and resulting high logistics costs impede the profitability of switchgrass-based bioenergy. The objective of this study is to determine the optimal logistics configuration for a collection/distribution hub to market Tennessee-produced switchgrass for bioenergy production. A mathematical programming model integrated with a geographic information system is used to maximize the net present value of profit from a hub that serves switchgrass producers and bioenergy markets. Six logistics configurations delivering switchgrass to local or international bioenergy markets are evaluated. The results highlight the economic challenges of penetrating energy markets for a switchgrass collection/distribution hub - only one logistics configuration that targets the local market is profitable. However, serving local and international markets becomes more feasible as investment risk declines. The results imply that a clear direction for national bioenergy policy is crucial to developing a biomass feedstock for the U.S. bioenergy industry. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source


News Article | March 5, 2015
Site: www.prweb.com

Genera Energy Inc., a leading biomass supply company specializing in biomass feedstocks for advanced biobased industries, set new standards for efficiency with its recently completed harvests of miscanthus, switchgrass, and biomass sorghum. With this harvest, Genera continues to optimize its efficient year-round, just-in-time biomass harvesting and delivery systems. Incorporating multiple feedstocks into the year-round supply chain offers obvious benefits but also introduces unique challenges in equipment scheduling, logistics, inventory management and other critical elements of the supply chain. Building on six years of focused development and testing of efficient harvest systems, Genera’s team has further tested and refined new harvesting equipment and procedures at commercial scale during this harvest season. “This continual improvement and validation adds value to the industrial-scale systems we implement for our customers, not only reducing cost, but more importantly reducing feedstock supply risk,” said Keith Brazzell, COO of Genera. This year’s harvest signals a major milestone in biomass harvest practices. Genera’s single pass forage harvest system, also known as a field chopping system, set new records this year for switchgrass harvesting efficiency. Not only are time, equipment needs, and costs reduced in the field, forage harvesting allows for reduced preprocessing and handling costs for the end user as the field chop exits the field at relatively small particle sizes in a dry, bulk flowable form. “We are very pleased with the success of this harvest and how our innovations continue to improve the process,” said Lance Stewart, certified supply chain manager of Genera. “As an example, in one 12 hour harvesting period, we processed 67 truckloads of feedstock biomass utilizing one harvester. In supply systems like biomass where weather is always a factor, speed and efficiency are critical for success.” In addition to field chopping, Genera also demonstrated improvements in bale harvest systems for both biomass sorghum and switchgrass, utilizing a self-propelled swather and a large square baler. “Biomass sorghum offers high yield advantages, but the high moisture content at harvest can be challenging,” said Lucas Graham, feedstock production and supply manager of Genera. “In most cases, biomass sorghum is forage harvested and direct delivered for just-in-time use, and only during the primary harvest window, as moisture levels are typically 50-70 percent at harvest.” Genera successfully demonstrated a method for in-field drying to reduce the moisture content of biomass sorghum to below 25 percent, allowing more conventional baling and longer-term storage. “Having another successful biomass harvest season under our belts is further evidence that our in-field harvesting and supply chain systems are making the process easier and increasing productivity,” said Sam Jackson, vice president of business development. “We are committed to offering the best biomass solutions and systems for our customers.” For more information on Genera, visit http://www.generaenergy.com. About Genera Energy, Inc. Genera Energy Inc. supplies biomass feedstocks for the advanced bio-based industries, offering scalable industrial scale agriculture biomass supply solutions ranging from full service energy crop production to customizable supply chain solutions and managing biomass supply. Genera’s proprietary Supply ASSURE™ feedstock management system and its BIN-SPEC™ material handling and milling system offer Genera’s customers maximum feedstock reliability and quality while minimizing variability and cost. Based in Vonore, Tenn., Genera operates the country’s largest and most comprehensive industrial biomass management and processing facility. Focus on innovation and sustainability in delivering industrial biomass supply systems has earned Genera the World’s Biofuels Market’s prestigious 2013 Sustainable Feedstock Innovation Award. For more information, visit http://www.generaenergy.com. For additional information, contact: Heather Ripley Ripley PR hripley (at) ripleypr (dot) com 865-977-1973


News Article | July 29, 2015
Site: www.prweb.com

Kelly Tiller, PhD, Genera Energy, Inc., CEO and president, was one of four featured panelists at the 2015 White House Rural Opportunity Investment Conference July 28, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Hosted by the White House Rural Council, this conference offered a forum for leaders in rural investment and financing to meet with pioneers in large-scale irrigation, biomass supply chain, agricultural data and lumber distribution businesses. “I am honored to have been included as a member of ‘The Opportunity for Equity Investment in Ruraland Agricultural Businesses’ panel at the White House,” said Tiller. “It was an inspiration to meet with other like-minded innovators and investment advisors to share ideas and to brainstorm together forming new and better ways to encourage investment in these valuable U.S. assets.” Tiller, Genera’s founder and chief funding developer, brings 20 years of agricultural research and leadership to Genera. Tiller and her team took the original bioenergy supply and logistics business model and built a top biomass supply company that is now a worldwide leader in feedstock development and supply chain innovation. “The first conference, held last year, announced a $10 billion initial investment in the White House Rural Council, which was created in 2011,” explained Tiller. “It was a major success for potential rural and agricultural investment in America, and this year’s conference added to that success by bringing together businesses and investors committed to providing a better and more sustainable way to utilize our rural and agricultural resources,” she added, “while also encouraging investment in agricultural jobs, advanced technologies and small rural businesses.” Other speakers on the panel included Hortau CEO Jocelyn Boudreau, FarmLink CEO Ron LeMay and Klausner Trading President Thomas Mende. The panel moderator was Jim Feinerman, associate dean, Georgetown Law Center. The panel focused on how each participant’s business raised funding and investment capital, each business’ opportunities for growth and potential barriers, and suggestions for ways the government could encourage continued growth in rural and agricultural businesses. For more information about Genera Energy, please visit http://www.generaenergy.com. About Genera Energy, Inc. Genera Energy Inc. supplies biomass feedstocks for the advanced bio-based industries, offering industrial scale agriculture biomass supply solutions ranging from full service energy crop production to customizable supply chain solutions and managing biomass supply. Genera’s proprietary Supply ASSURE® feedstock management system and its BIN-SPEC® material handling and milling system offer Genera’s customers maximum feedstock reliability and quality while minimizing variability and cost. Based in Vonore, Tenn., Genera operates the country’s largest and most comprehensive industrial biomass management and processing facility. Focus on innovation and sustainability in delivering industrial biomass supply systems has earned Genera the World’s Biofuels Market’s prestigious 2013 Sustainable Feedstock Innovation Award. For more information, visit http://www.generaenergy.com. About The White House Rural Opportunity Investment Conference The second White House Rural Opportunity Investment Conference in Washington, DC focused on building equity capital in rural America. The conference connected senior leaders from financial institutions, fixed income funds, and other investors with rural business leaders, senior-level government officials, economic development experts, and program sponsors to discuss the unmet need for investments in rural America—matching investments with opportunities. This year’s conference built on the work of the first-ever conference, held last year at the White House and focused on debt investments. For additional information, contact: Heather Ripley Ripley PR hripley (at) ripleypr (dot) com 865-977-1973


News Article | March 30, 2015
Site: www.prweb.com

B2B public relations agency Ripley PR, Inc. has been selected to become a partner in IPREX, a network of more than 100 of the most successful communications agencies in the world. Ripley PR is currently the only Tennessee-based communications agency in the IPREX organization. Based in the greater Knoxville area, Ripley PR is a national B2B public relations agency specializing in franchise, construction, energy, health care IT, home services and manufacturing. The firm offers a full range of strategic communication services, including crisis management, media relations, and social media strategies. “Ripley PR’s motto is, ‘We’re Not Typical.’ We do things differently, and we’re not afraid to shake up the norm to get solid results,” said founder and CEO Heather Ripley. “As a member of IPREX, we will have access to some of the world’s top PR professionals to help us continue delivering phenomenal service and results to clients.” Ripley PR works with a large number of recognizable brands to support business growth and development. Its franchise clients include AtWork Group, The Casual Pint, Dental Fix RX, and Wireless Zone. Clients in other specialized industries include ECHOtape, Genera Energy, PEMCO, RxEOB, ServiceKey, Softing, and numerous home service companies throughout the United States. “Ripley PR is growing fast in a highly competitive B2B market,” said IPREX Americas President Renzi Stone (Saxum, Oklahoma City). “Their proprietary combination of strategic business accounting and creative B2B public relations branding, which they call ‘analytical creativity’, produces highly-focused work.” IPREX, founded with the initiative to help independent PR agencies deliver high quality work in major markets worldwide, offers partners exclusive access to best practices and communications strategies in order to grow their agencies and improve client service. “Heather and her team are passionate about accountability and delivering measurable results for clients,” said Stone. “Their use of clear analytics to track performance on a day-by-day basis is exemplary. We’re looking forward to working with them.” About IPREX IPREX is a $250 million network of communication agencies, with 1,800 staff and over 120 offices worldwide working across the spectrum of industry sectors and practice disciplines. About Ripley PR Ripley PR, Inc. is a national B2B public relations agency using a blend of strategic business accounting and creative public relations branding to deliver measurable results. Specializing in construction, energy, franchising, health care technology, home services, and manufacturing, the agency offers a full range of strategic communication services, including crisis management, media relations, and social media strategies. Ripley PR is a partner in IPREX, the $250 million network of communication agencies, with 1,800 staff and 120 offices worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ripleypr.com or call 865-977-1973.

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