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AFRI – FAS Biorefining and Biomanufacturing (A1531)
Program Area Priority: A biorefinery is a system that integrates biomass conversion, processes, and equipment to manufacture biofuels, chemicals, and bioproducts. This program area priority focuses on converting, treating, processing, refining, or manufacturing products to utilize plant, animal, and woody biomass. Applications must have a significant engineering component. In the context of this program area priority, engineering is defined as the application of engineering principles and tools to biological systems or materials to create usable, tangible, economically viable product and manufacturing technology or practices. Some broad research areas include, but are not limited to:
a. Improve or expand production efficiency and capacity of biomass, biofuels, chemical feedstocks, renewable energy, and bio-based products.
b. Improve or expand utilization of waste and byproducts generated in agricultural and food systems.
c. Engineer new or improved products and processes that utilize materials from agriculture or micro-organisms (including, but not limited to, bioplastics and biocomposites).
d. Address the long-term sustainability of biorefining or biomanufacturing systems that balance productivity along with positive economic, environmental, and social outcomes including the application of “circular bioeconomy” principles, lifecycle analysis (LCA), and techno-economic assessment (TEA).
e. Identify the socio-economic factors that either constrain or encourage the acceptance of engineered products and biomanufacturing processes in the marketplace.