Golden, Colorado | Laboratory, Government

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility

$14.4 M | 20,000 SF

This design-build project is a 27,000-foot, 2 high-bay biochemical conversion plant built to a pilot-scale to simulate processes for converting cellulosic biomass into a variety of fuels and chemicals.

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Cator, Ruma & Associates provided electrical engineering consulting services for NREL’s Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility (IBRF). This design-build project is a 27,000-foot, 2 high-bay biochemical conversion plant built to a pilot-scale to simulate processes for converting cellulosic biomass into a variety of fuels and chemicals. The facility enables researchers and industry partners to develop, test, evaluate, and demonstrate processes for the production of bio-based products and fuels—all with a focus on reducing performance risk and improving the commercial viability of new processes. Advanced biofuels produced in the IBRF can be tested and analyzed in NREL’s fuel testing laboratories. Process performance data generated in the IBRF can be incorporated into techno-economic and life-cycle analysis models to estimate market feasibility, cost sensitivities, and environmental sustainability attributes of commercial-scale.

Researchers and scientists work with industry partners at every stage of process development, from exploratory process research and development through to pilot-scale process runs. A wide range of biomass feedstock can be accommodated due the versatility and adaptability of the processes and equipment.

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