Bioenergy Short Course 2018

24-25 October, 2018
Penn State University Campus
University Park, PA

Organized by: Penn State Extension and the Penn State Biomass Energy Center, with generous support from the Northeast Sun Grant program.

About the Event

Biochar and torrefied biomass represent two dramatic oportunities for energy and product development in the emerging bio-economy.  However, the principles, processes, performance, and markets for these renewable resources often are not well understood.  Join us for this two-day short course as we cover the fundamentals, applications, and business opportunities related to the transformation of biomass into value-added thermally processed materials. 

The event will include presentations, tours, networking, and discussion to cover the scientific, technical, and project development principles of biochar and torrefied biomass production and use. 


24 October: (Room 312, Agricultural Engineering Building)
13:00 Registration
13:15 Welcome and Introductions - Ed Johnstonbaugh
13:30 Principles of Pyrolysis - Jillian Goldfarb
14:30 Properties of Biochar and Torrefied Biomass - Jillian Goldfarb
15:00 Break

Recent Research in Torrefied Biomass Performance
Ohio State University - Ajay Shah
West Virginia University - David DeVallance
Cornell University - Jillian Goldfarb

16:15 Tour of PSU Research Facilities
17:00 Travel to Penn Stater
18:00 Group Dinner, Senate Suites at Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center
25 October: (Room 206, Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center)
08:00 Registration
08:00 Welcome and housekeeping
08:15 Feedstocks for Biochar and Torrefied Biomass - Garin Peck
09:00 Equipment and Systems for Biochar and Torrefaction - Tom Causer
10:00 Break
10:15 Business Models for Biochar Project Development - Scott Bagley
10:45 Torrefied Pellets for Thermal Energy - Leonel Nunes
11:30 Project Development Assistance and Support - Amanda Hope
12:00 Funding Opportunities for Biochar - Royal Smith
12:15 Lunch
13:15 Biochar and Soil Amendment Opportunities - Curtis Dell
14:15 Supply Chain Opportunities - Leonel Nunes
15:15 Emerging Market Opportunities for Biochar - Ed Johnstonbaugh
16:00 Closing Discussion and Wrap-up - Leslie Horner


Who Should Attend?

This short course is designed for individuals seeking to gain a better understanding of the opportunities for biochar and torrefied biomass as a renewable, sustainable material for energy, materials, and other products. Biomass and bioproducts professionals, project developers, policy makers, researchers, and public sector professionals are all encouraged to attend.  

Learning objectives: Upon completion of the short course, participants should be able to:



Presenters, panelists, and moderators for the short course include experts in biochar and biomass systems. This includes:

Short Course Location

Thie short course will be held at the beautiful main campus of Penn State University. The first day's activities will be in the newly expanded and renovated Agricultural Engineering Building, while the group dinner and second day of sessions will be held at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.


Contact Dan Ciolkosz at, 814-863 3484


Penn State is an Equal Opportunity University.

Penn State Bioenergy Short Courses