Biomass Refining

Consortium for Applied  Fundamentals & Innovation (CAFI)





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Consortium for Applied Fundamentals and Innovation (CAFI) is multi-institutional consortium funded by DOE to develop comparative information on  cellulosic biomass pretreatment by leading pretreatment options with common source of cellulosic biomass (corn stover/ Hybrid Poplar) and identical analytical methods. CAFI recognizes that pretreatment operates as a part of system in lignocellulosic feedstock based biorefinery that includes hydrolysis and fermentation as downstream processes. CAFI has been founded by leading researchers in biofuels area with following objectives:

  Develop information and a fundamental understanding of biomass hydrolysis that will facilitate commercialization.

   Accelerate the development of next generation technologies that dramatically reduce the cost of sugars from

     celulosic biomass.

  Train future engineers, scientists and managers..  


Brief History

CAFI was organized in early 2000 by pretreatment researchers from Auburn University, Dartmouth college, Purdue university, Michigan state University, Texas A&M University & NREL. It was funded by USDA Initiative for future agriculture and food systems (IFAFS) program. During the project period from 2000-2003, which is called CAFI-I, following tasks have been accomplished:

   Applied leading pretreatment technologies to prepare biomass for conversion to products.

   Characterized resulting fluid and solid streams

   Performed material and energy balance for each pretreatment process

   Determined cellulose digestibility and liquid fraction fermentability/toxicity

  Compared performance of pretreatment technologies on corn stover on a consistent basis.

Second phase of CAFI ,called as CAFI-II, was funded by US-DOE (Office of Biomass Program). Period of CAFI-II is 2004-2007


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