NREL plans biomass lab expansion

In the next two years, the U.S. DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) plans to expand two biomass energy facilities: the Alternative Fuels User Facility and the Thermal Test Facility. New buildings will be built at both facilities. John Ashworth, director of NREL's National Bioenergy Center, said one reason for the expansion is that some of the current testing equipment is being used at full capacity. Also, NREL couldn't replicate certain industrial processes at scale because of the high pressures, high temperatures and hazardous materials involved in those processes.