Three-hundred twenty-five attendees, 41 speakers and 75 exhibitors participated in the Bioenergy Fuels & Products Conference & Expo held March 18-19 at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The event emphasized project development, technologies, products, issues, trends and forecasts in wood pellets, biomass power generation, biofuels and woody feedstock over the course of nearly two days.

Held every other year, this was the second Bioenergy Conference & Expo as hosted by Wood Bioenergy magazine. At the end of the event, organizers announced the dates for the 2016 event as April 5-6, again to be held at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta.

“You always look at other locations, but Atlanta is really perfect for this event,” commented Rich Donnell, co-chairman of the conference and editor-in-chief of Wood Bioenergy magazine. “Also, everybody we spoke with was very receptive to moving the conference a little further into spring with the April 5-6 dates.”

The bioenergy conference immediately preceded the Panel & Engineered Lumber International Conference & Expo. The close-coupled conferences format will continue in 2016, according to Donnell, who added that 53% of the exhibitors participated in both conferences.

Rick Holley (pictured above), president and CEO of Plum Creek Timber, led off the first morning keynote general session describing how one of the nation’s largest timberland owners continues to step up as a participant in the fiber supply chain for new bioenergy markets.

Alicia Cramer, president of Westervelt Renewable Energy, described the longstanding Westervelt’s progression into the global bioenergy industry, including the construction and startup of a pellet operation in Alabama with plans to add to capacity.

John Campbell, managing director of Rollcast Energy, addressed the challenges of building a biomass power plant, having led the development and startup of the Piedmont Green Power 55 MW operation in Barnesville, Ga. He also announced plans for the construction of a similar plant in LaGrange, Ga.

Breakout sessions were held in three adjacent meeting rooms, and included topics such as Industrial Wood Pellets, chaired by William Strauss, president of FutureMetrics; Fire Safey at the Port, chaired by Lou Boos, president of Nordic Engineering; as well as a New Technologies session that focused on dryer islands and torrefaction technology; along with two sessions on Air Emissions; and other sessions on New Products, Fiber Supply, Process Improvements, Project Support and Dust Control.