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Field Trips


May 21, 2010
Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Plant
Biofuels Pilot Plant at Frazier Rogers Hall. The interns toured the newly built facility, were introduction to the cellulosic ethanol process, and learned about pretreatment steps. This facility mainly deals with agricultural residues including sugar beet tailings, woodchips, and bagasse. They also patented a strain of E. Coli that can withstand inhibitors in 180°C hydrolysate, ideal for steam explosion.

May 28, 2010
UF Co-generation Plant
On May 28th, we visited the Gator Power Cogeneration plant on campus. The plant typically produces 46 MW of electricity at any given time (large scale power plants can produce upwards of 300 MW). Cogeneration is considered a cleaner form of power because it uses natural gas to produce steam (as opposed to coal); the proximity of its power distribution and the use of reclaimed water also add to its efficiency.

June 1, 2010
Transfer Station
The Alachua County Transfer Station is located in Gainesville and is the county's alternative to a landfill. After a presentation from Jeff and Jenny from the transfer station, the interns were able to tour the facility and learn the inner workings of Gainesville's waste and recycling initiatives. The trip was a unique opportunity to see firsthand what happens to our waste and recyclables.

June 7, 2010
Soil and Crop Science Meeting
On June 7, students from the Bioenergy School attended the annual meeting of the Florida State Horticultural Society and the Soil and Crop Science Society of Florida in Crystal River, Florida. The conference attracted graduate students, professors, company representatives, and growers alike interested in applied research pertaining to sustainable horticultural and agronomic crops and products. Presentations touched on topics such as algae phycoprospecting, anaerobic digestion of food waste, remediation of copper contamination in soils, review of fertilizer efficiencies, and phosphorous uptake by various grass species.

June 15, 2010
SW landfill
On June 15th, the Bioenergy interns took a tour of the Alachua County’s southwest Landfill. Ron Bishop of Alachua County Public Works and Scott Kerwin, a University of Florida mechanical engineer, guided the 2010 interns around the 28 acre land fill that has pioneered many different solutions for mitigating landfill pollution.

June 17, 2010
Citrus County Landfill
For this field trip the Bioenergy School drove to Citrus County to visit their active landfill. The three main parts of our tour centered around visitation of the on-site leachate treatment plant, the open face of the landfill, and the flare that burnt off methane released from the landfill itself. With each stage of the tour we were able to learn about the rigorous procedures and economics that go into managing a facility of this nature. We were also able to gain insight on new projects such as possible selling of carbon credits from the flared methane and long term overview of where the landfill was headed in the future with respect to expected handling capacity of future wastes.

July 1, 2010
UF Wastewater Treatment Plant
The interns toured the 3 Million gallons per day facility, built in 1994. Senior Plant Operator, James Williams, provided an informative lecture about the history of wastewater treatment and the BioDenipho process utilized at the UF plant.

July 8, 2010
Feeding America Tampa Bay

July 13, 2010
Crones' Cradle Conserve
For this field trip the Bioenergy School was taken on a guided tour of Crones' Cradle Conserve by the head gardener Lee Solomon. We were able to learn about raised bed planting practices, how to make Florida soil viable, the importance of solar panels to this facility, and the general proceedings that go into daily 9am-3pm management of this 800 acre piece of land. One of the most insightful things about this trip was the enthusiasm that this conserve had for spreading public awareness about sustainable practices such as organic gardening and programs such as farmstead Saturday and the farm-to-fare basket program. We were also able to enjoy lipstick the pig, rabbits, chickens, and a countless number of adopted cats.

July 15, 2010
Sunshine State Renewable Energy Conference
Many politicians and industry representatives were present at this Orlando conference. Ultimately it was very policy based as the associations involved in forming the conference all operate as a special interest lobby group in Tallahassee. It was interesting because we got to see how legislation and policy ideas make it from the technical experts to state officials willing to support their cause and how all affected stakeholders come together to share their views and needs.

July 15, 2010
Biofuel Crop Field Day