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WSU and PNNL break ground on new facility



PNNL Laboratory Director Len Peters along with Washington Governor Chris Gregoire (left) and Senator Maria Cantwell (right) at the groundbreaking for the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory.
Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory broke ground April 13, 2006, on the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory. The BSEL is a $24-million joint effort between WSU and PNNL. Located on the WSU Tri-Cities campus, researchers will use the laboratory to develop processes for converting low-value agricultural byproducts and residues into value-added chemicals for products like plastics, solvents, fibers, pharmaceuticals and fuel additives.

The joint research done at the BSEL could play a significant role in developing a biobased products and fuels industry for Washington and the Northwest. The facility also will provide much needed classrooms and laboratories for science education at WSU Tri-Cities.

Washington Governor, Chris Gregoire said, "The BSEL is the wisest investment we can make for the future of the Tri-Cities and for the entire state."

The BSEL will provide a unique opportunity for researchers and faculty to collaborate on projects that could reduce our nation's dependence on imported oil and develop and deploy clean, efficient energy technologies.

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