Biomass conference opening ceremony shows industry's ingenuity

| May 02, 2011

Standing on a podium in front of the expo floor of the America’s Center in St. Louis, Joe Bryan, CEO of BBI International, Tom Bryan, vice president of BBI International, and Anne Rahikainen, director of bioenergy services at RISI, which sponsored the reception and grand opening May 2, welcomed an eager crowd of biomass experts and enthusiasts before officially cutting the ribbon to the exhibit floor to start the 2011 International Biomass Conference & Expo.

More than 1,300 people from 22 countries, 46 states and eight Canadian provinces were registered to attend the event as of Monday (May 2) evening. Attendees at the opening ceremony ribbon cutting included every sector of the bioenergy industry, ranging from woody biomass off-take consultants, to feedstock handlers, to bioenergy research institute experts.

Not even the dull blades of the ceremonial oversized scissors could keep the attendees from entering the floor space to the largest biomass event in the world. When the scissors weren't sharp enough to cut the red ribbon holding back the doors to the exhibit hall, someone in the crowd produced a pocketknife, handed the knfie to Bryan, and atfer the ribbon was cut, Tom Bryan summed up what everyone at the conference may already know about the biomass industry. “Now that is the ingenuity of the biomass industry,” Bryan said as the doors were opened and the 2011 show was officially kicked off.

Those in attendance on the first night were allowed exclusive access to more than 250 of the leading biomass companies. Next to the RISI booth, attendees could speak with Jacobs Corp., a global engineering firm, Southern Waste Information, a biomass consultant or Rawlings Waste Wood Recovery Systems, a portable biomass equipment provider. Over the course of three days, attendees will also be able to hear from the leaders of several leading bioenergy organizations representing the ethanol, biomass power and thermal, advanced biofuels, biodiesel and algal biomass industries and hundreds of experts. For more information on the event, go to