DOE grant supports biomass research at HSU

By Staff | June 25, 2014

Humboldt State University, along with 15 regional partners, has received a $5.88 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct innovative biomass research. The award was made under the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, a collaborative effort between the DOE and the USDA.

Under the grant, a team of academics, industry partners and forestland managers led by HSU Forestry Professor Han-Sup Han will build on existing research on the conversion of forest residues into renewable fuel and other valuable bio-based products. The three research areas will be feedstock (processed forest residues) supply, mobile conversion technologies, and economic life-cycle analysis.

The feedstock supply group will be led by Han, the lead principal investigator on the grant. Han’s group will focus on the economics of converting forest residue into high-quality feedstocks. The mobile conversion technologies group, led by Arne Jacobson, director of HSU’s Schatz Energy Research Center, will study biomass conversion technologies that convert slash or wood chips into biomass fuels and products at or near collection sites in the forest. Ted Bilek, an economist with the USDA Forest Service, will lead the economic life-cycle analysis group. Bilek’s team will perform economic analyses and conduct a life-cycle analysis documenting the economic benefits and other environmental effects related to utilizing forest residues.