Emerging Research Themes
The Biobased Products and Energy Center focuses research on feedstock development for producing biobased products and energy, energy-efficient and cost-effective harvesting, handling, storage and transportation systems and determining the sustainability of establishing biorefineries.
Design and Development of Biomolecules, Biomaterials, and Biobased Products
Supporting sustainability requires enhancing existing processes while exploring and developing new conversion technologies and product innovations. Aside from process development, biofuels and carbon-free fuels are part of this research area.
Carbon Sequestration and Capture Technologies
Enhancing the value of available carbon will involve advancements in measurement, accounting, and use in existing and newly developing technologies/systems. Applications exist across multiple industries. In addition to energy usage, economic and social factors will also play a role in how this area evolves.
Sustainable Crop Production Systems
Crops provide a renewable source of useful carbon for biobased energy and products. As feedstocks for non-food purposed, it is important to identify cropping systems that not only increase productivity but also conserve and improve soil health and minimize impacts on water resources. Defining management practices and near-term markets play a significant role in this research area.
Economic and Systems Analyses
Implementation of new methodologies, technologies, and systems have direct techno-economic and social impacts affecting supply chains, natural resources, and the public. Quantity and quality of data collection and management are critical to this research area and can support machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence opportunities.
Rural communities are central to the production and supply of biobased energy and products considering the source of biomass feedstocks. These communities should also benefit from technologies and processes developed. This area is focused on developing value-added systems that stimulate economic growth.