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HSU receives $5.9 million grant for biomass research

ARCATA- Humboldt State University and 15 regional partners have received a $5.9 million grant to conduct biomass research. It is one of the largest grants the university has received.

Humboldt State Forestry Department students and staff along with the Schatz Energy Research Lab, Green Diamond and other stakeholders will conduct the research. The study will look into turning leftover biomass from logging operations into biofuel that is economically viable.

Han-Sup Han, PhD, a professor of forestry, said the groundwork will turn something that is normally discarded into an substance that can power electricity. "It's being wasted. It's been burned or just decays," he said.

The research will be conducted over a three year period and will be overseen by Han. The work will convert the material into fuel at the logging location in order to reduce costs.

Founding Director of the Schatz Energy Research Lab at Humboldt State, Peter Lehman, said the research could help to reduce greenhouse gas emmissions by creating renewable energy. "Biomass could be a great energy source for us and it can be a renewable energy source for us. Decrease our reliance on imported fossil fuels," he said.