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Research Group for Industrial Ecology, LCA & Systems Sustainability

Sustainability & Resilience

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Sustainability and Resilience of Emerging Products and Technologies

This research field aims to develop emerging new products and fuels that create a smaller environmental footprint  (e.g. low carbon) than conventional fuels throughout their lifecycle, while considering the economic and social implications in producing and consuming the end products. With our research partners, we are investigating the resources, technologies, and systems needed to sustainably produce, harvest, transport, and convert a variety of feedstocks  (i.e. wood chips, thinning). In this work, we endeavor to:

 Understand the relationship between energy production and all aspects of sustainability, including economic, social, and environmental issues;

 Analyze the whole energy supply chains/networks;

 Improve the understanding of climates, soil types, land use, and water issues as they relate to feedstock production in the Northeast region;

 Support the development of diverse, non-food feedstocks that require less resources than conventional feedstocks;

 Evaluate environmental impacts of emerging biomass conversion technologies and fuel delivery infrastructure;

 Determine life-cycle impacts of a major scale-up in energy production, from feedstocks to end-use in vehicles, addressing land use, habitat preservation, and soil health and impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;

 Develop quantitative models of  land use changes associated with increased bioenergy production to be included in life-cycle analyses;

Current Projects

Novel Biomass-based Technologies for Bio-based Economy

Coupling LCA and GIS for Biodiversity Assessment of Forest Resources for Biofuel Production

A Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Cellulosic Nanofibers Used in Green Building Materials

Research Plans

  • Systems Analysis of Sustainability
  • Sustainability Metrics, Assessment and Performance Prediction
  • Sustainable Biomass Feedstock Production and Supply for the Emerging Biorefinery Industry
  • Sustainability and Resilience Under Uncertainty
  • Sustainable Value Chain

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