Grant funds UW-Green Bay research of pellet fuels’ potential
GREEN BAY — Researchers from the Environmental Management and Business Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will use a second Wisconsin Focus on Energy Grant to study the efficiency and carbon-footprint of pelletized fuel sources.
The $47,914 grant will allow researchers at UW-Green Bay to conduct a complete lifecycle analysis of pellet fuels and evaluate the net energy and carbon balances associated with pellet fuels. Such fuels are made from pelletizing process residuals and wastes including wood, farm animal manure, municipal solid waste and other similar materials.
The small, hard pellets, which are made by several Wisconsin companies, can typically be burned to create heat energy. They are becoming increasingly popular for commercial and residential applications, including industrial boilers and home furnaces.
The project will be completed by Prof. John Katers, Natural and Applied Sciences, and undergraduate student Adam Snippen, an Environmental Management major from Schofield. The Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) at the University of Washington will provide additional research and support for the lifecycle assessment of these products.
“Pelletized fuels are another step in reducing the world’s dependency on non-renewable fuel sources,” Katers said. “An added benefit is they take what might traditionally be process residuals or wasted materials and puts those materials to good use.”
UW-Green Bay earlier received a $164,853 grant from Focus on Energy to evaluate the economic and environmental outcomes of converting marginal agricultural areas into biomass-yielding grasslands for electricity and heat generation in the state.
The development of the Environmental Management and Business Institute at UW-Green Bay is a major step toward strengthening the University’s leadership position in the promotion of environmental awareness and eco-friendly initiatives.
The establishment of the EMBI is a step in the evolution of UW-Green Bay’s historic mission of studying environmental issues and developing solutions to problems; solutions that recognize the critical interconnections between science, policy and business, and the social contexts within which they occur.
The EMBI will strive to work with public- and private-sector partners throughout the New North region to make the region synonymous with sustainability and environmental leadership.
For more information about EMBI, visit www.uwgb.edu/embi/.
For more on Wisconsin Focus on Energy, visit www.focusonenergy.com/.