Biomass Energy Research

Biomass energy research falls within the overall program areas of both energy engineering and biological and chemical engineering (B&CE) at Dartmouth. These areas include the goal of accelerating the transition to sustainable energy sources and using fundamental principles of biology and chemistry to develop plant biomass-derived fuels.

Providing 10% of today’s global primary energy, plant biomass-derived fuels (biofuels) are widely thought to be the leading alternative available for decarbonizing aviation, long-haul trucking, and ocean shipping. Because biofuels require land, their production has strong linkages to food security, rural economic development, and land-based ecological services.

Research Subfields

Microbial cellulose utilization, including fundamental and applied aspects

Metabolic engineering, focusing on thermophilic bacteria for fuel production

Innovative biomass processing technologies, including development, design, and evaluation

Sustainable bioenergy futures, including analysis of resource, environmental, and social development aspects

Researchers include the faculty below as well as Research Scientist Evert Holwerda.