Penn State has significant strengths in the following four four focal areas— each have a significant number of faculty involved, with a critical mass of researchers emerging in many different areas.

Biomass Production

Large-scale production of bioenergy will require development of new crops and appropriate production and harvest, and storage strategies. Penn State has extensive research programs in annual and perennial biomass including agricultural and forest resources, feedstock management technologies, basic plant biotechnology, and biomass characterization. Find researchers in Biomass Production »

Sustainable Bioenergy Systems

Managed agroecosystems offer enhanced opportunities for a more sustainable bio-based economy, but will require appropriate technology, environmental assessment, and social, economic, and policy incentives. Penn State has active research programs in agroecosystem modeling, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, soil dynamics and soil ecology, water quality, policy issues including emissions and carbon trading, and social and economic impacts. Find researchers in Sustainable Bioenergy Systems »

Bioconversion Technologies

Governor Rendell has endorsed the 25 x 25 pledge, with a goal to derive 25% of our total energy from biomass by the year 2025. This goal is credible, as the DOE and USDA estimate that there are over 1 billion tons of biomass available annually in the USA. Penn State has strong research programs on the conversion of biomass to electricity, transportation fuels and co-product chemicals, stationary power, and heat, through thermal, chemical, and biological mechanisms. Find researchers in Bioconversion Technologies »

Outreach and Technology Transfer

Large, medium, and small scale biomass energy systems and corollary business models need to be developed and demonstrated with Pennsylvania agricultural producers and industry. State and local agencies, industry and our agricultural producers have shown a high interest in bringing this technology to farm, business, and industrial scales. Penn State Cooperative Extension is playing an increasing role in the training, planning and implementation necessary for these projects to succeed. Find researchers in Outreach and Technology Transfer »

Industry Research and Technology Transfer

Did you know that with almost $105 million in industry-sponsored research in FY 2008, Penn State ranks 3rd nationally in this category among universities? With more than 2,500 science and technology-based researchers at Penn State, the Industrial Research Office is available to help companies identify faculty members with the expertise to meet their research needs. The Intellectual Property Office protects the IP of all Penn State employees and promotes commercialization of University inventions through licensing agreements with industry partners. Learn more about the Penn State Research and Tech Transfer Organization.