Northeast Woody/Warm Season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio)

USDA / 2012-17. Project Director: Tom Richard, Director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and Environment.

The Northeast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio) is a regional network of universities, businesses, and governmental organizations dedicated to building robust, scalable, and sustainable value chains for energy and bioproducts based on biomass. NEWBio focuses on feedstock produced from the perennials shrub willow, miscanthus and switchgrass, and annual crops produced with a low net greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint and that enhance ecosystem services.

Dr. Kemanian, along with S. Spatari from Drexel University, lead the Sustainability Thrust and the modeling applications. Our team has experiments measuring carbon dioxide and water exchange using eddy covariance techniques, nitrogen cycling using stable isotopes, and biomass trials for both willows and warm season grasses. Our team also applies the simulation model Cycles to assess water use, nutrient cycling, carbon storage and other variables of interest for the economic productivity and environmental sustainability of biomass crops production.

Led by Penn State University, NEWBio includes partners from Cornell University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, West Virginia University, Delaware State University, Ohio State University, Rutgers University, USDA’s Eastern Regional Research Center, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory, and partner companies throughout the value chain from crop genetics to fuel use, as well as state and local agencies, industry associations, citizen groups, and environmental and economic development organizations with an established track record of collaboration and impact.