UGA lecturer urges make ‘more of biomass energy’

By for CAES News
By Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia

In fuel production, the new "black gold" grows green. And Princeton Environmental Institute's Eric Larson is working to make that green, or biomass, energy even more effective.

Larson brings his energy expertise to the annual D.W. Brooks Lecture as he speaks on "Making More of Biomass Energy" Oct. 2 at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. The annual lecture and awards ceremony will be at 11 a.m. in Masters Hall of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

Larson's talk will focus on "new and better ways of making transportation fuels from nonfood biomass," he said. "Georgia and the Southeastern U.S. in general have among the best climate and soils in the country for growing biomass.

"We can make considerably more effective and competitive use of biomass for transportation fuel than current 'first generation' fuels like corn ethanol and soy biodiesel," he said. "And we can do this with technologies that are either commercial today or could be within a couple of years."

The lecture will precede the presentation of this year's D.W. Brooks Faculty Awards for Excellence. The awards are given annually to UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty members who excel in teaching, research, extension and public service.

The awards were established in 1981 to recognize excellence in the CAES teaching program. In 1983, they expanded to include research, extension and county extension programs. An award for global programs was added in 1988 and is given in alternate years.

The lecture and awards are named for the late D.W. Brooks, founder of Gold Kist, Inc. Brooks was an advisor to seven U.S. presidents on agriculture and trade issues. He also started Cotton States Mutual Insurance Companies in 1941 to provide insurance to farmers. The CAES sponsors the annual lecture series in his memory.

Larson is a senior member of the PEI Energy Technology Assessment and Energy Policy Analysis Group. His studies address technologies relevant to both developed and developing countries. He co-leads a new PEI program on low-emission energy strategies and technologies for China involving collaboration with colleagues at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia Public Affairs Office.