Environmental Industry Blog

Dr. Hopke Leads Biomass Combustion Research Projects at Clarkson University

Author: on March 4th, 2014
Topic: Environment » Sustainability

Photo of Sustainable Biomass Wood Pellets

With energy costs rising and increasing awareness of environmental damage from fossil fuel emissions, the quest for sustainable energy that burns with fewer toxic emissions is at the forefront of environmental research. Biomass combustion may be a promising source of sustainable energy that is more affordable and pollutes less than burning fossil fuels.

Philip K. Hopke, PhD, the Bayard D. Clarkston Distinguished Professor at Clarkson University, is contributing his scientific expertise and extensive experience in environmental sustainability research to investigate biomass combustion as an affordable, sustainable energy source to reduce heating costs and improve air quality.

Recently New York Governor Cuomo announced a series of new projects funded by NYSERDA focused on biomass combustion heating projects, including multiple projects involving Clarkson University where Professor Philip K. Hopke is the principal investigator.

Time Warner Cable News quoted Dr. Hopke explaining the purpose of the six projects currently under his leadership at Clarkson University. He summarized them as being “… a way to both save money and develop the local economy and produce less CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.”

Aspects of the projects include installing wood pellet boilers into basements and publishing both the costs and savings to the public.

Arthur Hurlbut, a researcher at SUNY Canton, suggests that the energy cost for heating homes and buildings could be as much as 50 percent less given the current market prices of wood pellets as compared to fuel oil.

Dr. Hopke indicated that the public schools he is aware of are lowering their ongoing heating costs significantly with wood pellet boilers as compared to traditional systems that burn fossil fuels.

A significant reduction of heating costs in northern climates serves as a powerful motivational tool to drive widespread adoption of biomass combustion, and everyone benefits when lower amounts of CO2 and toxic emissions are released into the air we breathe.

Complete coverage and videos are available by visiting the Time Warner Cable News website.