This fall, three PhD students from Dr. Yuan Yao’s Sustainability Systems Analysis Lab were awarded for their research poster
- Darlene Echeverria, The American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) XIX Conference,“Generating Life Cycle Inventory Data of Pre-hydrolysis Kraft Pulp from Diverse Wood Sources Using Process Simulation”
- Kai Lan, International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST) Conference, “Techno-Economic Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment of Decentralized Preprocessing System for Fast Pyrolysis Biorefineries with Blended Feedstocks in the Southeastern United States.”
- Mochen Liao, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Conference, “Evaluating Variability of Energy Consumption and Carbon Emissions of Activated Carbon Production from Wood Using Artificial Neural Network Integrated Process Simulations.”
We asked Kai to elaborate on his current research topic and why he chose Forest Biomaterials to pursue doctoral studies. Here’s what he had to say.
Why Forest Biomaterials for graduate studies?
This department has shown great research power in biomass materials and sustainability related fields. I’ve always wanted to be a pioneer in this area! The poster competition was a great honor and opportunity for me to showcase my research and show others the importance of sustainability related research.
Tell us about your research.
My research is to quantify the economic feasibility and environmental impacts of using blended biomass feedstocks and decentralized preprocessing sites to produce biofuel in the southeastern US. This research hopes to provide more insightful information for decision and policy makers about the feasibility, vision, and impacts of adopting biofuel, as a great fossil fuel substitute to reduce environmental impacts and enhance energy security. Our research in sustainable engineering can support industrial and agricultural development without needing to compromise the environment or depleting resources for future generations.
How would you like to be making an impact in 5 years?
I would like to continue the research road in this field, developing useful and impacting tools and analysis for our society to solve its sustainability issue.
In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge of being a graduate student?
Being a graduate student means always being ready to learn new knowledge, overcome challenges, and create solutions.
What activities are you involved in?
I love mountain biking which requires high focus concentration and is a very good way to release the pressure. When I am riding it, nothing distracts me and all the thing I need to do is to control the bike and enjoy the speed.