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EIU Master of Science in Sustainability

Chinese Students Strive for Biomass Breakthrough


In an era of limited resources, environmental concerns and extreme poverty in many parts of the world, renewable energy development has become a necessity not just in the USA but around the world. Eastern Illinois University continues to be a leader in sustainability research and specifically work with biomass as energy. Wei Wang and Chengdong Hu, Chinese international students at EIU, are both in engaged with biomass research that could change the way energy is produced both here and in China.

Wei, a graduate student in Technology, is currently working with Dr. Peter Ping Liu and Dr. Jerry Cloward to compare the energy conversion efficiency from burning different biomass. According to Wei, higher conversion efficiency fuels could be identified through comparison, thus providing more alternatives for renewable energy resources and gradually replacing the burning of fossil fuels. “China is the biggest consumer of fossil fuels in the world. If we can turn crop waste (one sort of biomass) into something valuable, the potential for energy production is unlimited.”

Chengdong, a senior Applied Engineering and Technology student, is working on similar research with Dr. Cloward which tests the heat value of material to create efficient energy pellets. 

“I never expected to have the opportunity to do this kind of research as an undergraduate student. Professors are very willing to work with us and I even get to work with brand new equipment.”

Both Chengdong and Wei came to EIU through a relationship EIU has developed with Zhijiang College, in Hangzhou, China. Chengdong is in his last year of a 2+2 agreement through which students study two years at Zhijiang and two years at EIU.

Chengdong plans to continue his education at EIU by applying to graduate school and continuing the research.“Professors give more attention and opportunities to students at EIU than in China or at larger schools in the US." Wei plans on gaining work experience in the US post-graduation before ultimately returning to China.

“My hope is that this type of technology will continue to be developed through China’s sustainability policy. With so much smoke and pollution, more innovative techniques are necessary.”


查尔斯顿,IL 12月3日,2012

在这个资源有限的时代、世界许多地方面临着环境问题和极端贫穷等问题。 可再生能源的发展不仅在美国,乃至全世界都已成为一种需求。东伊利诺伊大学(EIU)作为在可持续发展能源研究方面的先驱。东伊利诺伊大学致力于研究生物质能。中国留学生王威和胡成栋都参与了生物质能研究的课题。

王威现为我校应用工程与技术学院的研究生。目前王威在刘平和Jerry Cloward两位教授的带领下研究比较不同的生物质燃烧能量转换效率。王威表示高转换效率的燃料可以通过比较确定,从而为人类提供更多可再生能源替代品,这类代替品将逐步取代化石燃料的燃烧。“中国是世界最大的化石燃料消费国。如果我们可以把农作废物(一种生物质)转化为有价值的能源、那么能源再生潜力将是无穷的。”

胡成栋现为我校大四学生,就读于应用工程与技术学院,在Cloward教授的指导下同样进行再生能源(生物质能)的研究。他们通过测试材料反应释放出来的热量来开发有效的能源颗粒材料。胡成栋说:“我从没想过作为一个本科学生会有机会参与这种研究。教授们都很愿意跟我们交流, 我甚至开始接触一些对我而言是全新的设备。”






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Contact Information

Dr. Nichole Hugo
Associate Professor &
Graduate Coordinator of Sustainability

600 Lincoln Ave,
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-8595

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