Researchers from Oregon State University will receive $4.4 million as part of the Northwest Aviation Renewables Alliance, led by Washington State University.

“The primary goal of this initiative is to find new ways to produce aviation fuel and high value chemicals using a sustainable supply of biomass,” said John Sessions, a distinguished professor of forestry and holder of the Strachan Chair of Forest Operations Management at OSU.

“We hope to create a fuel that’s an exact substitute for existing aviation fuel,” he said. “This is a huge research initiative and an enormous logistical challenge that will require the work of many scientists atOSU and our partner institutions, and ultimately help provide millions of gallons of fuel a year.”

Much of the OSU work under NARA will focus on the production and logistics of getting woody biomass out of Pacific Northwest forests at an affordable cost.

“Calculations indicate that the cost of delivered forest wood residue is about half of the production cost of the final products,” Sessions said. “We need to find the best ways to bring residues resulting from harvests and forest health treatments out of the forests and get them to the processing plants.”

Other OSU scientists and engineers will also be involved in studies of forest health and hazard reduction; modeling of the biomass supply; protection of long-term site productivity; impacts on wildlife; genetic improvement of conifers; worker health and safety; and other topics.

Oregon State is a leading research university located in one of the safest, smartest, greenest small cities in the nation. Situated 90 miles south of Portland, and an hour from the Cascades or the Pacific Coast, Corvallis is the perfect home base for exploring Oregon’s natural wonders.

Oregon State University has always been a place with a purpose — making a positive difference in quality of life, natural resources and economic prosperity in Oregon and beyond.