Research Forest Products Technologist
USDA FS Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
One Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, WI 53726
In 2007-2012, in cooperation with industry partners and faculty at several universities through the Consortium on Research for Renewable Industrial Material, Richard began a series of research projects focusing on investigating the environmental impacts of virgin manufacturing and reclaiming wood building materials in the United States, particularly for the eastern United States.
He prepared comprehensive environmental performance estimates on producing these wood
products based on material and energy inputs. These estimates included a broad range of
environmental outputs to air, water, and land. In 2007-2012, Richard discovered that a larger portion of carbon dioxide was from biogenic than from anthropogenic (fossil) sources for all types of virgin lumber produced. In addition, he found that the amount of carbon stored in these lumber products far outweighed, up to a factor of 10, the amount of anthropogenic carbon emissions released.
Furthermore, Richard demonstrated that the geographic location of the production facility played a role in total CO2 released. He developed carbon balances on wood products that aided the understanding of the global carbon balance and helped submit critically reviewed LCI data into the U.S. LCI Database. Currently, Richard is a member of a funded BRDI proposal in which he will be evaluating on an environmental basis, the consequences of using biobased products from woody biomass gasification compared to the commercially available fossil fuel-equivalent products. He will be a team member with Drs. Han, Oneil and Puettmann to evaluate the environmental performance of three biobased products and will lead the effort on biochar and briquettes.