Humboldt State's Waste to Wisdom is a biomass research project focused on the conversion of forest residues into renewable energy and other valuable bio-based products.

Forest residues include small-diameter trees and other materials often burned or left to decay due to the high cost associated with collection and transportation. But these residues provide an opportunity to create useful products, such as biochar and briquettes.

The Waste to Wisdom project studies the use of biomass conversion technologies that are capable of operating near forest harvest operations. This proximity adds value while significantly reducing transportation costs. Additionally, new methods of collection and transportation are being examined.

An environmental, economic, and market analysis of the lifecycle of biomass conversion products also will be conducted. The goal is to increase awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of utilizing forest residues.

The project is led by Professor Han-Sup Han of Humboldt State's Department of Forestry & Wildland Sciences, with multiple regional partners—including universities, government forest and land management agencies, private logging and forest companies, and other industry leaders.

Waste to Wisdom is funded through a three-year, $5.88 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It is part of the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, a collaborative effort of the DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.