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Thinking Nanoscale: Fort Valley State University Researcher Uses Technology and Training to Help Students and Farmers

Nanotechnology involves seeing and controlling the smallest particles that make up products used in everyday life. As the global population continues to expand, Dr. Hari Singh’s research in this progressive science could help improve crop productivity and the environment.

“A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. When looking at materials at the nano size, the properties tend to change. It is easy to modify those properties for different purposes. There are millions of possibilities when applying nanotechnology to food, animals, drug delivery, diagnostics, therapeutics, and various consumer product developments,” Singh said.

The research expert said one viable solution to make biofuel more cost competitive is to produce high value co-products from lignocellulosic biomass using the biorefinery concept. A biorefinery is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power, heat, and value-added chemicals from biomass. Singh said value-added co-products could bring some additional income to rural farmers involved in biomass production.

In addition to helping rural farmers, Singh is training students on FVSU’s campus. He said, according to Data USA, only 4.3 percent of underrepresented students are in the nanotechnology workforce. “There is a national need. I want to develop a capacity in nanotechnology at Fort Valley State University (FVSU) so that we can move forward with research and produce qualified students who can seek more opportunities in the nanotechnology field,” he said.

NIFA supports this research through the 1890 Capacity Building Grants Program.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment
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