US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Dr. Hongmei Gu

Hongmei Gu

Research Forest Products Technologist
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
United States

Phone: 608-231-9589
Fax: 608-231-9508
Contact Hongmei Gu

Current Research


Life Cycle Cost Analysis for mass timber buildings in North American.

Life Cycle Analysis on Cross-laminated-timber as tall building materials.

Life Cycle Analysis on Biofuel, Bioproducts from forest or mill residues using modular biomass gasification system.

Life Cycle Analysis on Nanocellulose produced from wood chips or paper pulp at a large scale.

Life Cycle primary energy and carbon footprint of recovering wood from buildings for reuse and comparing to virgin wood building materials.

Research Interests


Environmental Building Declaration for mass timber buildings in North American.

Environmental impacts from Biofuel, Bioproducts and newly developed biocomposite from woody biomass using Life Cycle Analysis techniques.

Environmental Product Declaration research for wood and biomass products.

Nanocellulose materials production and applications.

Environmental impacts from woody biomass Nanocellulose production and applications.

Past Research

Implementing Cellulose NanoCrystals (CNC) and Cellulose NanoFribrils (CNF) mass production pilot plant;

Model for Assessing the Climate Change Impact Associated with Wood Building Materials Reuse & recycling;

Design and produce samples of patented new 3D Engineered Fiberboard from forests and agricultural residues;

Why This Research is Important

Life cycle cost (LCC) analysis is an economic technique to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of building designs or explore trade-offs between intial costs and long-term cost savings, and to identify cost-effective systems for a given application.  

Life-cycle inventories (LCIs) and Life-cycle assessments (LCAs) of wood products are critically needed 1) to support LCA calculations and material selection decisions under Green Building codes and standards and 2) to provide data needed for environmental products declarations for wood products and thereby maintain their competitiveness.

LCI and LCA information can aid wood product manufactureres and users by identifying and modifying processess that have the highest environmental impacts and thereby reduce the overall emissions. These information can also provide the policy makers with the insights to lead sustainable management practices in the forest products industries.


  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Ph.D. Wood Science and Forest Products 2001
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, M.S. Wood Science and Forest Products 1998
  • Beijing Forestry University, B.S. Forest Engineering 1987

Professional Experience

  • Forest Products Technologist, USDA Forest Products Laboratory
    2013 - Current
    Carrying research on economic impacts from mass timber buildings using LCC tool, and environmental impacts from Biofuel and Bioproducts conversion from forest and mill residues using modular Biomass thermal conversion unit.
  • President, Founder, B-One Technology Consulting, LLC
    2008 - 2013
    Assisting Forest Products Lab with developing the first pilot line for mass producing Cellulose NanoCrystal and Cellulose NanoFribrils; Studying carbon footprints for recycled wood building materials and comparing the environmental impacts between the reused materials and virgin building materials; Developing patented 3D-engineered fiberboard using recycled or agricultural fibers;

Professional Organizations

  • IUFRO Working Party 5.12.01- Life Cycle Analysis of Forest Products, Officeholder (2016 - Current)
    To lead a Research Group in its scientific and business activities; To initiate and encourage the organization of meetings and scientific study tours of the Research Group and Working Parties between Congresses, to organize Research Group meetings during Congresses, to be responsible for the programme of these meetings, and normally to act as their Chair; To suggest topics or problems to involve the Research Group; To propose the programmes of work of the IUFRO Research Group and Working Parties; To prepare and distribute periodic reports of the Research Group activities To arrange for publications related to the Research Group activities;
  • Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST), Member (1997 - Current)
    Presenting research at SWST annual conferences; reviewing manuscripts for the Wood & Fiber Science journal related to wood physics and wood composite. Was one-term member of Wood Adward Committee, evaluating the candidates' award papers.
  • Forest Products Society (FPS), Member (1997 - 2007)
    Presenting research at the annual conferences; being a judge for Students' Poster competition;
  • Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST), Chair Of The Visiting Scientist Committee (1997 - 2007)
    Update the Visiting Scientists profile, communicating with the members, soliciting the applications, and evaluating the applications.

Awards & Recognition

  • Sciety of Wood Science and Technology (SWST) George Marra Award -- First Place , 2019
    The Award recognizes excellence in writing and research, given to the papers published in the four quarterly issues of Wood and Fiber Science Journal.
  • Patent, 2013
    Engineered Modeled Fiberboard Panels and Products Fabricated from the Panels
  • The Best of Technical Paper Award, 2004
    Won the award while attending and presenting a paper on "Finite Element Analyses of Two Dimensional, Anisotropic Heat Transfer in Wood using ANSYS" at the 2004 International ANSYS Conference

Featured Publications & Products



Research Highlights


Environmental building declaration prepared using life cycle assessment

An environmental building declaration for the Design Building on the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts was prepared from a whole ...


Life Cycle Assessment of Activated Carbon from Woody Biomass

Expanding biofuels and bioproducts production using forest biomass as feedstock contributes to not only alternatives to U.S. fossil fuels, but a ...


New bio-based technology uses waste wood to produce high-value activated carbon

Forest Service scientists investigated making activated carbon products from renewable woody biomass material such as forest or mill residues fo ...


Last updated on : 01/03/2022