Richard Gustafson

Richard Gustafson

Biofuels and bio-based products; Process simulation; Process control; Instrument development

Office: Bloedel 364
Phone: 206-543-2790 
Email: pulp@uw.edu


B.S., Wood and Fiber Science, University of Washington, 1977
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, 1982

A worldwide effort is underway to produce the fuels and chemicals we use every day from biomass instead of petroleum. This transformation has enormous technical and economic challenges that must be met to be successful. The bioresrouce science and engineering interest group is investigating development of integrated biorefineries that produce a range of products, from commodity fuels to high value food additives, from biomass. These biorefineries are characterized by having good process economics with minimal environmental impact. Process simulation is the major tool we use for our process development work. We work with our colleagues doing fundamental research to integrate state-of-the-art conversion technologies to produce globally optimized processes. Results from our process models are then used in economic assessments to determine financial viability and in life cycle assessments to evaluate the broad environmental impact of candidate process configurations. Our process modeling work also extends to developing new methods to measure and control critical unit operations in biorefineries. We working with chemists to develop robust probes to measure critical performance variables and developing process control strategies to maximize productivity and product quality.
Courses Taught:Quarter offered:
BSE 422 Bioresource Engineering III (4)Autumn
BSE 480 Bioresource Design I (4)Winter
BSE 481 Bioresource Design II (5)Spring
Current Sponsored Research:
Production of Aviation Biofuels
System for advanced biofuels production from woody biomass
Recent Publications:
Dou, C., Ewanick., S., Bura., R., and Gustafson., R. 2016. Post-treatment mechanical refining as a method to improve overall sugar recovery of steam pretreated hybrid poplar. Bioresource Technology 207: 157-165.
Budsberg, E., Crawford, J., Gustafson, R., Bura, R., and Puettmann, M. 2015. Ethanologens vs. acetogens: Environmental impacts of two ethanol fermentation pathways. Biomass and Bioenergy 83: 25-31.
Ewanick, S., Schmitt, E., Gustafson, R., and Bura, R. 2014. Use of Raman spectroscopy for continuous monitoring and control of lignocellulosic biorefinery processes. Pure and Applied Chemistry 86: 867-879.