BIORESOURCE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING INTEREST GROUP
The Bioresource Science and Engineering (BSE) interest group does research on conversion of cellulosic biomass
to fuels, chemicals, and high value products. Research areas include process development and simulation, natural
products chemistry, bioconversion methods, and techno-economic analysis. Faculty in the interest group work closely
with faculty from Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Mechanical Engineering to investigate the fundamentals of
biomass conversion and to develop new processes for making fuels, chemicals, and bio-based products that are
economically viable and environmentally beneficial.
Course work in this program is flexible to cover the diversity
of student interests within the interest group. The interest group is highly interdisciplinary and students with
backgrounds in chemistry, biology, and engineering are encouraged to apply.
Research in the BSE interest group covers a broad range of areas related to the production of fuels, chemicals
and products from biomass: The research can be divided into four main areas:
- • Resource assessment and development:
A viable biofuels industry will require processes that can use a variety of
biomass resources. We are investigating the use of residual materials — forest, agriculture, municipal waste —
and plantation feedstocks such as poplar trees and reeds for biorefineries. The environmental impact and
product quality associated with use of these feedstocks is a major research focus.
- • Chemistry and biology of bioconversion processes:
A fundamental understanding of the chemistry and biology of bioconversion
processes is essential to develop superior processes for conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals.
Researchers in this area are developing new analysis techniques for evaluating bioconversion processes
and new organisms that promise to result in better process yields and superior product quality.
- • Biorefinery process development and simulation:
We are collaborating with faculty in Chemical Engineering and Mechanical
Engineering to develop new processes for converting biomass to fuels and chemicals. Features of these
processes include their ability to handle mixed feedstocks and their profitability at moderate economies
of scale. Example projects include development of novel low energy separation processes and life cycle
analysis of new biorefinery systems.
- • Manufacture of high value co-products:
One route to economic viable biorefineries is the capability to produce
high value co-products. We are doing research on processes that will produce biofuels, such as ethanol,
along with high value chemicals and bio-based products. An important thrust of this research is to
re-envision pulp and paper mills to be forest biorefineries co-producing high value paper products,
chemicals, and biofuels.
The Bioresource Science and Engineering group has excellent facilities. These include individual faculty
laboratories, and a newly renovated 1,600 sq. ft. Bioresource Laboratory which includes a wide array of
analytical equipment, such as HPLCs, and processing equipment such as fermenters and separation apparatuses.
In addition, we have a 3,600 sq. ft. pilot facility with many unit operations for converting biomass into the
fuels, chemical, and products. These facilities provide the capability to carry out fundamental research as
well as commercialize new bioprocessing technologies.
Details about specific research projects can be found on individual faculty web sites. For current funded
grants in this interest group click here.
|Faculty||Areas of Interest
G. Graham Allan
Fiber composites; Polymer science;Creativity and innovation; Controlled release systems
Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass; Biomaterials from lignin and plant components
Synthesis of nanomaterials from biomass; characterization of biomaterials and their applications in multifunctional composites and environmental remediation
Phytoremediation; Plant biotechnology
Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass
Biofuels and bio-based products; Process simulation; Process control; Instrument development
Surface and colloid science of papermaking; Secondary fiber recycling
Pulp and paper engineering
Thermochemical conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into fuels and chemicals
For further information:
Interest Group Coordinators: Dr. Rick Gustafson and
Dr. Renata Bura
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2100
email email@example.com or
firstname.lastname@example.org; FAX 206-685-3091; Phone 206-543-7346