Energy and Biofuels

Research in this area has been concentrated on developing a fundamental understanding of catalysts, biocatalysts and processes relevant for production of fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks (e.g., cellulosic biomass).

Research areas include:

  • Understanding the biosynthesis, chemical processing, ultrastructural/molecular organization, structure-function relationships, and enzymatic deconstruction of glycans (i.e., carbohydrates) for bioenergy related applications
  • Engineering and multiscale characterization of biocatalysts (i.e., enzymes, microbes)
  • Rational design and synthesis of novel heterogeneous catalysts, electrocatalysts and nanocatalysts and investigation of their catalytic properties & applications
  • Design and optimization of catalytic and biocatalytic processes for renewable feedstock based biorefineries
  • Synthetic biology and engineering of microbial systems for production of fuels and chemicals
  • Biorefinery process modeling and simulation
  • Modeling of Biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals using technoeconomic analysis and Life Cycle Assessment

Faculty in Biofuels and Energy Research: Asefa, Celik, Chundawat, Ierapetritou, Tsilomelekis, Zhang

Representative Research Figure/Caption

Engineering Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes or CAZymes for Biofuels Related Applications (Shishir Chundawat)

Overall Framework for the design of an economic, sustainable and energy efficient process flowsheet