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Biological Systems Engineering Bioenergy and Bioproducts

Research Corner: Dr. Manuel Garcia-Pérez

September 24, 2018  |  Pullman, WA

 

Dr. Manuel Garcia-PérezOur world’s dependency on fossil fuels is one of the biggest challenges facing society today. The planet’s fossil fuel reserves are declining and the side effects of extracting and using these fuels are damaging our environment. Thus, a top priority amongst researchers is finding a cleaner, sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. At Washington State University, one researcher is taking a unique approach to this global challenge. [Continue Reading on the WSU Research Page]

 

 

Read more on the WSU Research Page: Research Corner: Dr. Manuel Garcia-Pérez

Researchers collaborate with youth for science fair projects, encourage interest in STEM

September 7, 2018  |  Richland, WA  |  By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

Aftab Ahamed poses for a photo with his children, Afrah Aftab and Areeb Aftab, both from Hanford High School, who earned gold and silver at the Genius Olympiad International Science Fair RICHLAND, Wash. – High school students in the Tri-Cities have seen success not only at the state level in science fairs, but also at national and international competitions after collaborating with researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities for their research projects.

The goal of the partnerships, the professors said, is not only to provide students with exposure to a variety of science and engineering projects that can stand to have large impacts, but additionally so that more students will receive exposure to hands-on opportunities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. With this experience, the students can witness what is possible through those career paths, they said.

Continue Reading: Researchers collaborate with youth for science fair projects, encourage interest in STEM

 

 

Effects of Sugars, Furans, and their Derivatives on Hydrodeoxygenation of Biorefinery Lignin‐Rich Wastes to Hydrocarbons

July 02, 2018  |  Pullman, WA

 

Bin Yang ArticleBiological Systems Engineering Faculty Professor Bin Yang published the the research paper titled: “Effects of Sugars, Furans, and their Derivatives on Hydrodeoxygenation of Biorefinery Lignin‐Rich Wastes to Hydrocarbons

 

 

 

 

Abstract: Hydrodeoxygenation of biorefinery lignin‐rich wastes to jet fuel hydrocarbons offers a significant opportunity for enhancing the overall operational efficiency, carbon conversion efficiency, economic viability, and sustainability of biofuels production. However, these wastes usually mainly contain lignin with sugars, furans, and their derivatives as “impurities”. Although several factors, including reactant structure, solvents, or the decreased ratio of catalyst to reactant, could be responsible for the jet fuel hydrocarbons yield loss, we found evidence that glucose, xylose, and 5‐hydroxymethylfurfural dramatically decreased conversion yields. For example, xylose and glucose lowered the final hydrocarbon yield by 78 and 63 %, respectively. The results revealed that these compounds could suppress metal catalysts and inhibit lignin depolymerization and hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) reactions thus decrease yields of jet fuel range hydrocarbons from biomass‐derived lignin. The first‐principles calculations and TGA results from spent catalysts validated these findings.

 

Read more about the paper on the Wiley Online Library: Effects of Sugars, Furans, and their Derivatives on Hydrodeoxygenation of Biorefinery Lignin‐Rich Wastes to Hydrocarbons

WSU researchers creating catalyst to improve jet biofuel production

RICHLAND, Wash. – Efforts to create an environmentally friendly catalyst that will lower the cost and increase the efficiency in producing bio-based jet fuels has netted Washington State University researchers a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

WSU Tri-Cities associate professor Hanwu Lei and his research team aim to develop the catalyst — a substance that increases the rate of chemical reactions and lowers the energy needed to perform the reaction — from forestry and agricultural waste products.

 

[ Read full article in WSU Insider ]

 

Waled Suliman Receives 2018 Amazon Catalyst Grant

PULLMAN, Wash. – Amazon Catalyst program has awarded $177,735 in grants to 10 Washington State University teams comprised of students, faculty and staff across disciplines and locations.

The collaborative program between Amazon and WSU launched early in 2018 to fund projects deemed globally impactful and disruptive.

What are the next inventions that will change how people live their lives and conduct business? This is the question WSU’s Amazon Catalyst Program applicants are looking to answer with their disruptive ideas, innovative projects and impactful inventions.

 

[ Read full article in WSU Insider ]

“BeeToxx” Receives Second Place at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge

BeeToxx won the $10,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation second place prize at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge, hosted by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.The grand prize winners at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (EIC) proved to judges that gardening and innovation go together naturally. BioPots took home the $15,000 Wells Fargo prize with their biodegradable planter pots made from biomass waste like spent beer grains. The University of Washington team included three engineers from the Bioresource Science and Engineering program and a student from the Foster School of Business.

This year marked the 10th Anniversary of the EIC, hosted by the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. The competition also set a record with student teams from five different schools and universities in the Pacific Northwest taking home prizes. The $10,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation second place prize went to BeeToxx from Washington State University. The team of Bioengineering, Biology, Communication, and Entrepreneurship students developed a carbon-based microparticle solution that protects Honey Bee colonies exposed to harmful pesticides.

[ Read full story at Foster Blog ]

Biofuels Digest Features WSU Jet Fuel Research

January 11, 2018 | BiofuelsDisgest,  Jim Lane

Back in 2016, researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities landed a National Science Foundation I-Corps grant to explore the market potential of their biojet fuel research. The team had successfully demonstrated a new, water-based process for deconstructing and recovering lignin from biomass and converting it into jet fuel-range hydrocarbons. These could be certified as jet fuel in the future. Lignin, a polymer that makes plants woody and rigid, is a waste product in the biofuels production process.

Bin Yang, WSU Tri-Cities associate professor of biological systems engineering and principal investigator for the grant, holds a patent on the process.

“Our ultimate goal is to demonstrate a flexible catalytic process that selectively converts all the carbon in the lignin into jet fuel-range hydrocarbons at minimal cost,” Yang said at the time. Dr. Yang gave this illuminating update and overview of the technology’s progress and promise at ABLC Next in San Francisco.

[ Read the Digest’s 2018 Multi-slide Guide to jet fuel from biorefinery waste ]

Cellulosic Revelation

Sept 2017  | BIOFUELS JOURNAL

Snippet of Biofuels Journal cover, Second Quarter 2017Researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington have discovered that newly combined spectroscopy processes can reveal the differences between the inside and the outside of the molecular structure of cellulosic biomass.

view pdf of article in Biofuels Journal]

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