Manuel Garcia-Pérez, Ph.D.
Department Chair & Professor
Dr. Garcia-Perez’s work is in the Bioenergy and Bioproducts Engineering research emphasis area and addresses the environmental burden associated with the world’s declining petroleum resources. He is currently working on new Thermochemical conversion concepts— a process that converts biomass waste, such as forest residues, sugar cane bagasse, triglycerides, sugars, and starch, into transportation fuels and chemicals.
Garcia-Perez and his research partners have worked for more than eight years in novel approaches to characterize bio-oils produced from diverse agricultural and forest feedstock’s.
“Major contributions have been made in the use of new analytical approaches to characterize these complex liquids. Instead of using analytical techniques targeting individual compounds, our research targets characterization approaches that emphasize chemical groups or fractions. This approach is very useful for creating a rational platform for new refineries.”
As the importance of biomass for fuels, chemicals, building materials, and clothing continues to increase, students must learn how to integrate thermal, biological, chemical and mechanical conversion approaches to utilize these resources.
“University professors must be motivators and use available opportunities to tell stories of success and to introduce great researchers and business people as models. We must also recognize the achievements of our students and encourage them to work for their dreams.”
See more at my Research Site.
Email Dr. Garcia-Pérez
L.J. Smith Hall 205
Biological Systems Engineering
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6120
My Research In the News
Residents Hope to Prevent Wildfire With BioChar
September 23, 2021 | NWPB
How Residents In The Methow Valley Are Hoping To Prevent Wildfire By Creating BioChar.
Residents in the Methow Valley are applying pyrolysis to reduce an overabundance of small-diameter trees and woody debris, which has built up over decades in the surrounding forests. Pyrolysis takes this excess biomass and heats it beyond typical combustion temperatures in a low-oxygen environment. From this, the forest fuel load is reduced and carbon from the biomass stays stored in the by-products.
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Areas of Expertise
- Identification of key problems in chemical processes and their causes using cost and quality criteria
- Generation, screening, evaluation, design and implementation of alternatives to solve engineering problems
- Use of computer techniques, numerical methods, statistical techniques, optimization, modelling and chemical engineering principles to study and improve the performance of chemical plants
- Project conception and implementation (at laboratory, bench and pilot scale) to determine the best operational and design parameters for a desired application
- Use of analytical techniques (proximate and elemental analysis, TG/DTG, DSC, GPC, GC, UV-Fluorescence, Karl-Fischer titration, GC/MS, Py-GC/MS, ESCA, FTIR, microscopy, steady and dynamic rheology, ASTM fuel characterization methods, ash characterization techniques etc) to study the behaviour of complex materials in industrial units.
- Special training in: Thermochemical conversion of biomass, Applications of Pitch, Coke, Bio-oils and Char, Fuel characterization techniques, mineral processing technologies, hydrogen production, liquids and solid combustion,fuel spray characterization, droplets evaporation and combustion kinetics,application of products from Thermochemical reactions of biomass. Bio-oil based refinery concepts.
- Associate Professor, Dept. Biological Systems Engineering,Washington State University; Pullman, WA. Working in fundamental studies to understand cellulose and lignin pyrolysis mechanisms. The development of selective pyrolysis reactors and bio-refinery concepts to convert bio-oils into bio-fuels and bio-chemicals.
2013 – present.
- Assistant Professor, Dept. Biological Systems Engineering,Washington State University; Pullman, WA. Developing a program in Biomass Thermochemical Conversion. 2007 – 2013.
- Post doctoral research fellow, Monash University; Melbourne, Australia. Responsible for the improvement of a fast pyrolysis reactor to produce bio-oils from Mallee trees. Characterization, up-grading and combustion of bio-oils and chars. Study of generation of oligomers during pyrolysis. 2006 – 2007
- University of Georgia and EPRIDA (Athens, Georgia, USA). In charge of improving and designing of Thermochemical reactors and analytical laboratories. The main responsibility was to improve and design Thermochemical reactors (Continuous Auger and Batch pyrolysis reactors) and to identify and install new analytical equipments (DSC/TG-MS, Karl-Fischer, Rota-evaporators, GC analyser, CHNS-O, Proximate analysers) for a Thermochemical laboratory. Development of new applications for pyrolysis products in the agriculture. Study of fuel properties of bio-oil/bio-diesel blends. 2005 – 2006
- LAVAL UNIVERSITY; Quebec City, Canada. CANMET (Advanced Combustion Technologies, NRCan); Ottawa, Canada and PYROVAC; Quebec City, Canada. In charge of a project to study the fuel properties of vacuum pyrolysis oils obtained from wood industry residues. Scholarship of Doctorate from the Laval University Foundation. 1 month of internship at the “CO2 solution” pilot plant. 2001 – 2005
- Post-doc at the Chemical Engineering Department. Monash University; Melbourne, Australia. 2006-07
- Post-doc at the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Dept, Univ. of Georgia; Athens, Georgia, USA. 2005-06
- Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Universite Laval; Quebec, Canada; 2005.
- M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, Universite Lava; Quebec, Canada; 2001
- M.Eng. in Process Engineering, University of Orient; Santiago de Cuba; 1998
- B.E. in Chemical Engineering, University of Orient; Santiago de Cuba; 1995