FESC Bio Fuel Expertise

Florida produces more biomass than any other state in the U.S. The consortium’s bio fuel and jet fuel expertise include energy crops, field testing of crops producing oils and terpenes, and converting hydrocarbons or biomass into bio fuels. A systems approach is being pursued to optimize water and land use, biomass harvesting and transport, and refining processes. The internationally recognized SUS researchers, the biomass production potential, and significant demonstration projects provide promise to establish a leadership position by the State University System (SUS).

Core Faculty

Faculty University Expertise Position / Department
Energy Crops and Trees
Bala Rathinasabapathi UF/IFAS Metabolic engineering of plants for increased biomass yield Professor, Horticultural Sciences
David Wright UF/IFAS Production and management of oilseed crops and impacts on following crops/ soil parameters and variety evaluation Professor, Agronomy,

NFREC, Quincy

Fredy Altpeter UF/IFAS Traditional plant breeding, genetic transformation and genome editing technology, functional genomics toward genetically improved biomass grasses Professor, Agronomy Department
Gary Peter UF/IFAS Tree breeding and genetics of wood formation, improved utilization in biobased products, bioenergy, forest carbon sequestration; jet fuel from terpenes Professor, Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
James P. Cuda UF/IFAS Biological control of invasive plants Professor and Fulbright Scholar, Biological Weed Control
Jim Marois UF/IFAS Plant Pathology, Integrated pest management, Epidemiology Professor, Plant Pathology,

NFREC, Quincy

Lynn Sollenberger UF/IFAS Energy crops, soil carbon sequestration, alternative nitrogen sources Professor, Agronomy Department
Rob Gilbert UF/IFAS Sugarcane and energy cane cultivar development, green cane harvesting, transgenic sugarcane. Professor and Chair, Agronomy Department
Sheeja George UF/IFAS Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, production practices and microbial diversity, root-microbe interactions, nutrient cycling enzymes, soil health. Biological Scientist NFREC-Quincy
Wilfred Vermerris UF/IFAS Improving crops that can be used for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals, genetic approaches to not only improve the performance and yield of the crop, but also the bioprocessing characteristics and properties of the materials that can be produced from plant biomass. Professor, Microbiology and Cell Science
Biochemical Conversion
Lonnie Ingram UF/IFAS Metabolic Engineering; Production of ethanol and value-added chemicals from biomass and renewable cellulosic waste Emeritus Faculty, Microbiology and Cell Science
K.T. Shanmugam UF/IFAS Bacterial anaerobic metabolism; metabolic engineering of bacteria for production of fuels and chemicals Professor, Microbiology and Cell Science
Pratap Pullammanappallil UF/IFAS Process design, modeling, optimization, and control with applications in fuel production Associate Professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Zhaohui (Julene) Tong UF/IFAS Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels, chemicals and materials, lignin depolymerization to make aromatic hydrocarbons for jet fuel engine, synthesis bionanocomposites from biorefinery residues Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Super Critical Conversion      
Aydin Sunol USF Systems Engineering, Supercritical fluid technology, Green Engineering, Product and Process Design Professor, Chemical Engineering
Thermochemical Conversion
Ali T-Raissi UCF/FSEC Biomass conversion, hydrogen production and storage, detection and sensing, solar fuels Director, Advanced Energy Research Division
Nazim Muradov UCF/FSEC Biomass derived fuels, hydrocarbon processing Hydrogen production, fuel cells, sensors Principal Research Scientist, Florida Solar Energy Center
Jacob Chung UF Thermal-chemical conversion of biomass and municipal solid waste to syngas, high-temperature steam gasification, syngas conversion to liquid fuels by Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Progress Energy Eminent Scholar Chair Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
John Kuhn USF Biofuels, hydrogen generation and purification, and electrocatalysis, materials synthesis, characterization, separations, and sustainability Associate Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Babu Joseph USF Biomass, gasification, Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis of Synthetic Liquid Fuels, Methane Reforming, Landfill gas reforming Professor, Chemical Engineering

Infrastructure, Facilities, and Other

  • Fully equipped biochemical R&D laboratory focused on biomass conversion, biofuels and bioproducts
  • Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC); US – India partnership.
  • Bench scale reactors for converting syngas to liquid fuels using Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis
  • Catalyst Synthesis and characterization equipment. (Other facilities include GC/MS, FTIR, XPS for Characterization)
  • Combustion Laboratory – TVC combustor
  • Engine Testing – dynamometer and gas analyzer
  • Indoor pilot laboratory for technology testing and demonstration
  • Bio-based materials laboratory (800ft) includes homogenizer (for particle disrupting) Malvern Nanosizer (nanoparticles characterization), Agilent-HPSC systems equipped with RI and UV-detectors and also be functioned as GPC with GPC software add-ons and the columns (for biomass characterization and monomer sugar analysis, molecular weight measurements of biomass and biomaterials), High Temperature Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA) with DSC (for thermal properties’ measurements of biomaterials)
  • Physical Properties laboratories (800ft) includes assorted instruments and apparatus for measurement and determination of physical and rheological properties such a tensile strength, and flexural strength measurements of bio-based materials