Biomass and Biofuel

FESC Biomass Expertise and Resources

FESC Biofuel Expertise and Research

 

Developing Florida’s Biomass Resources

FESC Biomass Expertise and Resources

The State of Florida produces more biomass than any other state in the U.S. (7% of total). Given the state’s dependence on imported oil for transportation fuels and the value of transportation to our tourism industry, developing methods to convert this resource to fuels is important. The Consortium is pursuing microbial and gasification routes to produce this carbon-neutral fuel. In addition, algae production systems promise a direct route to fuel, along with its use for bioremediation of agricultural waste water and production of products from the residual biomass. 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 demonstrations projects provide promise to establish a leadership position by the SUS.

 

 

Core Faculty

Faculty

University

Expertise

Department or Position

Abdul Malik

USF

Analytical separations, sample preparation techniques, hyphenation of sample preparation and separation techniques Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
Alan W. Hodges

UF

Economic analysis of biomass energy resource development Extension Scientist, Food and Resource Economics
Ali T-Raissi

UCF

Hydrogen production and storage, detection and sensing, solar fuels, biomass conversion Director, Advanced Energy Research Division
Ann C. Wilkie

UF

Anaerobic biotechnology and biogas production from biomass and organic residues; Bioprospecting and cultivation of algae for biofuel production, nutrient recovery and wastewater remediation. Professor, Soil and Water Science Department
Ashvini Chauhan

FAMU

Algal Biofuels. Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology; Biodegradation Assistant Professor, School of the Environment
Aydin Sunol

USF

Systems Engineering, Supercritical fluid technology, Green Engineering, Product and Process Design Professor, Chemical Engineering
Babu Joseph

USF

Biomass, gasification, Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis of Synthetic Liquid Fuels, corrosion, education Chairperson/Professor, Chemical Engineering
Bala Rathinasabapathi

UF

Metabolic engineering of plants for increased biomass yield Associate Professor, Horticultural Sciences
Brenton Greska

FSU

Solar-based alternative energy sources, advanced PEM fuel cells and advanced catalysis Assistant Research Sc., Mechanical Eng.
Chaouki Ghenai

FAU

Biodiesel, wind farm design, biomass and coal co-firing Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Ed Phlips

UF

Biology, ecology, and management of algae and aquatic microorganisms Professor, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Eqwu Eric Kalu

FSU

Materials synthesis for applications in sustainable energy generation Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Fredy Altpeter

UF

Traditional plant breeding, genetic transformation technology, functional genomics toward genetically improved biomass grasses Associate Professor, Agronomy
Gary Peter

UF

Tree breeding genetics of wood formation, improved utilization in biobased products, bioenergy, forest carbon sequestration Associate Professor, Forest Resources and Conservation
Gbola Adesogan

UF

Anaerobic fermentation of crops and grasses Associate Professor, Animal Sciences Department
George P. Philippidis

USF

Cellulosic and algal biofuel and bioproduct technology development and commercialization; biomass-to-power commercial projects Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Helena Hagelin-Weaver

UF

Heterogeneous catalysis, biomass, gasification, catalytic reactions that have environmental benefits Assistant Professor Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Herbert A. Ingley

UF

Energy systems, HVAC, indoor air quality, CHP Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Jacob Chung

UF

Fluid mechanics, boiling heat transfer in micro-gravity, biomass gasification, Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Progress Energy Professor, Mechanical Engineering
James F. Preston

UF

Selection of bacterial enzymes for the depolymerization of plant biomass and its fermentative conversion to alternative fuels and bio-based products Professor, Microbiology and Cell Science
James P. Cuda

UF

Biological control of invasive plants Associate Professor, Biological Weed Control
John Kuhn

USF

Biofuels, hydrogen generation and purification, and electrocatalysis, materials synthesis, characterization, separations, and sustainability Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Jon Stewart

UF

Biomass, lignin, interdisciplinary research in chemistry, biology and nanotechnology Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering
Juan Ordonez

FSU

Photobioreactors, thermal management, constructal theory, solar-thermal fuel cells, biomass, hybrid power generation Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
K.T. Shanmugam

UF

Bacterial anaerobic metabolism, dinitrogen fixation and production by fermentative bacteria and cyanobacteria, molybdate transport and regulation Professor, Microbiology and Cell Science
Lonnie Ingram

UF

Metabolic Engineering; Production of ethanol and value-added chemicals from biomass and renewable cellulosic waste Distinguished Professor and Director, Microbiology and Cell Science
Lynn Sollenberger

UF

Energy crops, soil carbon sequestration, alternative nitrogen sources Professor, Agronomy Department
Marian Marinescu

UF

Biomass (UF- IFAS Extension) Assistant Professor
Matias Kirst

UF

Discovery of genes, metabolic and regulatory networks that control variation in wood quality, growth and other important traits for the forestry and agronomic industry Assistant Professor, Quantitative Genetics
Nazim Muradov

UCF

Hydrogen production, fuel cells, sensors, biomass derived fuels, hydrocarbon processing Principal Research Scientist, Florida Solar Energy Center
Norman Munroe

FIU

Biomass gasification, PEM fuel cells and micro-fuel cell power sources, SOFC, coal gasification Professor and Associate Dean, Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Pratap Pullammanappallil

UF

Process design, modeling, optimization, and control with applications in fuel production Associate Professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Spyros Svoronos

UF

Biological Wastewater Treatment, Particle Processing Professor
Stephen Miller

UF

Biomass to chemicals feedstock and polymers Associate Professor of Chemistry
Subramanian Ramakrishnan

FSU

Physics and chemistry of complex fluids as applied to biomass energy conversion Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Valerie Crecy-Lagard

UF

Microbial genetics Assistant professor, Microbiology and Cell Science
Wendy Graham

UF

Subsurface flow and solute transport modeling; groundwater resources evaluation and remediation; evaluation of impacts of agricultural production on surface and groundwater quality; evaluation of impacts of climate variability and climate change on water resources ; stochastic modeling and data assimilation Carl S. Swisher Chair, in Water Resources, Director
William Lear

UF

Semi-closed cycle gas turbine systems, Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis, fuel cells, distributed energy, refrigeration Director, Energy & Gasdynamic Systems Laboratory
Yogi Goswami

USF

Solar thermal, thermodynamics, heat transfer, HVAC, photovoltaics, hydrogen, fuel cells Professor, Chemical Engineering
Zhaohui (Julene) Tong

UF

Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels , synthesis of biodegradable nanocomposite and value-added chemicals, analysis and characterization of lignocellulosic materials, chemical and bioprocess design, colloid and surface Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Donald Rockwood

UF

Generic Improvements of Eucalyptus Species Professor Emeritus, Forest Resources and Conservation.

 

Infrastructure, Facilities, and Other

  • UF Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Plant, and the Stan Mayfield Biorefinery Pilot Plant.
  • 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
  • Steam Power Engine
  • Biodiel Processor – 40 Gallons/day
  • Engines – 2 Gasoline engines and 1 Diesel Engine
  • Fully Equipped biochemical R&D laboratory focused on biomass conversion, algae technology, biofuels and bioproducts
  • Indoor pilot laboratory for technology testing and demonstration
  • Outdoor pilot facility for algae technology deployment
  • 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

Industrial Collaboration and Technology Commercialization

Strong partnerships with various private sector entities in the areas:

  • Scale-up and commercial development of novel algae cultivation systems
  • Partnerships with agro-energy and algae companies, local governments, and other institutions
  • Scale-up of biomass conversion to cellulosic sugars and biofuels
  • Digestors
  • Collaboration to make high-value byproducts from fermentation residues
  • Waste to biofuels, biodiesel, bio jetfuel

 

FESC Biofuel Expertise and Research 

Florida produces more biomass than any other state in the U.S. The consortium’s biofuel 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 or Department
Energy Crops and Trees   
Bala Rathinasabapathi UF Metabolic engineering of plants for increased biomass yield Associate Professor, Horticultural Sciences, UF
Brian Boman UF Research and extension activities concerning water management, eTuber™ – yield & growing protocol, rotation crops (sugarbeet, sweet sorghum, others), economic analysis, greenhouse gas analysis. Professor, Indian River Research and Education Center, UF-IFAS
David Wright UF Production and management of oilseed crops and impacts on following crops/ soil parameters and variety evaluation Professor of Agronomy

UF IFAS-NFREC, Quincy

Donald Rockwood UF Genetic Improvements of Eucalyptus Species Professor Emeritus, Forest Resources and Conservation, UF

 

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

UF IFAS-NFREC, Quincy

Lynn Sollenberger UF Energy crops, soil carbon sequestration, alternative nitrogen sources Professor, Agronomy Department, UF
Rob Gilbert UF Sugarcane and energy cane cultivar development, green cane harvesting, transgenic sugarcane. Professor and Chair, Agronomy Department,  UF IFAS
Sheeja George UF Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, production practices and microbial diversity, root-microbe interactions, nutrient cycling enzymes, soil health. Biological Scientist UF-IFAS-NFREC-Quincy
Wilfred Vermerris UF 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. Associate Professor,  Microbiology and Cell Science, UF-IFAS
Biochemical Conversion   
Lonnie Ingram UF Global redirection of  central metabolism by genetic engineering;  Industrial fermentation  processes;  Carbohydrate metabolism;  Expression and secretion  of glycohydrolases which degrade plant polymers;  Alcohol tolerance Distinguished Professor,

Director, Florida Center for Renewable

Chemicals and Fuels (FCRC),  Microbiology and Cell Science UF-IFAS

James F. Preston UF Selection of bacterial enzymes for the depolymerization of plant biomass and its fermentative conversion to alternative fuels and bio-based products Professor, Microbiology and Cell Science
K.T. Shanmugam UF Bacterial anaerobic metabolism;  metabolic engineering of bacteria for production of fuels and chemicals Professor, Microbiology and Cell Science
Pratap Pullammanappallil UF Process design, modeling, optimization, and control with applications in fuel production Associate Professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, UF-IFAS
Zhaohui (Julene) Tong UF Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels, chemicals and materials, lignin depolymerization to make aromatic hydrocarbons for jet fuel engine, synthesis bionanocomposites from biorefinery residues Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, UFIFAS
Super Critical Conversion
Aydin Sunol USF Systems Engineering, Supercritical fluid technology, Green Engineering, Product and Process Design Professor, Chemical Engineering, USF
Thermochemical Conversion   
Ali T-Raissi UCF Biomass conversion, hydrogen production and storage, detection and sensing, solar fuels Director, Advanced Energy Research Division, UCF/FSEC
Babu Joseph USF Biomass, gasification, Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis of Synthetic Liquid Fuels, Methane Reforming, Landfill gas reforming Professor, Chemical Engineering, USF
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 Andrew Hines, Jr/Progress Energy Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
John Kuhn USF Biofuels, hydrogen generation and purification, and electrocatalysis, materials synthesis, characterization, separations, and sustainability Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, USF
Nazim Muradov UCF Biomass derived fuels, hydrocarbon processing Hydrogen production, fuel cells, sensors Principal Research Scientist, Florida Solar Energy Center, UCF/FSEC

Infrastructure, Facilities, and Other

  • Stan Mayfield Bio-refinery in Perry, FL
  • 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

Partners

  • Agrisoma
  • ARA
  • Terviva Inc.
  • Wise seed
  • Paterson Grain
  • Treasure Coast Research Park (TCRP) operated by the Treasure Coast Education, Research and Development Authority (TCERDA – formed under the auspices of the University of Florida and St. Lucie County)
  • South Florida State College