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 Position/Department
Ashvini Chauhan FAMU Algal Biofuels. Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology; Biodegradation Associate Professor

Environmental Biotechnology Lab.,

Fredric Humphries Sc. Research Center

Norman Munroe FIU Biomass gasification, PEM fuel cells and micro-fuel cell power sources, SOFC, coal gasification Professor, Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Brenton Greska FSU Solar-based alternative energy sources, advanced PEM fuel cells and advanced catalysis Associate Director of the Energy & Sustainability Center
Eqwu Eric Kalu FSU Materials synthesis for applications in sustainable energy generation Professor, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Juan Ordonez FSU Photobioreactors, thermal management, constructal theory, solar-thermal fuel cells, biomass, hybrid power generation Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Subramanian Ramakrishnan FSU Physics and chemistry of complex fluids as applied to biomass energy conversion Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Ali T-Raissi UCF Hydrogen production and storage, detection and sensing, solar fuels, biomass conversion Director, Advanced Energy Research Division
Nazim Muradov UCF Hydrogen production, fuel cells, sensors, biomass derived fuels, hydrocarbon processing Research Professor, Florida Solar Energy Center
Alan W. Hodges UF Economic analysis of biomass energy resource development Extension Scientist, Food and Resource Economics
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. Research Professor, Soil and Water Science Department
Bala Rathinasabapathi UF Metabolic engineering of plants for increased biomass yield Professor, Horticultural Sciences
Ed Phlips UF Biology, ecology, and management of algae and aquatic microorganisms Professor, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Fredy Altpeter UF Traditional plant breeding, genetic transformation technology, functional genomics toward genetically improved biomass grasses Professor, Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
Gary Peter UF Tree breeding genetics of wood formation, improved utilization in biobased products, bioenergy, forest carbon sequestration Professor, Forest Resources and Conservation
Adegbola Adesogan UF Anaerobic fermentation of crops and grasses Director, Feed The Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems
Helena Hagelin-Weaver UF Heterogeneous catalysis, biomass, gasification, catalytic reactions that have environmental benefits Associate 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 Eminent Scholar Chair Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
James P. Cuda UF Biological control of invasive plants Professor and Fulbright Scholar, Biological Weed Control
Jon Stewart UF Biomass, lignin, interdisciplinary research in chemistry, biology and nanotechnology Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical 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 Emeritus Faculty, Microbiology and Cell Science
Lynn Sollenberger UF Energy crops, soil carbon sequestration, alternative nitrogen sources Professor, Agronomy Department
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 Professor, Quantitative Genetics
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 Harry and Bertha Bernstein Professor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Chemical Engineering
Stephen Miller UF Biomass to chemicals feedstock and polymers Associate Professor, Chemistry
Valérie Crécy-Lagard UF Microbial genetics 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 Swisher Eminent Scholar and Director, UF Water Institute
William Lear UF Semi-closed cycle gas turbine systems, Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis, fuel cells, distributed energy, refrigeration Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace 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 Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Donald Rockwood UF Generic Improvements of Eucalyptus Species Professor Emeritus, Forest Resources and Conservation.


Abdul Malik USF Analytical separations, sample preparation techniques, hyphenation of sample preparation and separation techniques Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
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 Professor, Chemical Engineering
George P. Philippidis USF Cellulosic and algal biofuel and bioproduct technology development and commercialization; biomass-to-power commercial projects Director, Associate Professor at the Patel College of Global Sustainability
John Kuhn USF Biofuels, hydrogen generation and purification, and electrocatalysis, materials synthesis, characterization, separations, and sustainability Associate Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Yogi Goswami USF Solar thermal, thermodynamics, heat transfer, HVAC, photovoltaics, hydrogen, fuel cells Professor, Chemical Engineering, Director, Clean Energy Research Center


Infrastructure, Facilities, and Other

  • 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