Carbon-based molecules are the primary basis of the fuels, chemicals and materials required by society. The rise of the chemical engineering profession coincided with developing technology to convert fossil-derived carbon from oil, natural gas and coal to these valuable products. Biorenewables research is developing analogous technologies that instead use biomass-derived carbon. While the chemical engineering principles refined from fossil-derived carbon have direct applicability to this alternative carbon source, new technologies are required for the distinctly different characteristics of biomass-based feedstocks. New breakthroughs are needed in protein engineering, synthetic biology, microbial metabolic engineering, systems biology, separations, reaction engineering, and catalysis to utilize biomass.

Faculty Researchers


Student Testimonial – Mark Deaton, senior (undergraduate research)


Research thrusts

  • Biofuels/Biorenewable chemicals
  • Biochemical separations
  • Biomass/natural products
  • Biomolecular mechanics
  • Electrocatalytic conversion of biorenewables
  • AI-driven computational protein design
  • Metabolic modeling

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