Welcome to the BioProducts Engineering Laboratory

The BioProducts Engineering Laboratory is housed in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

Our research focused developing the knowledge base and fundamental understanding required to rationally design technologies that recycle carbon that is otherwise a waste stream and produce bioproducts (e.g., liquid fuels, chemicals, and materials) that are important to society. The BioProducts Engineering Laboratory is dedicated to the science and engineering of deriving value-added products from dedicated energy crops, agricultural residues, forest residues, plastic waste streams, etc. using catalytic, thermal, and biological conversion processes. However, the emergence of a sustainable waste-to-bioproducts industry significantly depends on our ability to advance technologies that improve product diversity, value, and yield.

We invite you to take a learn more about the BioProducts Engineering Laboratory.

The BioProducts Engineering Laboratory research emerging technologies for exploitation of biomass as a sustainable source for energy, chemicals and materials production:

  • Catalytic depolymerization of biopolymers and plastic waste polymers into value-added products
  • Interfacing biological upgrading with catalytic depolymerization of biopolymers
  • Novel methods of biomass characterization
  • Synthesis and characterization of biomass-derived monomers, polymers, and composites

Open Lab Positions (2024-2025)

  • 2-3 PhD student position: depolymerization of lignin or upcycling waste plastics into valuable monomeric products
  • 1 Postdoc position:  developing scanning probe microscopy methods to understand recombinant peptide-peptide interaction, stiffening behavior of recombinant protein free standing films, nanoscale mechanochemical correlations and heterogeneity in plant cell wall and animal extracellular matrix (ECM), nanomechanical properties in the interphase of cellulose nanocrystal composites 
  • 1-2 undergraduate positions available

Major interest

  • Heterogeneous and liquid-phase catalysis
  • Biopolymer depolymerization
  • Operando NMR spectroscopy
  • Biomass and biomass depolymerization product characterization
  • Renewable synthetic polymers
  • Lignin chemistry
  • Mechanobiology