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 focuses on understanding of the molecular structures and interactions that affect the industrial conversion of lignocellulosic biomass and its components (i.e., cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin) into useful and value-added products (e.g., liquid fuels, chemicals, and materials). There is widespread interest in developing biorefineries which combine catalytic, thermal, and biological conversion processes to efficiently utilize the carbon and energy within biomass. However, the emergence of commercial large-scale biorefineries depends significantly on our ability to advance technologies that improve biomass-derived product diversity, value, and yield.

We invite you to take a learn more about the BioProducts Engineering Laboratory and the exciting field of Biomass Conversion and Valorization.

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

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

Open Lab Positions

Fall 2018 — 3 PhD Student Positions:

  • Catalytic depolymerization of lignin into monomers
  • Interfacing biological upgrading with catalytic depolymerization of lignin
  • Characterization of plant cell wall local chemistry and mechanics

Major interest:

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