Bioenergy is renewable energy (e.g., fuel ethanol, hydrogen and biodiesel) derived from biomass, including byproducts, residues, woody waste products, and crops and microbes grown specifically for fuel. Development and production of bioenergy could contribute to long-term environmental and economic sustainability. Bioenergy research creates new uses for agricultural and other materials by developing new biochemical processes for the production of sustainable fuels. This area of research involves both science and engineering. Students completing this option will be ready for challenging careers in industry, governmental agencies, consulting companies, and novel start-up companies, or for graduate programs.
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Past thesis titles (examples):
Impact of Lignin Composition on Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Cellulosic Biomass. Crystal Oldfield. Mentor: Dr. Ganti Murthy
Nutrient Recovery from Anaerobic Co-digestion of Lipid-extracted C. vulgaris and Waste Activated Sludge. Michael Gordon. Mentor: Tyler Radniecki, Chemical and Biological Engineering.
Low Cloud Point Biodiesel. Shanti Johnson. Mentor: David Hackleman, Chemical and Biological Engineering.
Bioelectrochemical Fixation of Carbon Dioxide into Bioproducts through Acetogenic Microorganisms. Sean Atkins. Mentor: Dr. Hong Liu, Biological and Ecological Engineering.
A Comparison of Three Different Cookstove Designs and Three Different Fuel Sources. Elijah Wilson. Mentor: David Smith, Wood Science Engineering/ Renewable Materials.
Pre-Feasibility Study: Oakridge Biomass Processing Facility. James Boulger. Mentor: David Smith, Wood Science Engineering/ Renewable Materials.