The Bioproducts and Bioenergy option is concerned with the innovative discovery and production of biomaterials (e.g. biodegradable plastics and composites), bioenergy (e.g. fuel ethanol, hydrogen and biodiesel), or biochemicals (e.g. antibiotics, pharmaceuticals and herbicides) from plant, animal, or microbial biomass. Switching to an economy where the basic building blocks for materials, chemicals, and energy are derived from renewable biological resources could improve health, transform manufacturing practices, increase agricultural productivity, boost rural economies, and mitigate climate change. Students in this option will be prepared for interesting careers in industry and bioinnovation, as well as graduate programs.
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.
Discovery and Characterization of New Cyanobacterial Natural Products from Moorea spp. Elise Shylo Cowley. Mentor: Kerry McPhail, Pharmacy.
Discovery and Isolation of Bioactive Natural Products from Actinomycete Bacteria With an Examination of Infectious Disease Drug Development and Application: A Comparison of the Developing and Developed Worlds. Gregory Petrossian. Mentor: Dr. Mark Zabriskie, Pharmacy.
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.