Rick Gustafson

School of Environmental and Forest Science, University of Washington

Email: pulp@u.washington.edu
Phone: 206-543-2790
Link to Lab Website
Link to Dept. Website

Summary

  • Professor of Bioresource Science and Engineering
  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, 1982

A worldwide effort is underway to produce the fuels and chemicals we use every day from biomass instead of petroleum. This transformation has enormous technical and economic challenges that must be met to be successful. The bioresrouce science and engineering interest group is investigating development of integrated biorefineries that produce a range of products, from commodity fuels to high value food additives, from biomass. These biorefineries are characterized by having good process economics with minimal environmental impact. Process simulation is the major tool we use for our process development work. We work with our colleagues doing fundamental research to integrate state-of-the-art conversion technologies to produce globally optimized processes. Results from our process models are then used in economic assessments to determine financial viability and in life cycle assessments to evaluate the broad environmental impact of candidate process configurations. Our process modeling work also extends to developing new methods to measure and control critical unit operations in biorefineries. We working with chemists to develop robust probes to measure critical performance variables and developing process control strategies to maximize productivity and product quality.

Specialties
Process modeling, Process control, Sensor development, Reaction engineering