donate now
Home » University/College Programs in US by State/Territory

University/College Programs in US by State/Territory

 

Select a state from the drop-down list.  If the cursor does not move to that state, it means we do not yet know of any programs in that state/district/territory.  If you have information about programs not included in our lists, please let us know:  info@AdvancedBiofuelsUSA.org.  Thanks!

While educational institutions are becoming much more focused on offering alternative energy and renewable energy curriculums; actual degrees, majors, minors or concentrations in these disciplines are still few and far between. However, if you have an interest in specializing in the emerging biomass and biofuel industries, there are many options available to you in higher education, depending on what type of work and academic experience you are seeking.

The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office at the US Department of Energy has an Energy Education and Workforce Development section that includes:

DOE also offers the National Training and Education Resource (NTER), an open source platform that serves learners by allowing them to acquire new skills at a time, place and pace that is convenient to them. Whether you’re looking for job training or education at any level, you can take free courses formally, as part of a school or employer learning plan, or informally–just to learn! Additionally, it serves instructors by providing a full range of instructional tools and an easy-to-use system for finding, creating, and modifying content.

Some Community Colleges offer various associates degrees and certificate programs, which essentially prepare the graduate for work in renewable energy production and management. Graduates from these programs can expect to find employment as system installation and maintenance technicians, lab technicians and other entry level positions. Some of these programs also prepare the student to move to a 4 year college to obtain a bachelors degree.  For more information on such programs which focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency, including examples of curriculum materials, go to the Sustainability Education and Economic Development Center (SEED Center) website, particularly the Green Program/Course page.

The Sustainability Education & Economic Development Center (SEED) is the first national coordinated strategy to support community colleges in building the green economy.  Created by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and ecoAmerica, SEED is

  • Leadership Initiative: Hundreds of college presidents pledging membership and taking action
  • Resource Center: 400+ fresh resourcestoolkits, and college promising practices curated by industry and higher education experts
  • Sharing CommunityOnline and through peer-to-peer professional development workshops and webinars
  • And More!

All designed to help community colleges dramatically ramp up quality workforce development programs in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green building

In terms of 4 year, masters and doctorate programs, renewable energy focus can be approached from various academic angles. Almost all of these programs are interdisciplinary. Departments and colleges within Universities which typically have a focus in the biofuels and biomass disciplines include Chemical and Agricultural Engineering, Biosciences, Environmental Sustainability and Resource Use, Forestry and Land Resource Management, Energy Production, Sustainability and Engineering programs.

The study Clean Energy & Climate Policy for U.S. Growth and Job Creation: An Economic Assessment of the American Clean Energy and Security Act and the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act indicates that as many as 1.9 million new jobs could be created across the United States within the renewable energy sphere. The U.S. biofuels industry is growing by 25-50% every year. Employment in biofuel labs, plants, and retailers will be plentiful in the future. And careers in academia and research in these disciplines will increase as well as more universities offer programs focused on renewable, alternative and sustainable energy.

If you are interested in knowing more about training for careers in energy in the Midwest, the Midwest Power Skills web site collects data from colleges in the Midwest and is designed so you can find the area you want or find out what is offered closest to your home.   Browse by choosing state, college or type of program from the drop down menus on the right side of the page and clicking ‘browse’.  You may also search by keyword by entering all or part of your word (i.e.- wind, ethanol) and clicking the ‘search’ button.  You may use the browse and search features at the same time (i.e.- searching for biodiesel in Illinois).  To view all offerings in the database, make no selections and click the ‘search’ button.  Click here to view entries related to biofuel.  READ MORE

 

My Energy Gateway   Geared to students, returning military personnel, and displaced workers, MyEnergyGateway.org features certifications, two-year, undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as tuition, room/board costs, student/faculty ratio, and scholarship and internship opportunities. An extensive list of industry resources is also included.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are also integrated along with descriptions of sample career options with salary ranges. MyEnergyGateway.org, funded through a contract from the U.S. Department of Energy, is designed to help users make informed decisions about acquiring the required skills, degree(s) and expertise to plan an education in energy and eventually pursue a long-term career in the energy industry.  To search by topic area (for example, “biofuel”) click here.

Online courses are posted as a subcategory of the Education category.  Click here for a list.

For programs in parts of the world other than the US, click here.

 

ALABAMA

Auburn University Auburn University, the Land Grant school for Alabama, has been offering engineering courses since 1872 and has a long and rich tradition of excellence in engineering education. As a major presence in engineering education, you can expect excellent academic, research and outreach programs; computer and laboratory facilities that are second to none; and a world-class faculty.  Auburn ranks  in the top 40 institutions nationally in research expenditures. This research powers the local, state, regional and national economies.  Employers tell us that our emphasis on fundamentals, hands-on engineering and a strong work ethic sets Auburn engineering graduates apart as leaders in the workplace and the community.  READ MORE

  • Sample Research Grant: 1/10/10 -  Jin Wang, faculty member in Auburn University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, recently received a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture for the project “Simultaneous Glucose and Xylose Fermentation using Coculture in a Novel Bioreactor.” Wang’s team will investigate coculture systems that create cellulosic biomass, the most abundant and inexpensive renewable feedstock used to produce ethanol for biofuels.  READ MORE

Alabama A&M University M.S. and Ph.D. Plant and Soil Science   Alabama A&M University Graduate School’s  Department of Plant and Soil Science in the land-grant tradition undertakes teaching, research and extension functions and offers B.S. degree programs in plant science, forestry, and environmental science.  The Department fulfills its instructional mission by also offering M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in Plant and Soil Science.

The M.S. degree in Plant and Soil Science is designed to further the specialized professional training of the students through formal courses while at the same time teaching the student how to conduct research and present pertinent results.

The Ph.D. program is designed to meet specific career objectives of the students.  This degree focuses on research, which must reflect the student’s original thinking and should demonstrate the ability of independent investigation.

In both of these degree programs (M.S. and Ph.D.), students may specialize in one of the following areas:  Plant Breeding, Tissue Culture, Plant Genetics and Cytogenetics, Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Crop Production, Sustainable Agriculture, Seed Science and Technology, Plant Physiology, Plant Pathology, Horticulture, Forestry, Entomology, Environmental Science, Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Soil Chemistry, Soil Fertility, Soil Microbiology or Soil Genesis, Morphology and Conservation.

Research Programs Includes:

Plant tissue culture, molecular genetics, sensory evaluation, nutritional biochemistry, applied human nutrition, rural development, robotics, artificial intelligence, cytogenetics, statistical classification, improvement of uniform random number generation, computer assisted instruction, biomass fuels, optics, materials science, microgravity crystal growth, infrared thermometry, and early intervention strategies in special education.

Alabama A&M University’s Effort in Biodiesel Fuel Production.   Research areas Includes::

  • Biodiesel Classroom on Wheels- Joint Innovation of Alabama A&M University and The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries
  • Biofuels
  • Alternative Fuels

View Research Magazine Please contact assistant professor and biofuels expert Dr.Ernst Cebert via phone at (256) 372-4243 via email at ecebert@aamu.edu for more information regarding research study and plant science program.

Alabama Tuskegee University Biofuel Production from Crop Biomass-Cooperative Extension Program

Alabama Tuskegee University Integrated Natural Resources, Renewable Energy and Climate Change is part of the Cooperative Extension Program, which provides hands-on learning opportunities and awareness on sustainable agricultural practices. These practices include environmental resources that increase farm profitability while protecting the environment. The program is set-up to benefit crop and livestock farmers as well as landowners.

Sample Course

  • Biofuel Production from Crop Biomass

In the changing world of agriculture, future landowners can learn how to strive for a greater harmony between agriculture and the environment. The objectives of this program area is to address a variety of critical educational needs in the areas of natural resources, water quality, environmental education, the farm eco-system and climate change issues, as well as alternative energy education (READ MORE).

Dr. Desmond Mortley teaches Biofuel Production from Crop Biomass and can be reached via phone at 334-727-8404 or via email at mortleyd@tuskegee.edu for more information regarding course enrollment.

For further information regarding the Cooperative Extension Program please contact Dr. Githinji at 334-724-4955; lgithinji@tuskegee.edu; or Ms. Yvonne Wright at 334-724-4440; wright@tuskegee.edu

ALASKA

University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska A.A.S. , Renewable Resources, Ph.D., Natural Resources and Sustainability

A.A.S – The renewable resources degree program is offered by the College of Rural and Community Development on the Fairbanks campus and through rural campuses. This two-year A.A.S. degree program helps students gain employment with state, federal or tribal resource management agencies, Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) corporations or other entities. For those already employed in this field, this program provides an opportunity to improve job skills.

Ph.D. – The Ph.D. builds on the existing strengths of the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and School of Management faculty members to educate students in specific areas while training them to be conversant in the broader range of relevant topic areas. The program objectives and its curriculum center around three thematic areas of study: 1) resource economics, 2) resource policy and sustainability science, and 3) forest and agricultural sciences. READ MORE

University of Alaska – Alaska Center for Research and Power,  Fairbanks The Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) is an applied energy research program based at the University of Alaska.  ACEP was formed in January, 2008 with the goal of meeting Alaska’s unique energy research needs, and operates under a private sector business model within the University system.

ACEP is a gateway for energy related activity at the University of Alaska.  Working across campuses and pulling from the University’s extensive resources and expertise, ACEP is interdisciplinary, needs-driven, and agile.   The Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) seeks to meet state, industry, and federal demand for applied energy research in order to lower the cost of energy throughout Alaska and develop economic opportunities for the State, its residents, and its industries.  Sample Research Projects include:

  • Woody Biomass Crops for Interior Alaska – Alaska is home to a wide range of willow varieties, however there is little information on growth rates for most species.   For this reason, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) teamed with the University of Alaska Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in 2008 to assess growth rates of naturally growing willows and other fast growing shrubs in interior Alaska. The University of Alaska has also experimented with cultivating several plots of willows and other fast growing woody biomass crops at their Experiment Farm in Fairbanks, as well as use of willows for phytoremediation (use of plants to treat polluted soil or water) through the Institute of Northern Engineering.   READ MORE

ARIZONA

University of Arizona Ph.D. Minor, Global Change As part of the University of Arizona’s Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDP), the Committee on Global Change offers a global change PhD minor. The program provides graduate students with a broad understanding of critical concepts and state-of-the-art skills in the rapidly emerging field of global change.

The program’s mission is to help form and prepare the interdisciplinary scientific community who will contribute to an integrated understanding of the natural and social dynamics of global change. At the same time, the program is meant to create a forum within which scholars from different parts of the University can coalesce in innovative ways around the complex problems that constitute global change. READ MORE

University of Arizona -  Institute of the Environment, Tuscan The Institute of the Environment collaborates across The University of Arizona campus to understand, communicate, and solve the environmental challenges facing our world, nation, and state, as well as to help the people of Arizona seize opportunities created by these challenges.  The Institute offers many academic programs for students and faculty participates and/or leads important research.  Sample projects include:

  • 1/10/10 – Several University of Arizona researchers are part of a consortium that has just received a U.S. Department of Energy grant totaling more than $44 million that is intended to bring more sustainable and economically sound algae-based biofuels to market.  Kimberly Ogden, a UA chemical and environmental engineering professor, will serve as the University’s principal investigator and also head of the alliance’s engineering efforts.   “To tackle the problem of large-scale production of algae for fuels and other products we have to have a better understanding of everything from the biology to the interfacing with existing petroleum processing plants,” Ogden said.   READ MORE

Arizona State University

The Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI) is located at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa and will partner with the rapidly growing algae industry to propel Arizona into the forefront of innovation in biofuels and bio-product research and development.

AzCATI will serve as a statewide and international intellectual and resource hub for algae-based goods, find innovative commercial uses for algae, operate as a learning environment for next generation scientists, facilitate collaboration between higher education, industry and national entities and be a national “test bed” for algae technology.

AzCATI is administered and funded in part by Science Foundation Arizona and managed by ASU.   READ MORE

LightWorks: Arizona State University researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines are looking to the light to solve society’s grand challenges.

LightWorks pulls light-inspired research at ASU under one strategic framework. LightWorks is a multidisciplinary effort to leverage ASU’s unique strengths, particularly in renewable energy fields including artificial photosynthesis, biofuels, and next-generation photovoltaics. LightWorks will eventually include other light-based projects in fields ranging from healthcare to computing and beyond.    READ MORE and MORE

Watch Video of ASU’s algae program.

ATP3

ATP3 offers superior formal and informal education and training in the use of microalgae as feedstock for biofuels and coproducts, through hands-on learning opportunities, workshops, and seminars held at ATP3partner sites and selected public events.

Workshops are designed to enhance the knowledge of those who are already familiar with algae, and also provide an introduction to algae culture management for those with no prior experience. Many topics are of direct relevance for those who are interested in commercialization of algae.  READ MORE

ARKANSAS

The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville is a recipient of a $10,000 to conduct research in converting sugars and starches into fuel oxygenates. This project will yield a complete understanding of the potential for algae to be used as fuel oxygenates in addition to the already identified benefits of using algae to make biodiesel.

Students will grow algae, ferment into butanol, and measure the cleanup of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and phosphorous in the whole process. Students will also conduct a full scale design and evaluate cost competitiveness to other technologies.  The price of converting this in to fuel grade butanol will be based on these results and will be performed in an ASPEN simulation

The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering conducts research on problems of importance to Arkansas and the entire nation.

The three focus areas of research in the department are:

  • Biotechnology Engineering
  • Ecological Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

 

Biotechnology Engineering: designing systems to manipulate plant, animal and microbial materials into industrially and medically relevant consumer products, and to develop environmentally relevant biotechnology to manage natural resources.

Examples are: utilization of by-products into energy and high-value products, biomass extraction for phytonutrients, and biomass conversion to energy and integrating biological materials into systems at the micro- and nanometer scale for the next generation of bio/abio hybrid engineered systems for medical diagnoses (READ MORE) and MORE.   Click here to view graduate and undergraduate programs of study.

Please contact Julie Carrier, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering via phone at 479/575-4993  or via email at carrier@uark.edu.  Also contact Ed Clausen, Department of Chemical Engineering via phone at 479/575-5412  or via email  at eclause@uark.edu for more information.

Arkansas Delta Training and Education Consortium Center of Excellence in Renewable Energy Technology Education A consortium of five Arkansas community colleges are offering students the option of three programs in Renewable Energy Technology (RET) in the fall semester 2009 with options including a two year Associate of Applied Science degree, a one year Technical Certificate and a one semester Certificate of Proficiency. Renewable Energy refers to energy that is made from natural resources that can be replenished by nature.

“The RET programs are currently grant funded through the U.S. Department of Labor, said Lee Griffith, East Arkansas Community College Director of Administrative Services.  “The grant for the RET programs contains funds that are ear marked for student’s tuition, books, and fees for those who major in RET,” said Griffith.  “Students don’t have to qualify for financial aid or scholarships to be eligible for these funds.  In fact, if a student received scholarship funding for the RET program, they would still be able to receive other forms of financial aid.”

Energies produced from renewable resources include biofuels, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, hydro-electric, and nuclear power. The EACC RET program’s major focus will be upon on bio-diesel production processes.

Members of the consortium are:

  • East Arkansas Community College –Forrest City, Arkansas  READ MORE
  • Midsouth Community College – West Memphis, Arkansas
  • Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas – (3 campuses – Helena, Stuttgart, and DeWitt)
  • Arkansas Northeastern College – Blytheville, Arkansas
  • Arkansas State University– Newport, Newport, Arkansas
    • A Bachelor of Applied Science will be developed at Arkansas State University for students who want to continue in the field towards a 4-year degree.   READ MORE

University of Arkansas – Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences Bumpers College specializes in business, science, education and public service related to the human environment or the natural environment, as well as the production and care of plants and animals. Graduates also pursue graduate and professional degrees in business, law, medicine, veterinary medicine, and many other fields.  Sample research projects include:

  • The University of Arkansas System’s Division of Agriculture is collaborating with counterparts in other states on bioenergy research and extension programs supported in part by a $1,968,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Some $600,000 of the U.S. Department of Energy grant funds will help support 25 projects in Arkansas. Projects involve research and extension faculty in the Division of Agriculture’s Arkansas Forest Resources Center at Monticello, the Rice Research and Extension Center at Stuttgart, Southwest Research and Extension Center at Hope, the Public Policy Center at Little Rock and departments based on the Fayetteville campus.  READ MORE and MORE

CALIFORNIA

University of California, BA, Masters, PhD     The University of California plays a historic and vital role in improving agricultural productivity and protecting the world’s natural resources. The Plant Sciences Department is part of the Agricultural Sciences Department within the College of agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The Department of Plant Science offers Masters, PhD and Undergraduate degrees in diverse areas of plant science.

The undergraduate program in Plant Sciences can be tailored to fit students’ personal needs and career goals while meeting departmental and university requirements. The undergraduate majors leading to bachelor’s degree include the following:

Undergraduate minors

The PhD and Master programs can be tailored to fit the student’s personal needs and career goals while meeting university requirements. PhD and Master degrees include the following:

Also view programs in the following departments :

  • Crop and Ecosystem Sciences
  • Horticultural Sciences
  • Agricultural Plant Biology

Read more about University of California Biofuels Research.

University of California at Berkeley – Energy Biosciences Institute The Energy Biosciences Institute is a partnership between BP, the University of California, Berkeley; the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and the University of Illinois.  Areas of research include Feedstock Development, Biomass Depolymerization, Biofuels Production and Fossil Fuel Bioprocessing.   With headquarters in Berkeley and a satellite unit at the University of Illinois, EBI has launched 51 different research projects in an effort to develop an integrated, holistic understanding of the energy biosciences. Cellulosic biofuels, prime targets in the EBI mission, are unusually complex and involve research questions not only in the production area but also concerning social and economic impacts on other regions and nations. Other major UC participants in the search for biofuels include EBI’s neighbor to the north, the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) in Emeryville, as well as the California Biomass Collaborative and the Bioenergy Research Center, both based at UC Davis, and the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology at UC San Diego.

The Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) is a research and development organization that harnesses advanced knowledge in biology, the physical sciences, engineering, and environmental and social sciences to devise viable solutions to global energy challenges and reduce the impact of fossil fuels to global warming. As the world’s first research institution solely dedicated to the new field of energy bioscience, the EBI is focusing on the development of next-generation biofuels as well as various applications of biology to the energy sector.

The EBI represents a unique collaboration between the University of California, Berkeley; the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and BP, which will support the Institute with a 10-year, $500-million grant.

The EBI hosts 60 research groups, which are comprised of 120 faculty members and 200 postdoctoral researchers, graduate, and undergraduate students at both the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois. Additional research facilities include a 320-acre Energy Farm in Illinois and an 112,000-sq-ft Helios Building in Berkeley, which will be completed in 2013.   READ MORE

University of California Berkeley, Energy and Resources Group (ERG) is an interdisciplinary academic unit and offers programs of study in Energy and Resources for graduate students leading to MA, MS, and PhD degrees. ERG has the same abilities as an ordinary department to admit students and offer courses as well as to confer advanced degrees. Graduate Groups differ structurally from ordinary departments mainly in the composition of the faculty: most of the faculty members associated with Graduate Groups hold their main appointments in disciplinary or professional departments and participate in the activities of the Group only part-time.

Master’s Degree in Energy and Resources The purpose of the ERG Master’s program is to educate students in a range of methods and subjects and allow the opportunity for students  to understand, advance,  critique and address critical issues stemming from the interaction of humans and the environment. The curriculum is intended to serve those students for whom the Master’s degree will be the final formal education in support of a professional career and also those students who intend to continue their education, for example by pursuing a PhD in Energy and Resources.   Master’s Degree Requirements and Course of Study Sample and Form

PhD Degree in Energy and Resources Students entering the PhD program from the ERG Master’s program will already have met the course requirement for the PhD. Students entering with other Master’s degrees invariably need additional coursework at ERG to meet the requirements.

After the doctoral student and his or her advisors have agreed on a subject for the dissertation, the student must defend in a three-hour oral examination the suitability of the topic and his/her preparation for attacking it. This examination should be taken at least one year before the expected completion of the dissertation. The final requirement for the PhD is completion of the dissertation to the satisfaction of a committee consisting of three faculty advisors/readers chosen by the student, subject to approval by the Graduate Dean. The PhD degree in Energy and Resources is typically completed three to five years beyond the Master’s degree (READ MORE).

View online ERG Brochure and Admission Process Please contact Student Affairs Officer, Bette Evans for program assistance via phone at (510) 642-1640.

Humboldt State University, Arcata, California B.S. and M.S. programs in Environmental Resources Engineering The Environmental Resources Engineering program (ERE) is one of the largest, oldest and most respected ABET-accredited undergraduate environmental engineering programs. Our mission is to prepare engineers to solve complex environmental resources problems. The ERE program strives to educate leaders who will sustain, restore and protect our natural resources and the environment.

We prepare our students to be future leaders by establishing a foundation in both the fundamentals and the big picture. The unique ERE curriculum combines traditional environmental engineering with management of natural resources in applications such as ecological restoration and energy resource management. Our emphasis on hands-on learning also sets us apart from most undergraduate environmental engineering programs. ERE students engage in frequent labs, field trips, and team projects, while enjoying a cooperative learning environment in classes that typically have fewer than 24 students.   READ MORE

University of California, Davis – Bioenergy Research Center and California Biomass Collaborative The Bioenergy Research Center at UC Davis is a coalition of over one hundred campus research scientists from a wide range of disciplines, including Agricultural & Resource Economics, Plant Sciences, Biological & Agricultural Engineering, Microbiology, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, Viticulture & Enology, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Economics, and several more.

The BERC seeks to advance the development of bioenergy – heat, power, and biofuels from biomass – and to that end is connecting researchers across the Davis campus, to enhance communication and the sharing of ideas, and to help focus and structure the previously individual or small group efforts to more efficiently use the vast capabilities of UCD.

The California Biomass Collaborative, a statewide collaboration of government, industry, environmental groups, and educational institutions administered for the state by the University of California, Davis. Sponsored by the California Energy Commission and other agency and industry partners, the Collaborative works to enhance the sustainable management and development of biomass in California for the production of renewable energy, biofuels, and products.

The California Biomass Collaborative, a statewide collaboration of government, industry, environmental groups, and educational institutions administered for the state by the University of California, Davis. Sponsored by the California Energy Commission and other agency and industry partners, the Collaborative works to enhance the sustainable management and development of biomass in California for the production of renewable energy, biofuels, and products.

University of California, Los Angeles Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science BS, MS, PhD    Genetically Modified Cyanobacterium   UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have genetically modified a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and produce the liquid fuel under the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science offers 28 academic and professional degree programs and is ranked among the top 10 nationwide engineering schools.

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science created a bacteria to turn carbon dioxide into liquid fuel by modifying a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and produce the liquid fuel isobutanol, which holds great potential as a gasoline alternative.  The research is lead by James C. Liao from the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at UCLA.  The department has had a long and distinguished record of making pioneering contributions to Environmental Chemical Engineering and has been the hub of environmental research for over a decade.

The Chemical Engineering faculty are pioneering the development of new measurement methods offering B.S, M.S and PhD degrees. The Department offers graduate courses providing in-depth exposure to areas in aerosol technology, air pollution, environmental assessment, environmental transportation, pollution prevention and waste minimization (READ MORE).

Method:  The method recycles carbon dioxide, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and uses solar energy to convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuel that can be used in energy infrastructure and automobiles. The research is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

READ MORE about The Chemical Engineering Department energy and environment research (READ MORE).  Contact James C. Liao, Associate Director UCLA–Department of Energy Institute for Genomics and Proteomics via phone at (310) 825-1656 or via email at liaoj@seas.ucla.edu for more information.

University of California, Emeryville – the Joint BioEnergy Institute The Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) is a San Francisco Bay Area scientific partnership led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and including the Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia), the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels – liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. JBEI is one of three new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs).  Sample research includes:    Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories, the University of New Mexico, the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), Novozymes, and North Carolina State University’s Center for Integrated Fungal Research (NCSU-CIFR) have received a DNA sequencing award from the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) to study microbial genes in arid grasslands. The research combines interests in fundamental microbial ecology with DOE goals to exploit microbes in the production of biofuels.

University of California, San Diego  Biofuels Certificate Program  Thanks to an innovative program led by Dr. Stephen Mayfield, in partnership with UC San Diego Extension, many students have received their certification to work as general science technicians in the rapidly expanding biofuels industry in San Diego County and Imperial County.
 As the biofuels industry continues to develop and mature, there will be an increasing demand for a well-trained workforce, including research and development scientists, engineers, and field technicians, through to policy analysts, business development professionals and project managers. Training will also be required by the support industries, which will no doubt be springing up as the biofuels industry grows.  WATCH VIDEO   READ MORE

Stanford University -  Precourt  Institute for Energy, Palo Alto, California The Precourt Institute for Energy (PIE) has been established as a new independent institute at Stanford that engages in a broad-ranging, interdisciplinary program of research and education on energy – applying fundamental research to the problem of supplying energy in environmentally and economically acceptable ways, using it efficiently, and facing the behavioral, social, and policy challenges of creating new energy systems for the U.S. and the world.     READ MORE

PIE includes Global Climate and Energy Project.   The Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) at Stanford University seeks new solutions to one of the grand challenges of this century: supplying energy to meet the changing needs of a growing world population in a way that protects the environment.   Currently funded research includes:

READ MORE

Santa Clara University-Renewable Energy Certificate, Masters Degree in Sustainable Energy 2011-12 Academic Year.Santa Clara University School of Engineering is offering a Graduate Certificate in Renewable Energy and a Masters Degree in Sustainable Energy starting in the 2011 academic school year. The field of study brings together principles and practices from engineering, environmental sciences and economics, and provides diverse career opportunities. The rigorous curriculum emphasizes social and ethical responsibility for engineers who are equipped with an understanding of the impact of their practice on society.

The certificate program consists of eight courses that can be taken in a calendar year. Some of those courses are:

  • Alternate Energy
  • Power System
  • Biofuels Engineering
  • Introduction to the Smart Grid
  • Energy Management

Santa Clara University adds new curriculum each quarter to their undergraduate and graduate level degrees in response to increasing demand from students.   The School of Engineering and Sustainability will be introducing a Master of Science in Sustainably Energy in fall 2011 (READ MORE).

COLORADO

Colorado State University Graduate Program in Biofuels Development It is widely recognized that substantial technical advances must be achieved in all aspects of the bioenergy industry, including developing new energy crops; new biological, chemical, and thermal conversion technologies; and new byproducts. The goal of the MASB program, funded by the National Science Foundation, is to prepare PhD graduates who are trained as interdisciplinary scientists with full understanding of the technical challenges facing the emerging bioenergy industry.  Click here for more information.  PDF Announcement

Colorado State University  Fort Collins, Colorado Integrated Graduate Education in Biorefining and Biofuels (IGEB2) is part of Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the MAS BioEnergy program.

Graduate Program in Biofuels Development The goal of the IGEB2 program, funded by the National Science Foundation, is to prepare PhD graduates who are trained as interdisciplinary scientists with full understanding of the technical challenges facing the emerging biofuels industry.The Graduate Education in Biorefining and Biofuels Program includes 45 doctoral students studying everything from environmental assessment (greenhouse gas impacts) to fuel engineering and plant biotechnology. Colorado State provides $600,000 for graduate teaching assistants and tuition premiums. Colorado State University is a participant in the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, which provides the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (READ MORE)

Applications are sought from all current and prospective graduate students in any areas of Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Economics. Two-year fellowships include a substantial stipend as well as full coverage of tuition, fees, health benefits and support for travel, supplies and materials (READ MORE).

The four area of this program are:

  • Crop Sciences and Plant Biotechnology
  • Biological, Chemical, and Thermal Biomass Conversion
  • Product Engineering
  • Environmental Assessment, Policy, and Economics

The IGERT is a Multidisciplinary program to  the Sustainable Bioenergy (MAS BioEnergy)  NSF-funded graduate program.  The  MAS BioEnergy  program aims to educate a new generation of scientists that have interdisciplinary training across several areas relevant to sustainable bioenergy (READ MORE).

Contact Emily Wilmsen Email: Emily.Wilmsen@colostate.edu Phone Number: (970) 491-2336 or contact the program coordinator at biofuels-IGERT@colostate.edu for more information about the program.

Ecotech Institute Ecotech Institute is focused on preparing America’s workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design. Launched in April 2010 in the Denver Metro area, Colorado, the college offers programs designed by experts in the industry for people seeking careers in the rapidly emerging clean tech economy.   Programs are designed for direct entry into the workforce in the fields of renewable energy and sustainable design.

Ecotech Institute Aurora, CO  Associates Degree and Certificate Program    Ecotech Institute is the first college focused on preparing America’s workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design.  The Education Corporation of America (ECA), a leading owner and operator of private higher education institutions in the United States launched Ecotech Institute to promote its efforts in green energy education.  The institute is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and will provide seven highly practical degree programs and one certificate program.

The renewable energy degrees includes:

  • Electrical Engineering Technology, Associate of Applied Science
  • Energy and Environmental Paralegal, Associate of Applied Science
  • Energy Efficiency, Associate of Applied Science
  • Environmental Technology, Associate of Applied Science
  • Renewable Energy Technology, Associate of Applied Science
  • Solar Energy Technology, Associate of Applied Science
  • Sustainable Interior Design, Certificate Program
  • Wind Energy Technology, Associate of Applied Science

Ecotech Institute is designed to serve the workforce development needs of this growing industry. It will deliver careers and education that will enhance the transformation of people into skilled green professionals. To ensure that students will graduate with the knowledge and skills needed for the renewable energy and sustainable design industries, Ecotech Institutes faculty are experts and leaders in the renewable energy industry and  are the developers of  the academic curriculum and advisors.

Call 877-326-5576 for more information about degree programs.  READ MORE

University of Colorado, Boulder B.S. and Ph. D. – Chemical and Biological Engineering We are a world-class department with 22 faculty (including 2 joint with chemistry) , 20 postdoctoral fellows and research technicians, 90 graduate students, and more than 360 undergraduate students. Our research program is extremely active, including research centers in biorefining and biofuels, membranes, pharmaceutical biotechnology, and photopolymerization. The University is a partner and frequent research participant with The Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels. READ MORE

Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado; Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, or C2B2, will allow students to pursue research on feedstock science and engineering, biochemical conversions, thermochemical conversions, engineering reactions or separations, and solids-handling processes needed for biorefining applications.

The C2B2 REU program is a 10-week summer program of research, educational seminars and cultural programming. All of the program’s features were piloted during the 2008 and 2009 summer programs, which served a combined 28 undergraduate researchers. Students performed research in laboratories at CU, CSU, Mines and NREL.

An additional focus of the REU program will be integration among research disciplines and among the four C2B2 institutions. “The program structure has been specifically designed to allow students to experience a cross-disciplinary environment in which to investigate problems that require collaboration to make meaningful progress,” said C2B2 Executive Director Alan Weimer, a professor in CU-Boulder’s chemical and biological engineering departmentWeimer.

REU undergraduates conduct hands-on laboratory research with professional researchers at CU, CSU, Mines and NREL. Additionally, participants are advised by professional scientists, faculty and graduate mentors, engage in weekly research group meetings and participate in site visits to each C2B2 institution for seminars and other peer presentation forums.

The Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels (C2B2) exists to improve fundamental understanding and develop new technologies in areas relevant to the future commercialization of integrated, sustainable biorefining and biofuels processes.   C2B2 is a research center of the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory and is supported by state, institutional, and industry funds. C2B2’s partner institutions include University of Colorado (CU), Colorado State University (CSU), Colorado School of Mines (CSM), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  Research thrusts include:

  • Feedstock Engineering, Plant Biotechnology & Crop Science
  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Thermochemical Engineering
  • Process Engineering
  • Product Engineering
  • System Assessment and Analysis  READ MORE and MORE

Colorado School of Mines chemical engineering department at CSM has a comprehensive research program, and is recognized as a world leader in alternative energy and advanced materials.

The Renewable Energy MRSEC is a renewable energy institute focusing on transformative materials science advances in photovoltaic, membrane and clathrate storage technology. The mission of the Photovoltaic Interdisciplinary Research Group is to provide renewable energy research experience for the Undergraduate (REU) program and K-12 Teacher Workshop each summer (READ MORE).

View Professor C. Mark Maupin research description.    Please contact the Chemical Engineering Department via phone at  (303) 273-3720 for more information.

DELAWARE

Delaware State University B.S. Environmental Science Environmental science has emerged as a critical discipline in the 21st century — and Delaware State boasts a superior Bachelor of Environmental Science degree program. As a land-grant institution, we have a 100-plus-year history of leadership in environmental science education. Our environmental science program builds on that tradition, preparing students for careers that address issues such as

  • Global Climate Change
  • Biofuels and Renewable Energy
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Water and Soil Conservation
  • Environmental Policy
  • Habitat and Species Protection READ MORE

University of Delaware, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. Energy and Environmental Policy Established in 1980 at the University of Delaware, the Center is a leading institution for interdisciplinary graduate education, research, and advocacy in energy and environmental policy.

The Energy and Environmental Policy (ENEP) degree is administered by the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, which is internationally recognized for its work in this field. Its director, Dr. John Byrne, shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the authors and review editors of the International Panel on Climate Change. The major offers an exciting opportunity for students to prepare for academic and professional careers in the high-demand fields of energy, environment, sustainable development and climate change.

Sample project: BIOENERGY FOR SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Sponsor: Blue Moon Fund, others. The project evaluates strategies that feature bio-gasification and anaerobic digester technology on a small scale to meet local rural energy needs in a sustainable manner. READ MORE

 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

George Washington University  Institute for Sustainability Research, Education & Policy advances the quality and quantity of sustainability related research conducted, education delivered, and policy considered throughout and beyond the university and its stakeholders.

For information about current faculty research in sustainability, or to inquire about a specific research project please contact the Director of the GW Institute for Sustainability, Professor Lisa Benton-Short at lbenton@gwu.edu.  READ MORE

FLORIDA

Florida Center for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels The Florida Center for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels was established in January 2002 with the primary goal of facilitating research and graduate education throughout the Florida State University System in the multi-disciplinary areas of renewable chemicals and fuels. The Center provides a vehicle to solve new technological challenges, serves as a forum to foster productive interactions among faculty and students, assists faculty in the development of competitive research grants, and increases the visibility of this important activity at the state and national levels.

FCRC promotes a new concept in Florida with broad implications at the national and international levels – the creation of biorefineries that use renewable products from agriculture as feedstocks to replace petroleum-based products. The ultimate vision of the center is to be independent of fossils as the sole source of energy and chemical needs, and at the same time achieve economic and environmental stability, and national energy security.

The Center is currently located at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, Microbiology and Cell Science Department. P. O. Box 110700, Gainesville, FL. 32611-0700 | Tel: (352) 392-0237 | Fax: (352)392-5922 | Email: spgomez@ufl.edu READ MORE

University of Florida,  Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy The mission of the Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy  is to develop energy efficient and environmentally sustainable technologies and practices, educate the public regarding energy and environmental technologies and trade-offs, and inform the larger policy debate on urgent, global issues of sustainable energy and environment. Improve Florida and U.S. energy security by developing indigenous and environmentally sustainable energy resources while promoting energy policies that have a positive impact on Florida’s unique environment.

Among the various renewable energy resources (biomass, solid waste, landfill gas, solar, geothermal, wind, and hydropower) Florida leads the nation in plant biomass. Most of Florida biomass is in the form of grasses, trees, sugar cane, and assorted crop residues, citrus pulp, etc. With this biomass resource, Florida has the opportunity to produce more automotive fuel than it consumes and to lead the nation in the production of renewable fuels.  READ MORE

UF has extensive experience in biomass energy technologies and has established centers and laboratories to strengthen the research. These include:

  • The Bioprocess Engineering Research Laboratory (BERL) has a sustained research program on biogasification of biomass. Technologies such as SOLCON and SEBAC processes were developed by BERL.
  • The Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology Laboratory (BEST) conducts basic and applied research on environmental biotechnology, with particular emphasis on anaerobic microbiology and the practical application of anaerobic digestion technology for renewable energy production from biomass and organic residues.
  • The Florida Center for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels was established in January 2002 with the primary goal of facilitating research and graduate education throughout the State University System in the multi-disciplinary areas of renewable chemicals and fuels that use products from agriculture as feedstocks to replace petroleum-based products. The research performed at the center has already resulted in patents, licenses and sublicenses to small and large corporations which are actively engaged in commercialization activities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. (See above)

Florida State University, Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability Joel Kostka Laboratory, Tallahassee      The Kostka Laboratory combines cutting-edge microbiology/ molecular biology with biogeochemistry to quantify the role of microorganisms in ecosystem function. Our research is heavily field oriented and spans from coastal marine ecosystems to the terrestrial subsurface. Projects include the biogeochemical cycles of natural and contaminated environments.  READ MORE

The SABER working group at the IESES will focus on the development of bioenergy products from marine algae. Center activities include both fundamental research and technology assessment (sustainability and policy implications). Fundamental research will initially address the efficient conversion of marine algal biomass to ethanol in the areas of feedstock development, biomass depolymerization, and biofuels production.  READ MORE

University of Central Florida Orlando Florida, The Biofuel Production Operations Online Training Program

University of Central Florida Biofuel Production Operations Online Training Program is part of the school of continuing education. This program covers the production of petroleum-like fuel from sources such as corn and other vegetation. The Biofuel Production Operations Online Training Program provides students with the fundamental technical background needed to work in this industry. No prior science or math education is necessary; the program includes all of the necessary basic science and technology elements.

This is a user-friendly program, designed for people who have no prior exposure to technical aspects of hydrocarbons, energy, or industrial processes. This online certificate program is offered in partnership with major colleges, universities, and other accredited education providers (READ MORE).

Upon successful completion of this program, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe basic math, physics, and chemistry knowledge necessary for a biofuel production operator to know
  • Know basic safety aspects related to biofuel production
  • Understand basic elements of electricity for energy production workers
  • Read technical process drawings
  • Describe basic operational elements of lubrication and centrifugal pumps
  • Be familiar with the natural vegetation sources that can be used for biofuels
  • Know how ethanol and bio-diesel is produced
  • Describe how basic fermentation systems and alcohol distillation systems work
  • Understand various methods used to purify biofuel

To enroll in this program, you should have basic computer skills and a high school diploma or the equivalent.  This program is for students seeking entry-level positions in the field of biofuel production.   Please contact Program Coordinator Martin Malpica via email at  mmalpica@mail.ucf.edu

GEORGIA

University of Georgia Bioenergy Systems Research Initiative unites the University’s legacies in agriculture, forestry, environmental science and engineering with its strengths in carbohydrate science, genetics and microbiology to provide a scientific and practical foundation to support an economic and sustainable bioenergy future.   READ MORE

The University of Georgia Biorefining and Carbon Cycling Program is a key piece of this Bioenergy initiative; a collection of faculty and staff members from varied disciplines and representing colleges and departments within the UGA campus.The program is dedicated to research, development, and demonstration of biomass conversion technologies through the concept of the Integrated Biorefinery.  READ MORE

The University of Georgia is positioned uniquely to play a major role in working to make the biomass-based economy a reality. Among its key strengths are [1] a world recognized, well connected Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, [2] a well integrated cooperative extension service that has over a century of experience working closely with agriculture, [3] a wide range of scientists and educators in the basic sciences and engineering, and [4] an excellent assemblage of graduate students training to be leaders in the biomass-based world economy.

  • Research to understand biomass, processes and products.
  • Development and testing of technology for a biobased industry.
  • Technology transfer within Georgia and around the world—working with industries, government agencies and the community at large.
  • Educational programming that provides unique, pertinent and comprehensive training and educational experiences—thus preparing the workforce of the 21st century biomass economy.
  • Degree programs in varied disciplines including: Engineering, Forestry, Ecology, Biology, Biochemistry.    READ MORE

University of Georgia Biofuels, Biopower, and Biomaterials Initiative (B3I) is part of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science.   More than 80 UGA scientists, engineers and economists are conducting basic and applied research on using Georgia’s rich natural resources to create sustainable fuels that benefit the economy and the environment. Collaborating through the Biofuels, Biopower and Biomaterials Initiative (B3I), the researchers are studying how wastewater algae, waste chicken fat from poultry processing and wood chips from timber scraps can be processed into biofuels.

Researchers are trying to find efficient ways to produce ethanol. Former graduate student Sarah Kate Brandon and Professor Mike Eiteman have developed a process that dramatically increases the amount of ethanol that refineries can produce from non-food plants such as switchgrass , corn stalks, yard clippings, trees, agricultural wastes and  napier grass. Students and researchers participating in the program are from various departments and programs.  READ MORE about the Biofuels, Biopower, and Biomaterials Initiative (B3I) grant program.   For more information about specific programs or to participate in the B31 initiative please contact Joy Doran Peterson, Director of the university’s Biofuels, Biopower and Biomaterials Initiative via phone at 706-542-4115 and via email at joydoranpeterson@gmail.com.

Fort Valley State University M.S. in Biotechnology

Fort Valley State University is the only public institution in Georgia that offers a Master of Science degree in biotechnology. The field of biotechnology is growing, and so are the opportunities in this industry.

This program is designed to take students to the next level by preparing them for positions at large and small companies in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, consulting and high-tech industries, as well as government laboratories. Graduates of this program can pursue careers as research specialists, teachers, scientists and laboratory technicians.

The College of Agriculture, Home Economics and Allied Programs’ Master of Science in Biotechnology offers the following program options:

  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Animal Biotechnology
  • Applied Biotechnology

Sample Courses

  • BIOT 5893 Biotechnology in Crop Improvement (3)
  • BIOT 6533 Biotechnology of Specialty Plants (3)

Agricultural Research Center Archie L. Williams, Assistant Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering Agricultural Engineering Technology Program (READ MORE).

Research Interests:

  1. Computer Applications
  2. Biofuels
  3. Energy
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. Instrumentation

Please contact Williams, Archie Assistant Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering via phone at (478) 825-6832 or via email at WilliamsA01@fvsu.edu for more information about his research interests in Biofuels, and the Biotechnology program.

HAWAII

University of Hawaii – Hawaii Natural Energy Institute(HNEI) The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute was established in 1974, a few months after an oil embargo by the OPEC oil cartel triggered economic and political chaos in the United States and the rest of the industrialized world. Countries that depended on imported petroleum were suddenly hostage to the oil producers, and weakened economically by the inflation caused by the rise in oil prices.

HNEI refined its research focus to initiate efforts in biofuels, ocean resources, materials applications, and various interdisciplinary programs, while continuing its emphasis on energy-related research and development, particularly hydrogen. HNEI has also continued its biomass research, primarily in the gasification of biomass into fuels, chemicals, and other products.  READ MORE

A wide variety of research is underway in the Biomass and Fuels Processing Laboratory, including activities in biomass resource assessment, thermochemical conversion of biomass, evaluation of energy conversion and utilization processes, and reforming of transition fuels for the hydrogen economy.

The Renewable Resources Research Laboratory (R3Lab) is a center for the development of processes for the production of hydrogen and ethanol from biomass. It also pursues biocarbons (charcoal) as an important research focus.

IDAHO

University of Idaho B.S. Biological & Agricultural Engineering Since 1889, the University of Idaho has been a place that expects more from itself, more from its students, more from knowledge and more from life.

We offer a distinctive combination of outstanding majors and graduate programs, accomplished faculty, world-class facilities, renowned research and a residential campus in a spectacular natural setting. It’s no wonder we’re ranked among the top national universities in the country (U.S. News & World Report). We’re also one of the best values in higher education (The Princeton Review).

Biological and agricultural engineers understand the interrelationships between technology and living systems – talents needed for current and future engineering positions. Engineers who understand these interrelationships have a wide variety of employment options. Graduates will find career opportunities such as emerging technologies such as biofuels.

University of Idaho, Moscow Idaho BAE B.S. Food and Bioprocess Engineering, Biodiesel Fuel Education Program

University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is part of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Students will find career opportunities in emerging technologies such as biofuels. Our purpose is to solve engineering and technological management problems in agriculture, environment, biotechnology and natural resources by researching and teaching biological, chemical and physical sciences (READ MORE).

BAE B.S. Food and Bioprocess Engineering Option will prepare Students for a career within traditional food processing industries and emerging industries including bioenergy and biofuels - such as the ethanol and biodiesel products. Students may also work with the Food Science and Toxicology programs at the University of Idaho and Washington State University.

The program is designed to develop engineering expertise in the area of applied biotechnology in areas as waste treatment, biomass and energy products.  Engineers in this option receive extensive training in microbiology, biochemical engineering, heat and mass transfer, storage of biological products materials handling and unit processes.

Graduates are prepared for work the private industry, consulting firms, state and federal agencies on projects related to bioprocess development, energy conservation, testing, evaluation and application of new food, industrial and fuel projects.

BAE has an internationally recognized program in biofuels, especially biodiesel.  Faculty play a significant role in biofuel development and demonstration and cooperate regularly with the University of Idaho  National Institute for Advanced Transportation.  The food and Bio-processing program works cooperatively with the Food Science and Toxicology programs at both the University of Idaho and Washington State University.

Research/Focus Areas

  • Biodiesel
  • Biofuels
  • Ethanol
  • Diesel engines
  • Combustion

Dr. Van Gerpen has been researching the production and utilization of biodiesel for the past 17 years and his current projects include the design and construction of a biodiesel pilot plant and the development of a nation-wide biodiesel education program. He has published numerous technical papers on biodiesel production from low-cost and novel feedstocks.

Dr. Van Gerpen has been investigating the production and utilization of biodiesel since 1992. His work includes biodiesel on engines, property characterization, production quality control and production from novel and low-cost feedstocks.  Please contact Dr. Van Gerpen via phone at 208-885-7891 or via email at jonvg@uidaho.edu for more information about his research.

Please contact The Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering via phone at (208) 885-6182 or via email at baengr@uidaho.edu for more information.

Biodiesel Fuel Education Program   Biodiesel is a diesel fuel replacement made from vegetable oil or animal fat. It is not the same as ethanol, which is made from sugar or starch, and which is used in engines that run on gasoline. Biodiesel is used in engines that run on diesel fuel.   The University of Idaho has been involved in biodiesel research since 1979. The Biodiesel Fuel Education Program is committed to providing unbiased, science-based information about biodiesel for biodiesel producers and distributors, fleet operators, farmers and feedstock producers, policy makers, and consumers.

ILLINOIS

University of Illinois Bioenergy Master’s Degree Interest in bioenergy and renewable energy sources continues to increase and now students can earn a Master of Science degree in bioenergy from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The new Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree is a non-thesis program that allows students to receive training in bioenergy subjects, while gaining relevant professional experience in business classes and an internship.

“Bioenergy is an exciting career area, which is part of the new and emerging bioeconomy. I’m looking forward to working with students to explore this rapidly changing field of study,” said Dr. Hans Blaschek, Director of the U of I’s Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research and student advisor for the Bioenergy PSM.

The bioenergy PSM allows students to choose from four specialty areas: 1. plants, soils, and feedstocks; 2. bioenergy production, processing, and use; 3. environment, economics, and policy & law; 4. bioenergy tools and methods.

Two new classes in bioenergy have been created for University of Illinois students and will be mandatory for PSM students. Topics in those classes include agronomics and improvements needed for crops and biomass feedstocks, land use, biochemical and chemical processes, use of biofuels, other uses for biomass, applications of computational tools, such as modeling, simulation and GIS, environmental impacts and sustainability, energy fundamentals, economics and legal, political and societal issues.

Prospective students should have a baccalaureate degree in a recognized field of biological, physical, agricultural, socio-economic, or engineering science. READ MORE

Energy Biosciences Institute at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne See description under California above.

Illinois State University, Department of Technology B.S. Program, Renewable Energy Major Students will be able to choose between two tracks – a technology track or an economics/public policy track. Graduates will be prepared for jobs in the fields of biofuels, wind and solar energy, or regulatory and governmental agencies.

The Renewable Energy program is designed to prepare students to enter an emerging field with employment opportunities across a variety of industries including biofuels, solar, wind, regulatory and government agencies. Graduates are expected to be conversant in diverse disciplines, including technical, managerial, political, and economic issues important to renewable energy. READ MORE

University of Illinois – Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research (CABER)  MS degree in Bioenergy     The Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research (CABER) works closely with the nine UIUC colleges, multiple disciplinary and professional units and faculty and students to provide a facilitative structure for campus outreach, teaching and research in areas related to bioenergy systems. CABER facilitates the development of cross-disciplinary research and development, education and outreach programs that promote the greater and more efficient use of bio-renewable resources, and, more specifically, support the emergence of advanced bio-fuels and chemicals. CABER focuses on sustainable bioenergy systems, including plant, microbial, downstream processing and economics and policy issues as they relate to bio-based products.

CABER in the College of ACES offers a Master of Science degree in Bioenergy with a concentration in PSM (non-thesis).  In addition to receiving training in bioenergy, students gain relevant professional experience in business and related topics through coursework and internships. Applicants should have a baccalaureate degree in a recognized field of biological, physical, agricultural, socio-economic or engineering science. Students may choose from four specialty areas within the program:

  • Plants, Soils and Feedstocks
  • Production, Processing and Use
  • Environment, Economics,  Policy and Law
  • Tools and Methods

The MS degree in Bioenergy with a PSM concentration has four curriculum components:

READ MORE about the MS PSM program.    READ MORE (about CABER)

University of Illinois Scientist IDs Genes that Promise to Make Biofuel Production More Efficient, Economical

 

Sample Research at University of Illinois Yong-Su Jin, an assistant professor of microbial genomics in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and a faculty member in the University of Illinios Institute for Genomic Biology within the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Dr Jin’s research is working with Saccharomyces cerevisiae- microbe most often used in making ethanol, to identify four genes (MSN2, DOG1, HAL1, and INO1) which improves tolerance to ethanol and iso-butanol when they are overexpressed.

To assess the overexpressed genes’ contribution to the components that have limited biofuel production, his research tested them in the presence of high concentrations of glucose (10%), ethanol (5%), and iso-butanol (1%) and compared their performance to a control strain of S. cerevisiae. (READ MORE).

The functions of the identified genes are very diverse and unrelated, which suggests that tolerance to high concentrations of iso-butanol and ethanol might involve the complex interactions of many genetic elements in yeast.  View more research from Dr Yong-Su Jin.   Please contact Dr Yong-Su Jin via phone at 217-333-7981 or via email at ysjin@illinois.edu for more information about his research.

University of Illinois Researchers: Diverse Feedstocks Key to Sustainable, Successful Biofuels Industry

Sarah Davis, University of Illinois Bioenergy Feedstocks Analyst and adjunct assistant professor in plant biology, believes that the greatest opportunity for lignocellulosic biofuel production is the diversity of available feedstock options.

Concerns about net energy and greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to its effect on food and feed pricing are driving researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute EBI at the University of Illinois department of sociology to find cropping options that will produce ethanol sustainably and without taking more of the land currently used for food and feed production.

University of Illinois EBI researchers are currently studying Napier grass. Results indicate that it could be twice as productive as Miscanthus in the southern United States, reducing land requirements even further.

Among others this research is being conducted by Sarah Davis and Steve Long of the Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of Illinois, located in the Institute for Genomic Biology (READ MORE) and MORE.   Please contact Steve Long via phone at 217-244-0881 or via email at slong@illinois.edu  for more information about his research.

Southeastern Illinois College Biofuels Certificate, Online Courses      Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg has created a biofuels education program. The program debuted for the Fall 2010 semester with two online courses: Energy 111 – Intro to Biofuels, and Energy 151 – Ethanol Production.   Two more courses in the program are planned for the Spring 2011 semester: Energy 131 – Biodiesel Production, and Energy 211 – Biofuels System Technology, also both online.

By offering all of SIC’s biofuels courses online, they are just as accessible to students outside the college district as for those inside. Students enrolled this fall range from local district students, to residents from as far away as New Jersey, South Carolina and Nebraska.   The courses are also very affordable – just $83 per credit hour, plus fees.   “This innovative ethanol and biofuels program will educate and train workers in support of the Renewable Fuels Standard directive – which is leading our nation toward energy, economic and environmental security, while providing jobs for American workers,” said Renee Loesche, who teaches all of SIC’s biofuel courses.

SIC’s online courses alone provide students with a greater understanding of all levels and aspects of the biofuels industry, including production, byproducts, promotion, marketing, pricing and distribution. These courses will help make students more attractive to plant operators looking for highly qualified employees as the industry continues to grow and expand.  In addition, for those wanting to obtain further and more in-depth training, the college offers certificates in biodiesel, ethanol and biofuels production. The biodiesel and ethanol certificates are one-year programs that also include some core classes, while the biofuels certificate is a fast-track, one-semester program concentrating on renewable energy courses and math, science and computer skills that would be relevant to careers in the field.  However, the 12 credit hour certificate in Biofuels Technology and Sustainability, can be earned completely online.

For more information or questions regarding the online biofuels courses at Southeastern Illinois College, contact the instructor, Renee Loesche, at renee.loesche@sic.edu.  Other questions concerning the program may be directed to Dr. Dana Keating at 618-252-5400, or toll free at 1-866-338-2742, ext. 2200, or visit www.sic.edu/biofuels.   READ MORE and  MORE

 

Carl Sandburg College  Funded by the Illinois Green Economy Network – IGEN, Carl Sandburg College is pleased to offer the Associate in Applied Science in Biofuels Manufacturing Technology.

This program is intended for persons who desire to become professional technicians qualified for employment in the renewable energy and/or manufacturing sectors.

The technical components of the program prepare the graduate for employment as operating or technicians in the field of biodiesel production, wet and dry ethanol production, waste and water treatment, process control and chemical processing.

The Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) was launched in 2008 as a president-led consortium of all 48 Illinois community colleges dedicated to the training and education of a green workforce and deployment of energy conservation and green technology.

The IGEN Career Pathways initiative is a collaboration of 17 Illinois community colleges divided into 5 Green Industry Sectors (Manufacturing, Architecture & Construction, STEM, Transportation/Distribution & Logistics and Agriculture & Natural Resources).  These colleges will develop, share and implement more than 30 online‐hybrid associate degrees and certificates for green economy workforce training. All curricula will be shared via the Department of Energy’s innovative National Training & Education Resource (NTER) online delivery platform.

The programs will combine classroom instruction, interactive online training, and hands‐on exercises. Local, state and national business and industry partnerships will assist faculty with the task of modernizing curriculum to contain relevant workplace skills, such as critical thinking, decision making, entrepreneurship, and on‐the‐job training.

Five colleges strategically located throughout the state will develop and pilot one‐stop Adult Transition Service Centers to provide prior learning assessments, bridge program courses and refresher tutorials to help displaced workers prepare for re‐entry into college programs. Several programs will embed general education components to enable accelerated degree completion. The curricula will be reviewed by select University partners for articulation and transfer to four‐year institutions.

The IGEN Career Pathways Initiative will transform how Illinois community colleges deliver accessible and affordable green job training opportunities. This pioneering approach will increase employment of skilled workers in high demand industries in the emerging green economy. If you are interested becoming a part of this innovative new education program designed for the growing renewable energy industry, please contact:Chuck Young, Carl Sandburg College, cyoung@sandburg.edu / 309.345.3504  or Pam Reid, Carl Sandburg College, preid@sandburg.edu / 309.341.5322

INDIANA

Purdue University – Energy Center at Discovery Park The Energy Center at Discovery Park will facilitate high-impact, multidisciplinary projects in support of Purdue’s vision to be one of the global leaders in energy. The Energy Center (EC) was officially launched in August of 2005 with $2.5 million in start-up funds made available from the January 2005 Lilly Endowment grant for expanding Discovery Park.   The EC launched with nine major research initiatives and an Executive Board of 21 faculty members, each assigned to a particular area of responsibility for advancing the EC agenda. Seventy-five (75) faculty members signed the original EC proposal. Currently approximately 185 faculty and staff members representing nine colleges, Purdue and Discovery Park administration as well as Purdue Physical Facilities are actively engaged in Energy Center activities.

The Energy Center partners with over 80 faculty from 4 colleges and 23 departments in a comprehensive approach to bioenergy research. Policy, economics, and environmental impacts are considered in concert with new technology development. Purdue Discovery Park’s Bindley Biosciences and Birck Nanotechnology Centers along with the Laboratory of Renewable Resource Engineering (LORRE) provide leading edge analytical capabilities in support of the Energy Center’s mission of facilitating large, multi-year, interdisciplinary research proposals.   READ MORE

IOWA

Iowa Central Community College Associates Degree, Biofuels Technology

Iowa Central is dedicated to bringing you the very best when it comes to a quality educational experience. We have experienced faculty members who are dedicated to student instruction and advising, and we have a biotechnology and biofuels technology teaching laboratory equipped with the latest in technology for giving you a real hands-on experience.

The A.A.S. Biofuels Technology program offers extensive training that provides our students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become employed in the biofuels industry. The program emphasizes the development of analytical laboratory skills and the skills necessary to operate and maintain mechanical systems. READ MORE

Iowa State University’s Bioeconomy Initiative The Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) is an outgrowth of the Bioeconomy Initiative — a campuswide effort, launched in 2002, to investigate the use of biorenewable resources as sustainable feedstocks for producing chemicals, fuels, materials, and energy. Today,  the BEI has over 160 faculty affiliated members who contribute to the Bioeconomy Initiative with over $51 million in cumulative sponsored research funding from industry and federal agencies ranging from the Department of Agriculture to the National Science Foundation.

Like many land-grant institutions, Iowa State’s faculty has been engaged for many years in both fundamental and applied research projects related to biorenewable resources and biobased products. What distinguishes ISU is its early recognition that single objective, single investigator approaches to problems in this field have stymied progress toward commercialization of biobased technologies. The BEI was established to provide cohesion among the diverse efforts in biorenewable resources on campus and to encourage collaboration among departments, colleges, and research units. To date, the BEI has engaged 29 departments in all seven colleges and 20 research centers and institutes. READ MORE

Iowa State University M.S., Ph.D, Biorenewable Resources Iowa State University recently established the first graduate program in biorenewable resources in the United States. While other universities offer certificate programs or minor programs related to biobased products and bioenergy, ISU offers M.S. and Ph.D degrees in this new field, as well as, a minor for students obtaining degrees in other majors.

The Biorenewable Resources and Technology program offers students from a wide variety of science and engineering backgrounds advanced study in the use of plant- and crop-based resources for the production of biobased products, including fuels, chemicals, materials, and energy. Program Areas include Feedstock Production; Harvest, Storage, and Transportation of Biomass; Advanced Corn-to-Biofuels; Soybean Biorefinery; Thermochemical,; Biorenewable Chemicals. READ MORE

Maharishi University of Management In 1973, Parson’s College closed in Fairfield, Iowa, and its million-square-foot campus went up for sale. With the help of private benefactors, Maharishi International University purchased the campus and moved in during the summer of 1974.  The next several years were a time of rapid expansion. MIU was accredited by the Higher Learning Commissions of the North Central Association, the oldest and largest accrediting body in the United States.

The first Ph.D. programs began to be offered in 1979. At the same time, more and more research was being published that documented the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique for academic study and all areas of life.  In addition to an undergraduate degree in sustainable living, the university offers an MBA in Sustainable Business which covers five key areas: Self Sustainability – develops your inner potential and leadership abilities through consciousness-Based education; Sustainable Entrepreneurship -focuses on creating successful green businesses that produce real value for society; Sustainable Business Solutions -provides the knowledge and skills needed for transforming and managing businesses for lasting sustainability; Sustainable Management -emphasizes the people and organizational skills needed for managing projects and operations; Sustainable Living – provides advanced knowledge and experience in renewable energy, organic agriculture, and the other principal fields of sustainable living.   READ MORE

KENTUCKY

University of Kentucky – Center for Applied Energy Research The Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) is one of the University of Kentucky’s multidisciplinary research centers. Its energy research provides a focal point for coal and environmental research in Kentucky. Research efforts are directed to: coal cleaning, beneficiation, utilization, and conversion process technologies. Environmental issues relating to fuel use and coal combustion by-products constitute a major effort, along with the derivation of high added-value materials and chemicals from energy resources. The CAER is a non-academic unit that is staffed by professional scientists and engineers, has extensive interactions with faculty members and students, and provides analytical services for outside organizations.   Sample research includes:

The National Science Foundation has awarded several UK entities $1,984,322 through its EFRI (Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation) program. Project investigators include: Rodney Andrews, Mark Crocker, Samuel Morton (CAER), Mark Meier (Chemistry), Seth DeBolt (Horticulture), and Mike Montross (Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering). Titled “Lignin Deconstruction for the Production of Liquid Fuels,” the project’s goals are to investigate the high capacity processes required for the production of hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass.   READ MORE

Kentucky State University Frankfort, KY Cooperative Extension Program

Kentucky State University (KSU) is a public, comprehensive 1890 land-grant institution. The Land Grant Program (LGP) works to uphold the mission of the University through its commitment to research, service, and teaching in the food and agricultural sciences (READ MORE).

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Program CEP fulfills its mission by conducting training and education in the following areas: Family and Consumer Sciences, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Community Resource Development.

Sample Course:  Farming Algal Fuel:  Economics Challenge Process Potential

View Other Green Initiatives

Please constact William A. Wurts, Ph.D. Senior State Specialist for Aquaculture via phone at 270-365-7541 ext. 200 or via e-mail at wwurts@uky.edu on how to enroll in the Corporative Extension Program.

LOUISIANA

Louisiana State University – LSU AgCenter – Bioenergy The LSU AgCenter is engaged in a broad array of bioenergy/biofuels research and extension activities across Louisiana. With the goal of identifying and evaluating bioenergy production technologies and opportunities that can be economically feasible in Louisiana on a commercial scale, research activities of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station (LAES) are focused in two basic areas: (1) feedstock development and evaluation and (2) feedstock processing and bioenergy production.  The LSU AgCenter has received the go-ahead from the Board of Regents to begin establishing the Louisiana Institute for Biofuels and Bioprocessing.    READ MORE

Sample research projects can be found here.

Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA PHD, MS, BS Chemical Engineering   Chemical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University is a challenging but rewarding program within the College of Engineering and Science. The Chemical Engineering program prepares students for a variety of exciting careers. Chemical Engineering faculty at Louisiana Tech University have experimental research projects in Nanotechnology and Biofuels (READ MORE). Contact Dr. James Palmer, Program Chair of Chemical Engineering at jpalmer@latech.edu or 318-257-2885 for more information.

Biofuels Digest highlighted The Enzyme Project   Louisiana Tech  Chemical Engineering professors are capitalizing on the environmental and financial benefits of  biofuels by using nanotechnology to further improve the cellulosic ethanol processes. The nanotechnology processes developed at Louisiana Tech University can immobilize the expensive enzymes used to convert cellulose to sugars, allowing them to be reused and significantly reducing the overall cost of the process. Please contact Dr. James Palmer, associate professor of chemical engineering about the Enzyme Project.

Louisiana Southern University and A&M College  Baton Rouge, Louisiana Sustainable Futures IGERT Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship

Louisiana Southern University  and A&M College and Michigan Technological University have established the Sustainable Futures (SF) IGERT focused on establishing an integrated basis for decision-making to promote sustainability.

The program engages a diverse group of doctoral and master’s students in an education and research training program to understand, explore, apply, and further develop the science of sustainability and Sustainable Futures Model. IGERT trainees must be enrolled in a doctoral program and be citizens, nationals or permanent residents of the United States of America. There are opportunities for International students interested in the program as IGERT associates (READ MORE).

The Sustainable Futures IGERT focuses on:

  • Environmental systems
  • Industrial systems
  • Societal systems
  • Integrative sustainable systems linking the first three thrust areas

Students from Michigan Tech University and Southern University – Baton Rouge have been working in multi-disciplinary collaborative groups on specific sustainability-related topics (READ MORE).

Past Research Includes:

i) Role of nanotechnology in sustainable manufacturing;
ii) Biofuels technologies in the United States;
iii) Systems thinking and water resource management;
iv) The impacts of e-waste recovery in developing countries.

Funding: The IGERT program is supported by the NSF grant. IGERT Trainees receive an annual stipend of $30,000 and a cost of education allowance for tuition and fees. IGERT Associates are supported as graduate research or teaching assistants and receive an annual stipend and payment of their tuition and fees as set by the host university’s Graduate School.   Please contact the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs via phone at 225-771-3092 for more information.

Gulfsouth Youth BioDiesel Project The Gulfsouth Youth BioDIesel Project engages, empowers and inspires youth involvement in community development, social entrepreneurship and environmental responsibility through Green Collar job training in which youth ages 14 to 25 learn the ins and outs of how to turn raw organic materials into eco-friendly alternative fuels.

Building upon Operation REACH, Inc.’s 10-year history of successful community education serving youth and families, the Gulfsouth Youth Biodiesel Project engages young participants in a valuable, hands–on learning experience that teaches them the processes involved the production of cleaner-burning biofuels. Participants get valuable training that empowers them to make a positive impact in their community by coordinating with a variety of stakeholders – including restaurants, universities, truck drivers, farmers and fishermen – to create a viable biodiesel project.

The program also fills a critical need for developing job skills among urban youth for the growing 21st century green economy. Youth involved with the program gain valuable skills, ranging from leadership and business savvy to mechanics, chemistry and engineering. Young people will learn the chemistry and engineering required in alternative fuel production, the mechanics of diesel engines, and the environmental impacts of both eco-friendly biofuels and traditional petroleum-based fuels.

Participants recruit and secure commitments from local restaurants, caterers and cafeterias to provide used cooking oil – the primary ingredient in biofuels – to the project. Suppliers are equipped with GYBP barrels that youth and their adult supervisors pick up regularly. For their tax-deductible contributions, suppliers are publicly recognized as supporters of a greener Gulfsouth.

Youth participants in the project meet regularly to conduct planning and receive training on relevant components of the program, including the basics of biodiesel production and its impact, leadership, business development, management, sales and marketing. In addition to regular planning and training meetings, young people garner skills through hands-on participation in the enterprise from mentors, teachers and supervisors involved directly in the project. Under the direction of trained professionals, youth participants convert the used cooking oil into eco-friendly biofuel. All proceeds from the sale of fuel produced by the Gulfsouth Youth Biodiesel Project will fund Operation REACH’s mission to engage, empower and inspire children, youth and families to reach their highest potential. READ MORE and MORE

MAINE

University of Maine -  UMaine’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute The University of Maine (UMaine) offers a research and educational NSF funded program to a diverse pool of undergraduates interested in research connected to sustainable forest bio-products development.  UMe’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) is a multidisciplinary research institute that includes faculty from chemical and biological engineering, chemistry, forestry, molecular biology, resource economics and wood science and technology. Other campus research centers that support the REU program include the Pulp and Paper Process Development Center, the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center, and the Cooperative Forestry Research Unit.   Sample research includes:  The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded more than $712,000 to chemical and biological engineering professors Peter van Walsum and Clay Wheeler for a three-year project to create a high-quality transportation fuel from renewable biomass resources.

View Research Projects

Please contact Forest Bioproducts Research Initiative via phone at 207-581-1431or via e-mail at forestbioproducts@umit.maine.edu for more information about the program.    READ MORE

MASSACHUSETTS

University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences Campus researchers are planting crops that can be used to make biofuels on land in the Pioneer Valley that is not suitable for food production. The project is a cooperative effort with UMass Extension and several state agencies seeking to develop a sustainable fuel crop in Massachusetts.

Crop trials will be managed by the Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences under the direction of research professors Stephen Herbert and Om Parkash, and weed extension specialist Randall Prostak.  Crops will be grown at the Research and Education Center trial crop farm in Deerfield, and at eight privately owned farms in the Pioneer Valley. Including private farms in the project will provide the researchers with information on how the crops fare in different locations and soil types, and interest local farmers in growing biofuels crops.   READ MORE

University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Chemical Engineering Chemical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is a dynamic Department offering a highly-rated undergraduate program and a vibrant graduate research program that balances chemical engineering fundamentals with industrial technology. From our beginnings in the 1950s, the Department has educated distinguished scholars and technical leaders. Today, our faculty is recognized for its technological innovation and contributions to engineering sciences in the fields of fluid mechanics and transport phenomena, scientific computing, bioengineering, materials science, nanotechnology, and sustainable energy. READ MORE and MORE

University of Massachusetts University of Massachusetts Assistant Professor Paul Dauenhauer with the Department of Chemical Engineering are researching  new ways of converting wood into fuels through a process called partial oxidation. The core of the technical problem are the significant physical differences between the carbon sources of the future such as biomass, natural gas, and heavy oils and the current reduced-carbon feedstocks.  The goal is to develop integrated catalytic reactor technologies that permit the utilization of new and exotic feedstocks (READ MORE).

The Process There are three ways that wood can be converted. One being biologically and another that involves a process called gasification, where wood is heated very rapidly in a reactor with no oxygen to a temperature where it glows bright orange and vaporizes into synthesis gas, which can then be converted into fuels. The third method called partial oxidation  involves heating the wood quickly in the presence of low amounts of oxygen and then cooling it (READ MORE).

Dr Paul Dauenhauer’s research has involved developing an autothermal reactor system that catalytically reforms non-volatile fuels such as starch, cellulose, polyethylene, and Aspen trees. He also investigated the parameters and mechanism of a catalytic partial oxidation process that converts oxygenates to chemicals, such as synthesis gas and olefins, at millisecond reaction times (READ MORE) and (MORE).

Please contact Dr Paul Dauenhauer via phone at (413)-545-2819 to learn more about this research.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology B.S. minor in Energy Studies The Energy Studies Minor for undergraduates is an Institute-wide program that complements the deep expertise obtained in any major with a broad understanding of the interlinked realms of science, technology, and social sciences as they relate to energy and associated environmental challenges. The minor curriculum integrates these three domains in a thoroughly multidisciplinary program. A faculty oversight committee including representatives from all five Schools oversees the Energy Studies Minor program.

The Energy Studies curriculum has two components.

  • · The first is a core that provides an integrated perspective on energy and associated environmental challenges in three domains, each with a primary focus: Energy Science Foundations (fundamental laws and principles that govern energy sources, conversion, and uses), Social Science Foundations of Energy (social scientific perspectives and tools that explain human behavior in the energy context), and Energy Technology / Engineering in Context (the application of laws and principles to a specific energy context).
  • · The second component is a customized program of electives that is selected by each student in close consultation with Energy Minor faculty advisors. READ MORE

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Certificate) Biofuels from Biomass: Technology and Policy Considerations     To have a measurable impact on energy security, greenhouse gas emissions, and alleviate the food-fuel competition, biofuel production must use renewable cellulosic biomass as feedstock. This biofuels course will examine state of the art technologies aiming at cost effective biomass conversion along with economics, environmental impact, and policy issues. Both biological and thermochemical methods for the conversion of biomass to biofuels are considered. The course will be of value to individual engineers and scientists interested in the technologies of the developing field of biofuels, as well as managers and policymakers.   READ MORE

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA Biodiesel@MIT is a student-led group dedicated to promoting the use of biofuels at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  The students are working to refine their process by optimizing the amount of catalyst, potassium hydroxide, used. Biodiesel@MIT aims to establish itself as the leading resource for others interested in using UVO to produce biodiesel, especially for college campuses.   The program uses other educational options such as the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and researchers from the MIT community to assist and conduct appropriate research. (READ MORE)

MICHIGAN

Michigan Technological University is a leading public research university, conducting research, developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, forestry and environmental sciences, computing, technology, business and economics, natural and physical sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences.  READ MORE

Michigan State University Office of Biobased Technologies Michigan State’s Office of Biobased Technology aims to integrate innovations in the lab with advances in the marketplace to enhance the economy, the environment, and the quality of life in Michigan and around the globe.  “There is more to the bioeconomy than just fuel,” says Steven Pueppke, director of OBT. “The bioeconomy is about making crop plants more valuable and providing consumers with products from renewable resources.”   READ MORE

MSU and Michigan Technological University were awarded  $1.4 million dollar bill was awarded  for the Scientists to work together to find solutions to the complex problem of supplying woody feedstocks to the bioenergy industry for the production of renewable energy.  the Research to turn trees into liquid fuel is a new biofuel research program at the Michigan State University (READ MORE).  The MSU’s biofuel and bioenergy research project will:

  • Develop a complete forest-based biomass assessment for Michigan that is geo-referenced and available online in a super-friendly system.
  • Improve harvesting, processing and transportation systems for woody biomass.
  • Improve forest feedstock productivity and sustainability.
  • Engage landowners and communities in producing woody biomass feedstocks through education and outreach programs and materials

READ MORE about Woody biomass for energy in Michigan – topics for discussion and inquiry.

Michigan State University Biomass Conversion Research Laboratory The mission of the Biomass Conversion Research Laboratory at Michigan State University is to develop cost effective and environmentally attractive means of generating fuels, chemicals, materials, foods and feeds from renewable plant biomass. We seek to shift the raw material basis of modern society away from excessive dependence on fossil resources, particularly petroleum, and toward biomass. As a global society, one of our greatest economic and environmental risks is our near total reliance on petroleum as a source of liquid transportation fuels. Obviously, the BCRL has chosen no small mission. But we do not believe it is “mission impossible”. In fact, the mission is completely possible.

Sample Areas of Research: Overcoming Biomass Recalcitrance, Coproducing Food and Fuel, Biorefinery Approach, Sustainability Analyses. READ MORE

University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Masters Program in Terrestrial Ecosystems

University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment offers a masters degree program in Terrestrial Ecosystems.

Terrestrial ecosystems extend from uplands to wetlands, which form the interface between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This field of study provides students with an understanding of the composition, structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems through classroom and field-based instruction. The Terrestrial Ecosystems curriculum focuses on forest ecosystems and its completion leads to a master’s of science degree in natural resources and environment.

Through weekly field trips, students will study the ecology, biology and identification of trees, shrubs and vines. Special excursions to northern Michigan and the Great Smoky Mountains will enable you to understand forest ecosystems, with a major emphasis on field biology and ecology, soil processes, and the physical and biological factors that influence the geographic distribution of forest plants (READ MORE).

Sample Course: Bio-Based Carbon Mitigation and Biofuels (NRE 501) taught by Assoc. Professor William S. Currie (READ MORE).

View University of Michigan students blog on Biofuels and Bio-Based Carbon Mitigation For more information on Terrestrial Ecosystems, contact snre.admissions@umich.edu

MINNESOTA

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System Nine colleges in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system will begin offering a two-year degree program fall 2009 that prepares students to work either in the renewable energy or traditional energy industries.  Development of the new associate degree program is funded mostly with a three-year, $1 million High Growth Job Training Initiative grant from the U. S. Department of Labor.

Besides the energy technical specialist degree, students will be able to earn a 16-credit certificate in one of four specialties – ethanol production, biodiesel production, wind turbine maintenance, and solar energy assessment. The certificate programs, which can be completed in as little as one semester, will be available online.

The colleges offering the new degree are

  • Alexandria Technical College,
  • Century College,
  • Minnesota West Community and Technical College,
  • South Central College,
  • St. Cloud Technical College and
  • four colleges of the Northeast Higher Education District -
    • Hibbing Community College,
    • Itasca Community College,
    • Mesabi Range Community and Technical College and
    • Vermilion College.

These nine colleges and the Northeast Higher Education District’s Rainy River Community College make up the Minnesota Training Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Economy. Partnering state-run WorkForce Centers will help recruit students and place graduates in jobs.   READ MORE and MORE

University of Minnesota Undergraduate and Graduate Degree programs,   Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering The University of Minnesota plays a major role in green education through its science, technology and engineering programs. The Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering offers both graduate and undergraduate programs that provides quality research-based programs to meet current and emerging needs of the biotech industry.

The University’s BBE undergraduate program includes specializations for students pursuing careers in biofuels and renewable energy, water and air quality, safe and healthier food production, and systems for green buildings. The program offers Bachelor of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Bioproduct Marketing and Management, and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy Management.  Each degree program provides teaching, research, and extension and outreach programs in four areas:

The University of Minnesota’s BBE Graduate Degree program in Bioproducts and Biosystems Science, Engineering and Management (BBSEM) provides students with options in program specialty including Bioproducts Science and Engineering, Biosystems Science and Engineering, Bioproducts Marketing and Management, and Environmental and Ecological Engineering Management.

Scholarship and funding are available to students by generous contributions and foundations from organizations such as the Donaldson Filtration Solutions Inc.  The Donaldson Foundation is a division of Donaldson Inc. committed to supporting effective green educational programs.  The foundation provides merit based scholarships, endowments and recruitment for students in the University of Minnesota BBE program.  The Donaldson Foundation provided $25 thousand dollar endowment scholarship for the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering.   READ MORE about the Donaldson Company Inc.    For more information on scholarships and funding, contact Susan Seltz at 612-624-1293 or via email at seltz043@umn.edu.

The goal and mission of BIOSUCCEED is to build and deliver excellent courses and instructional modules to support educational excellence and technological innovations related to biomass utilization. The project is intended to catalyze vigorous and effective research in such areas as the composition and characterization of biomass, and chemical and biological processes used to convert biomass to useful products and the economics and environmental impacts of harvesting and collecting biomass and residues.

BIOSUCCEED will diverge from the most usual approaches to pedagogy. The approach that will be used in course development can perhaps best be compared to the development of open-source software. Thus, because the end goal of the exercise is to provide course materials that can be made widely available, a policy of open content sharing will be practiced by the participating faculty and participating institutions at each stage.

BIOSUCCEED will develop the future bio-workforce and move the nation’s ability to develop a sustainable bioeconomy forward

University of Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences CFANS is a college devoted to solution-driven science. We study the health of the land and the health of the living. We ensure the safety of the food and water supply. We strive to improve our economy, foster job creation, strengthen our agricultural and natural resource-based industries and enhance the social fabric of communities.  We care about having enough food and worry that some may have too much food. We turn biomass into products including biofuels and many other products society depends upon.  We work with molecules, microbes, plants, and animals in the water, on the land, and in the sky. In doing so, we interact closely with our citizenry. We use critical and innovative thinking plus all the tools of the arts and sciences to make our planet a productive, friendly, and sustainable environment—to solve everyday problems.

And most of all we engage and motivate students of all ages in an exemplary fashion about why understanding basic mechanisms can lead to applied solutions to society’s current and future challenges, many of which are issues of food, agriculture, and natural resources. Solution-Driven Science reinforces and renews our land grant heritage.  READ MORE

Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Granite Falls Campus Associates Degree, Renewable Energy, Biofuel Concentration Minnesota West Community and Technical College has five campuses and four learning centers located in beautiful southwest Minnesota. Thousands of wind turbines dot the landscape along the Buffalo Ridge, which runs through Minnesota West’s service area. Minnesota West is a national leader in renewable and sustainable energy programs.

The college offers more than 60 majors in technical and liberal arts areas. Situated in a rural setting, Minnesota West boasts activities for both cultural and outdoor enthusiasts. Unique programs: Agriculture, biotechnology lab technician, biofuels technology, power sports, wind energy technology. READ MORE

Anoka-Ramsey Community College Biofuels Technologist Certification     The grant will train approximately 44 participants, selected from a target population of military veterans, displaced workers and incumbent employees, in a 12-month program that concludes in certification.  The college is partnering with two local businesses. Participants in the grant’s demand-driven training program will be qualified to work with them. SarTec Corp., an agricultural products producer with a home office in Anoka, Minn., developed a greener and cleaner process for producing biodiesel fuel and Ever Cat Fuels is implementing this patented technology at their biodiesel demonstration plant in Isanti County.

The grant-funded training of workers for these industries will be administered by Anoka-Ramsey Community College and coordinated by Professional Training Director, Stephen Jones. Multiple learning strategies will be used in the training including:

  • existing online courses
  • experiential lessons within production facilities
  • virtual tours of existing plants
  • instructor-led classroom activities
  • production control computer simulations
  • expert presentations from industry representatives

An advisory board will provide guidance for curriculum refinement, selection of participants, delivery of learning activities and support for participant completion and job placement. The Minnesota Biodiesel Council and Minnesota West Technical and Community College faculty will provide additional program support.  Training is expected to begin by late-September 2010.   READ MORE

MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi State University The Sustainable Energy Research Center (SERC) was established in January 2006 at Mississippi State University (MSU) through funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

SERC was formed to create an infrastructure for coordinated interdisciplinary collaboration at MSU in the development of environmentally and economically sustainable energy sources specific to the Southeastern United States.

SERC serves as a conduit for the development of integrated research and educational programs at MSU. The Center is also a catalyst for forging partnerships among academia, business, and the U.S. government. READ MORE and MORE

Alcorn State University, Mississippi The KiOR initiative

Alcorn State University‘s involvement in the KiOR initiative, will allow Alcorn students and faculty new opportunities in this field of science, and may bolster new growth in the biofuel research industry in the state.  $45 million in total support for the KiOR initiative provides $2 million to be used at both Alcorn State University and Mississippi State University for research on biomass usage in producing renewable crude oil (READ MORE).

KiOR proposed funding for the development of five biofuel plants in Mississippi.  The total package included $4 million in workforce training. The projects will create 1,000 direct and indirect jobs over a five-year period and will generate $85 million in incremental payroll for the state (READ MORE).

KiOR is a next generation biofuels company which produces a renewable crude oil substitute.  KiOR’s renewable crude is compatible with our country’s existing fuel infrastructure and yields a significant number of societal and environmental benefits (READ MORE).

MISSOURI

University of Missouri System,  Center for Sustainable Energy

The University of Missouri‘s Center for Sustainable Energy was formed as a collaboration between the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering. The MU Center for Sustainable Energy strives to develop sustainable, affordable and renewable solutions to help meet the nation’s increasing energy needs. The center focuses on five primary areas: energy policy and management, research, education and training, service, and commercialization.

The MU Center for Sustainable Energy serves as a single, central portal for access to the full resources of the University of Missouri the goal of addressing the energy challenges that face our state and nation (READ MORE)

Research Research projects are also focusing on the utilization of biomass for fuel production. Specific projects are focused on enhancing biomass production but also on understanding and reducing any harmful environmental impacts that might arise (READ MORE) and MORE.

Research areas include:

  • Cellulosic Biofuels
  • Biomass-Based Diesel
  • Advanced Biofuels
  • Renewable Fuel

Please contact Gary Stacey, Director of MU Center for Biorenewable Energy via email at staceyg@missouri.edu or via phone (573) 884-4752

Crowder College, Neosho, Missouri – Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology Center Biofuel Associates of Arts Degree; Biofuel, Biogas, Bioethanol, Biodiesel Certificates

Following decades of success in solar energy projects, the Missouri Legislature designated Crowder College in 1992 as the State’s renewable energy education center. The resulting Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology (MARET) Center is recognized internationally for its contributions to the energy field.

The mission of the MARET Center is to expand renewable energy throughout the region with education, applied research, and economic development. Educational programs include certification and transfer degrees encompassing green construction, solar thermal energy, solar electricity, wind, and bio fuels. The MARET Center also assists in new product development and other business support services in renewable energy.

Crowder College is the first community college in the country to offer a Biofuel degree. Additionally the college has added four Biofuel related certificates. Below are the degree and certificates – be sure to check with an advisor for the latest degree requirements and offerings. READ MORE

Lincoln University Missouri Department of Agriculture, Chemistry, and Physics

Lincoln University Department of Agriculture, Chemistry, and Physics current research include nanophotonics, biophotonics and sensors, nano-chemistry, biofuels, environmental ecology, genetic ecology, plant taxonomy and animal physiology.

Students who choose a major in this department will find undergraduate degree programs in biology, chemistry and physics. Courses in biotechnology are also offered through this department (READ MORE).  Students who are interested in research will choose from inter-disciplinary research areas within the department (READ MORE).

Bio-Energy Research Laboratory    Dr. Lee’s research investigates  ways to produce bioenergy (biodiesel and bioethanol) from various types of biomass, including algae.  Please contact Dr. Keesoo Lee for more information about her research.via phone at (573) 681-5994 and via email at keesoo@lincolnu.edu

MONTANA

Montana State University A significant fraction of energy research at MSU is focused on biofuels. Biofuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol, are derived from grains, seeds and other biological matter. Theoretically, burning biofuels rather than fossil fuels contributes less carbon to the atmosphere because the plants used to produce the biofuel absorbed carbon from the air during their lives. MSU’s research aims at making biofuels more efficient and cost effective from both the industrial and agricultural points of view.  Sample research:  MSU receives $2 million to further study diesel-producing South American fungus – 2009-12-28 – MSU has received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to expand its study of Gliocladium roseum, a fungus that naturally produces compounds like those found in diesel fuel.  READ MORE

MSU Web sites:

  • Agricultural Marketing Policy Center’s Issue Papers — Papers 16 and 19, specifically, were written by MSU agricultural economists Joel Schumacher and Vince Smith on the subject of biodiesel subsidies and oilseed markets. Both subjects have implications for the way oilseed crops are grown in Montana.
  • Central Agricultural Research Center — Located near Moccasin, Mont., the Central Agricultural Research Center is home to scientists looking into hay, straw and silage as alternative sources of ethanol
  • MSU Biobased Institute — The MSU Biobased Institute finds ways to improve the profitability of Montana agriculture by enhancing production and developing new applications and products that are suitable for Montana.
  • Western Agricultural Research Center — The mission of the Western Agricultural Research Center, located in Corvallis, Mont., is to apply research to the problems facing agricultural production. Scientists at this experiment station are looking into flax seeds and their oil as a potential source of biofuel.
  • University of Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource

Montana State University College of Agriculture  Biobased Institute provides funding to MSU researchers who work directly or indirectly with Ag producers and manufactures to enhance Montana products or to develop new products/applications. The biobased Institute currently supports 14 research projects targeted at improving Montana agriculture (READ MORE) and MORE.

Goals of the institute include:

  • Improve the quality and diversity of agricultural commodities
  • Expand production and pest management strategies with reduced inputs
  • Identify and develop new Montana crops
  • Develop biofuels and engergy alternatives

Please contact Alice Pilgeram. Director via phone at  (406) 994-1986 or via email at  pilgeram@montana.edu for more information about the  Biobased Institute program.

NEW JERSEY

Princeton University B.S. , M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton is a dynamic and growing department. Its research and teaching address broad questions associated with the built environment, the natural environment, and interactions between the two, with an evolving emphasis on sustainability.

Sample Research Opportunity for Undergraduates: “Assessment of Biomass-Related Energy Technologies and Systems”. Contribute to a major research effort focusing on various aspects of the production and use of biomass (wood, other plant material, municipal solid waste, etc.) as a renewable energy source. The work includes: engineering assessments of advanced technologies for converting biomass into fluid fuels and electricity; analysis relating to land use for biomass production; and assessment of ecosystem impacts of large-scale biomass production. READ MORE

Rutgers Waksman Institute of Microbiology Three plant biologists at Rutgers’ Waksman Institute of Microbiology are obsessed with duckweed, a tiny aquatic plant with an unassuming name. They have even convinced the federal government to focus its attention on duckweed’s tremendous potential for cleaning up pollution, combating global warming and feeding the world. …  According to the researchers, duckweed plants can extract nitrogen and phosphate pollutants from agricultural and municipal wastewater. They can reduce algae growth, coliform bacterial counts and mosquito larvae on ponds, while concentrating heavy metals, capturing or degrading toxic chemicals, and encourage the growth of other aquatic animals such as frogs and fowl. These plants produce biomass faster than any other flowering plant, serve as high-protein feed for domestic animals and show clear potential as an alternative for biofuel production.  READ MORE and MORE

Rutgers University – Agricultural Experiment Station The New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) is an integral component of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The experiment station provides a diverse range of research, extension, and education programs that serve the people of New Jersey and the urban, suburban, and rural communities in which they live. Through its Cooperative Extension offices in all 21 New Jersey counties, 4-H agents, Extension specialists, Family & Community Health Sciences educators, and Agricultural and Resource Management agents work to serve New Jersey residents in every area of the state. In addition, nine off-campus centers focus on research that supports local agriculture and food-related businesses, and 10 centers and institutes on the George H. Cook Campus engage in world-class research that provides solutions for the problems facing New Jersey residents.   READ MORE

Rutgers University Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) integrates Rutgers’ expertise in science, engineering, economics, and policy, putting it at the forefront of alternative energy research. The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) integrates Rutgers’ expertise in science, engineering, economics, and policy, putting it at the forefront of alternative energy research. Over the long term, innovative research and technological advances can help the United States to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels (READ MORE).

  • Integrate basic research and real-world application to advance energy technologies that address biofuels, solar and wind energy, efficient energy use, and energy policy
  • Train the next generation of leaders in energy research through multidisciplinary graduate and undergraduate programs that blend science, technology, economics, and policy
  • Facilitating colloquia, workshops and seminars that stimulate interdisciplinary conversations on energy research and technologies, exploring energy topics most relevant to the Rutgers community, local businesses, homeowners, and politicians.
  • Provide objective information and advising the local, state, and national policy makers on energy technologies, alternative energy strategies and policy options.

Graduate Certificate in Energy The Graduate Certificate in Energy is designed to giving Rutgers students a strong background in the timely topic of energy. The Graduate Certificate in Energy takes advantage of the several energy-related courses offered at Rutgers, as well as ongoing research at our university involving all aspects of energy.

The Graduate Certificate in Energy will build on the diversity, magnitude, and variety of Rutgers resources in science, engineering and public policy by enabling graduate students to cross over to courses outside their graduate program and enrich their background in energy.

Any graduate student in a natural sciences or engineering graduate program are eligible to apply for the Graduate student must take three courses from the list of courses below. The certificate will be issued after the student completes all degree requirements for their programs of study. The student must submit an application to the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) office, listing the courses the student intends to take for the Certificate in Energy. Students are encouraged to select their courses from a broad range of topics related to energy, in order to have balance and diversity in their education.

Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) is coordinating research in these areas:

  • Biofuels—Reducing the Need for Fossil Fuels
  • Exploring ways to use biological materials to produce energy for heat, electric power, and transportation
  • Optimizing energy yields from commercial crops, like corn and soy, through innovative genetic techniques
  • Developing cost e?ective technologies with minimal impact to the environment

Professor Paul Falkowski director of the Rutgers Energy Institute has also been conducting research projects and studies on algae use as an alternative energy source. He is researching on methods which would make producing biofuel from algae more effective and cost productive. His research includes schemes for the optimization of the oil extraction, and the processing methods which turn the oil into biodiesel.

Please contact Beatrice Birrer via email at bea@marine.rutgers.edu or via phone at 732-932-6555 x244 for more information regarding the program.

Rutgers University Desmond Lun, an associate professor of the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers University–Camden, is researching how to alter the genetic makeup of E. coli to produce biodiesel fuel derived from fatty acids.

E. coli has been used as a lab organism for more than 60 years and researchers know a lot about its genetics and how to manipulate it.  Dr Lun emphasizes that one alternative is to create biofuels from E.coli is to modify the E. coli microorganism to make it overproduce fatty acids, which are used to make biodiesel.  This method is called Synthetic Biology.

Synthetic Biology allow researchers modify large sections of genome instead of making small changes to specific genes. Those changes could include removing enzymes to enhance fatty acid production and paving the way for biofuel development. Dr Lun follows a computational modeling which offer a way of speeding up the genetic alteration process making it an effective and efficient process (READ MORE) and (MORE).

Lun’s research interests are in Systems Biology, Biological Signal Processing and Network Science.  His research is particularly focused on developing in silico methods to direct the geometric engineering of microorganisms for  biofuel purposes.  He teaches computational and integrative biology and biological networks at the Camden Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (READ MORE).

NEW MEXICO

Santa Fe Community College,  Biofuels Certificate

Santa Fe Community College Sustainable Technologies Center is a multimillion-dollar LEED certified training facility.  The Sustainable Technologies Center (STC) integrates 21st century trades with advanced technologies and “green” curricula to promote a sustainability economy.

Programs at the STC include:

  • Credit and noncredit courses and programs
  • Customized workforce development training
  • Industry and technology demonstration space
  • Seminars, symposiums and special events

Advanced Technology and Green Curriculum

  • Biofuels
  • Biomass
  • Green Building
  • Small Wind
  • Smart Grid
  • Solar

Sustainable Technologies Center – Biofuels Program- Biofuels Certificate

In SFCC’s new Biofuels program, you can learn to make biodiesel, ethanol and algae oil and go to work in the growing biofuels industry.  The Biofuels program offers courses in:

  • Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Technologies
  • Biofuels I, Biofuels II and Labs
  • Biology, Chemistry and Labs
  • Introduction to Sustainable Technologies
  • Electrical and Mechanical Fundamentals
  • Planning the Entrepreneurial Venture

Click here to watch Degree Programs Video

For more information, please contact Randy Grissom, Director, (505) 428-1641, randy.grissom@sfcc.edu

NEW YORK

Cornell University’s Biofuels Research Laboratory In January 2009, researchers from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering began using the space, which was funded by a $10 million grant from the Empire State Development Corp. and replaces an agricultural engineering power and machinery lab in Riley Robb Hall. The Cornell team focuses on the creation of cellulosic ethanol — a process that frees sugars from perennial grasses and woody biomass and biologically converts them into fuel.  “The highlight of the new lab is that multiple departments and multiple colleges are using it,” Walker said. “That’s been the underlying philosophy from the very beginning.”  READ MORE and MORE

Cornell University Northeast Regional Center for the Sun Grant Initiative The Northeast Sun Grant is funding eight research and development projects beginning in 2007, through a competitive grants program.  The research portfolio contains experiments in the areas of feedstock development, bio-conversion processes, systems analysis, economics, environment and policy.  Funded projects include:

Morrisville State College, NY Associate Degree, Renewable Energy The A.A.S. degree program in Renewable Energy Technology prepares students to become entry-level installers and service technicians for small renewable energy systems, including small wind, solar photovoltaics, solar hot water, micro hydroelectric, and biofuels systems. This flexible program is designed to give students opportunities to choose coursework that supports their intended career path in renewable energy. READ MORE

The Morrisville State College Renewable Energy Training Center (RETC) provides technical short courses for employed and unemployed individuals seeking marketable skills in the renewable energy field. Course curricula are based upon employer-identified skill gaps and needs. RETC courses are available for all skill levels and those with previous training. Training sessions focus on renewable energy resources and systems, including wind, solar, micro hydro, geothermal and biofuels.  The training center offers two undergraduate courses in Renewable Energy Resources and Renewable Biomass Systems (READ MORE).

Funding The RETC is funded through a $2 million grant awarded under the President’s Community-based Job Training Grants, as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

Renewable Energy Resources Online

 

RENG 102 online provides an introduction to energy systems and renewable energy resources, with a scientific examination of the energy field and an emphasis on alternate energy sources and their technology and application.  The class explores society’s present needs and future energy demands, examine conventional energy sources and systems, including fossil fuels and nuclear energy, and then focus on alternate, renewable energy sources such as solar, biomass (conversions), wind power, geothermal, and hydro.

Renewable Biomass Systems

This course provides the student with the basic technical understanding of renewable biofuel energy systems. Two broad categories of biofuels are considered: those from dedicated plant energy crops and those from waste streams. The course provides the student with an introduction to chemical/biological conversions of plant and waste compounds into useful energy sources (e.g. biodiesel, ethanol, and methane).

Center for Liquid Biofuels-School of Agriculture and Natural Resources

The Center for Liquid Biofuels at the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources is expected to create approximately 130 jobs in the agriculture sector. Groundbreaking research in the use of biofuels in locomotive transportation will be conducted in biodiesel use and production, including emissions, stability, performance and options for by-products.

Funding The grant was designated by Sens. Libous and Seward and will be administered by the SUNY Research Foundation. The New York state senate awarded $4 million for the creation of the New York Center for Liquid Biofuels at Morrisville State College with a facility based in Cortland County. The grant for the center will help fund a biodiesel infrastructure in New York State through the construction of an oilseed crushing and biodiesel processing plant and extensive research in the use of biofuels and byproducts.

SUNY–Environmental Science and Forestry Certificate of Advanced Study in Bioprocessing Advanced Certificate in Bioprocessing. This graduate-level program, created in 2004, is a State University of New York (SUNY), in partnership with the Central New York Biotechnology Research Center (CNY BRC) and New York State Education Department approved certificate.

The Bioprocessing Certificate is designed around a focused, advanced, and practical education in the knowledge and skills of bioprocessing, along with consideration and commitment to a support structure for program participants.

With minimal interruption to their lives and work, professionals in the program spend ten months strengthening bioprocessing knowledge and skills and engaging with faculty and other participants from a range of academic science and engineering backgrounds while retaining their jobs, staying on career trajectories, and enhancing their professional networks.  New for 2010-11: A biofuels track option.    READ MORE

State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse NY BA and MS, PhD programs

The College of Environmental Science and Forestry offers a dynamic array of professional opportunities in biology via course work enriched by an active program of research. EFB is committed to ensuring these educational outcomes while introduce concepts of biodiversity conservation, physiology, and ecology of plants, animals, and microorganisms, and emphasize the interactions and changes in biological systems in the context of the broad fields of aquatic and wetland sciences; biotechnology and chemical ecology; conservation biology; environmental interpretation; fisheries and wildlife biology; forest health; and global, landscape, and urban ecology.

The graduate program in Environmental and Forest Biology is organized in areas of study designed to provide a strong background within specific interest areas. Faculty with nationally and internationally recognized expertise define the scope of subject matter within a study area, recommend acceptance of students, and guide them through a course of study appropriate to student goals and aspirations. Most students develop a degree of depth and specialization in at least on large taxonomic group such as bacteria, fungi, plants, vertebrates or insects.

SUNY ESF has been working to develop harvesting systems for willow biomass crops for over a decade with support from NYSERDA, USDA CSREES and the U.S. Forest Service. Significant progress has been made, but the level of effort needs to be increased in order to meet the rapidly growing need for woody biomass from SRWC systems.  The overall goal of this project, which is supported by US Department of energy and NYSERDA, is to develop, test and deploy handling, transportation, and storage system that is effective and efficient in different production systems across North America (READ MORE)

The Woody Biomass Program at SUNY-ESF is part the Suny Center for Sustainable and Renewable Energy, College of Environmental Science and Forestry.   Biomass from willow crops provides a more reliable source of fuel because long-term supply contracts can be established with producers. Willow biomass crops are managed using coppicing as the regeneration technique. In order to capitalize on the positive growth responses attributed to coppicing, harvesting during the dormant season has been the standard recommendation for willow biomass crops both in Europe and North America.  Establishment costs for willow biomass crops currently account for about 25% of the delivered price of willow biomass.

The project addresses four specific areas.

  1. Develop, tune, test and deploy a New Holland single pass cut and chip harvesting system that can be used in a range of willow and hybrid poplar management systems across the United States.
  2. Develop and refine handling systems that will effectively and efficiently move SRWC chips produced with the harvester in task 1 from the field to the end user.
  3. Changes in Wood Quality for Chips of Different Sizes Harvested at Different Times of the Year.
  4. Impact of Harvesting Improvements on the Economics of Short Rotation Woody Crops.

Contact Larry Abrahamson, Ph.D, Program Manager, via email at labrahamson@esf.edu or via phone at 315.470.6777.

Syracuse University, New York Syracuse University Research Team Uses Nanobiotechnology-Manipulated Light Particles to Accelerate Algae Growth  Syracuse University Radhakrishna Sureshkumar, professor and chair of bio\medical and chemical engineering in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, and chemical engineering Ph.D. student Satvik Wani have discovered a method to make algae, which can be used in the production of biofuels.

The SU team has developed a new bioreactor that can enhance algae growth faster by manipulating light particles through the use of nanobiotechnology.  By creating accelerated photosynthesis, algae will grow faster with minimal change in the ecological resources required.

The process involved the creation of a miniature bioreactor that consisted of a petri dish of a strain of green algae (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) on top of another dish containing a suspension of silver nanoparticles that served to backscatter blue light into the algae culture.

This is one of the first explorations into utilizing nanobiotechnology to promote microalgal growth. The acceleration in the growth rate of algae also had numerous benefits outside the area of biofuel production. Sureshkumar and Wani will be looking to employ this discovery to further their research in creating environmental sensors for ecological warning systems (READ MORE) and MORE.    View more about SU Sustainable Energy Production

Please contact Dr Radhakrishna Sureshkumar via phone at 315-443-1931 for more information.

NORTH CAROLINA

Duke University, North Carolina Climate Change Policy Partnership   Participants: The CCPP leverages the resources of Duke University. The three primary participants in the project from Duke are two interdisciplinary centers—the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Solutions and the Center on Global Change—and the Nicholas School of the Environment. Our corporate partners play an important role, lending their expertise to help develop research projects, providing valuable feedback on the technical and economic issues, and providing the funds necessary to conduct the research. Current corporate partners include Duke Energy, ConocoPhillips and MeadWestvaco.   READ MORE

North Carolina State University (Land Grant School)

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Using everything from switchgrass to agricultural waste, scientists in NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are developing ways to convert biomass into clean-burning alternative fuels. The college plays a key role in the state’s Strategic Plan for Biofuels Leadership, with a new demonstration farm in Duplin County and a pilot processing plant under development in Raleigh. We’re also committed to delivering science to the public, connecting farmers, business owners and leaders across the state with research-based information that could help make North Carolina a top producer of alternative energy.  READ MORE

North Carolina State University, NC MS, MBAE, PhD, BS, Graduate Certificate

The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at NCSU offers the MSMBAE and PhD degrees, as well as a Graduate Certificate.  The MS and PhD programs are research oriented degrees for graduates who wish to conduct research in a specialized field. The MBAE is a non-thesis masters degree recently redesigned to accommodate working professionals who need advanced education but do not desire a career in research.  Our graduate certificate is designed for environmental professionals who wish to enhance their graduate credentials without investing the time and expense required for a graduate degree.  BAE graduate programs offer students the opportunity to obtain a world-class graduate education in the fields of environmental engineering, bioprocess engineering, machine systems design and controlled environment engineering.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Environmental Technology (AET degree)  provides a technical oriented program focused on the flexibility needed for success in today’s agricultural and environmentally challenged society. The AET degree places emphasis on basic science and technology with courses such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, machinery, conservation, safety, and business. The AET degree provides a solid technological and management foundation for the application of agricultural engineering practices, including emerging technologies. Students participate in hands-on skills training and developing their abilities to solve challenging problems (READ MORE).

The Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Engineering  has three concentration areas: Environmental, Bioprocessing and Agricultural. The program places emphasis on basic science and engineering courses, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, mechanics, biology, materials, and thermodynamics, providing a solid foundation for application of engineering principles to biological systems. Students learn to analyze and develop solutions to unique engineering problems of biological and agricultural systems. Scientific and engineering principles are applied to problems in concentration areas chosen by the students. (READ MORE)

For more information please contact  the associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering Dr. Ratna Sharma-Shivappa via email or by phone at  919-515-6746.

An undergraduate Minor in Biotechnology is available for all students who have met prerequisites in chemistry. The Minor in Biotechnology helps students to meet the challenges of rapidly changing technologies and explosions in information. Our top researchers have contributed to the formation of the Biotechnology Courses (READ MORE).

Students wishing to pursue graduate studies leading to either a M.S. or Ph.D. minor in biotechnology must enroll and conduct their research in one of the participating departments. M.S and Ph.D. minors in biotechnology are available to students who successfully complete at least eight credit hours in selected laboratory core courses and conduct their graduate thesis research in an area of biotechnology (READ MORE).

The Graduate Certificate Program in Molecular Biotechnology offers an opportunity for individuals educated in the life sciences and related disciplines to gain laboratory-based, hands-on training in many aspects of molecular biotechnology. This Certificate Program is geared primarily toward non-traditional students who have already entered the workforce (READ MORE).

Research Example:  Researchers at North Carolina State University are studying marine algae called Dunaliella, which grows in brackish or salty water algae as a fuel source.   Some of the advantages of this plant is that  it would not compete for valuable freshwater resources. The plant grows quickly and can be grown throughout the year, providing the potential to create 100 times as much feedstock per acre as conventional crops.  This is especially important for states like North Carolina, where seasonal droughts affect agricultural and urban demand for fresh water. 

Procedure The first of many parallel steps for the research effort is to mass-culture the best oil-producing strains of Dunaliella, and then to map the Dunaliella genome and identify the genes responsible for regulating the quantities and qualities of the produced fatty acids. Once that has been done, the researchers plan to replace those genes with genes from other organisms to produce the desired fatty acids and overcome the internal regulatory mechanisms that could potentially limit fatty acid production. Next, the necessary technology and protocols to grow the algae and extract the fatty acids will need to be fine-tuned. Simultaneously, the researchers will ascertain which chemical catalysts and operating parameters should be used to optimize the conversion of the fatty acids into the desired fuels. Finally, the various fuels will be tested to ensure that they can be used in place of conventional diesel, gasoline and jet fuels.

Founding The $2 million grant is part of the federal stimulus package and comes from NSF’s Emerging Frontiers in the Research and Innovation program. The funding is spread over four years, with the algae research scheduled for completion in July 2013.

The research team The research team includes Roberts, Dr. JoAnn Burkholder, William Neal Reynolds Professor of plant biology; Dr. Henry Lamb, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Dr. Heike Sederoff, assistant professor of plant biology; Dr. Larry Stikeleather, professor of biological and agricultural engineering; Dr. Amy Grunden, associate professor of microbiology; and Dr. Wendy Boss, William Neal Reynolds Professor of plant biology, Tim Turner, and industry partners Diversified Energy Corp. and Innova Tech.

Contact Dr. Bill Roberts, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering (READ MORE) and MORE.

Integrated Biomass Research Initiative.   The mission of the Integrated Biomass Research Initiative is to advance the fundamental understanding of novel biomass conversion technologies, leading to the production of biofuels and bioproducts, and expanding the range of feedstocks that can be utilized and compounds that can be produced in North Carolina.

IBRI was initiated with a grant from the US Department of Energy, and NCSU has given support to the project in the form of dedicated modern laboratory facilities. IBRI was created to support:

  1. Research Excellence. In all aspects of our work in IBRI, emphasis is placed on ground-breaking, high-impact research and development activities that will contribute significantly to the biomass processing knowledge base.
  2. Integrated Research Activities. IBRI is committed to promoting new collaborations across disciplinary and college boundaries, and to supporting the research teams that develop from those collaborations.

Research efforts fall into several focus areas:

  • Facilitate cutting-edge research related to biomass and bioenergy through the development of a Biomass Analytical Laboratory.
  • Identify production practices for sustainable, high-yielding energy crops and strategies for recycling organic material into energy crops.
  • Identify abundant, sustainable, and affordable biomass coupled with robust process technology for biomass conversion to biofuels and biochemicals.
  • Advance processes for conversion of biomass into biofuels and bioproducts, especially in the areas of biomass pretreatment and fermentation technologies.
  • Develop a pilot-scale facility for demonstration of fermentation products (e.g., ethanol, butanol, succinic acid) from lignocellulosic feedstocks.

Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina Undergraduate Program in Appropriate Technology      Consistently ranked among the top 15 southern regional universities since 1986, Appalachian offers a variety of academic programs and campus activities to challenge you; all located in a unique mountain setting.

The concentration in Appropriate Technology provides the most general technological background that the technology department offers.  Students will develop knowledge and skill in many technological areas; including drafting and design, wood and metal working, computers, architecture, construction, graphic arts as well as renewable energy technologies,  energy efficient solar building design and construction,  waste management, research methods and  contemporary technological problems facing society.  This background would be useful in many fields of endeavor.

Concentration Classes include:

  • Renewable Electricity
  • Sustainable Building Design & Construction
  • Solar Thermal Technology
  • Contemporary Problems in Appropriate Technology
  • Sustainable Transportation
  • Sustainable Resource Management
  • Environmental Physics
  • Introduction to Sustainable Development
  • Society & Technology
  • Environmental Economics
  • Intro to Agroecology
  • Building Science
  • Sustainable Development READ MORE

Brunswick Community College Associate in Applied Science Degree, Diploma, Certificates    Brunswick Community College in North Carolina has a patent pending with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a method to extract algal oil mechanically.  BCC’s technique involves three different machines extracting oil from plants and converting it into biofuel without using chemicals.  The program could expanded to produce other marketable products such as oil for biodiesel and fertilizer/animal feed.

BCC’s program has a promising future because of their unique twist in converting plants into biofuel.  For students pursuing hands on opportunities, “this will be a big help as far as landing a biotech job” said Floyd Inman a recent BCC biotech graduate.  BCC has a focus on biofuel production through the Center for Aquaculture and Biotechnology (CAB) directed by Doug Holland and Michelle Sabaoun. (READ MORE)

(Watch Video) – ncbionetwork.org: Biofuels from Algae Project – Brunswick Community College Center for Aquaculture & Biotechnology

Biotechnology Associate in Applied Science Degree The Biotechnology curriculum is designed to meet the increasing demands for skilled laboratory technicians.  The program objectives are designed to prepare graduates to serve in three distinct capacities: research assistant to a biologist or chemist, laboratory technician/instrumentation technician, and quality control/quality assurance technician.

Aquaculture Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree, Diploma, Certificate The Aquaculture Technology curriculum provides a broad background in science and math as well as specialized course work and practical experience in fish, shellfish, and aquatic plant production and management.    Click here to view the college catalog for specific course information.

Central Carolina Community College Associate Degree and Certificate in Alternative Energy Technology: Biofuels.     CCCC is the first community college in North Carolina to offer a biofuels curriculum.   Sustainable fuel production is at the focus of the program and offers students the opportunity to learn sustainable fuel production practices.  This program is designed to equip students with the skills needed for a career in the growing biofuels industry. CCCC biofuels testing lab is capable of performing analysis of:

  • Flash Point
  • Free & Total Glycerin
  • Kinematic Viscosity
  • Water & Sediment
  • Copper Corrosion
  • Sulfated Ash
  • Blend Percentage
  • Specific Gravity
  • Cloud Point
  • Cold Soak
  • Bound Moisture
  • Oxidative Stability
  • Carbon Residue
  • Methanol Content
  • Acid Number
  • Ethanol Content

Associates Degree in Alternative Energy Technology-Biofuels is designed to provide students with the educational foundation and technical skills necessary to obtain employment in the biofuels industry, or the ability to create a new business dealing with biofuels. Course work includes general education, alternative energy resource management, chemistry, industrial safety, and an array of coursework specific to all sectors of the biofuels industry (Read More and View Curriculum).

Certificate in Alternative Energy Technology- Biofuels is designed to equip students with the skills needed to attain a technical position in the biofuels industry. Students learn the fundamentals of biofuels as well as laboratory and mechanical skills needed to conduct quality control testing and diagnose biofuels related problems (Read More and View Curriculum).

For more information about CCCC’s biofuels program please contact Andrew McMahan at amcmahan@cccc.edu or (919) 545-8036 (READ MORE) and MORE

North Carolina’s Southeastern Community College North Carolina’s traditional tobacco farms are switching to other crops, so the state’s Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, has initiated a program to educate farmers on the ins-and-outs of biodiesel manufacturing, anticipating producers will be growing more oilseeds in the future. Southeastern Community College will be using a mobile biodiesel processor built by Jerome, Arizona-based Verde Biofuel for this program.

Southeastern Community College Whiteville, North Carolina Project “F2F” (field-to-fuel)   Southeastern Community College is a major resource for biodiesel training and informational resource for North Carolinas biodiesel industry.  SCC has initiated a biodiesel manufacturing program to aid tobacco farms switching to alternative green crops.  The program allows students to view basic components of manufacturing including seed crushers, centrifuges, reactors, methanol recovery apparatuses, fuel polishers and fire suppression.  The mobile biodiesel classroom is powered by a biodiesel generator which provides needed electricity.

The Process:   The college will utilize a mobile biodiesel processor created by Verde Biofuel called the F2F to demonstrate how seeds can be turned into fuel. The processer takes raw seeds such as soy and compresses the seed extracting and cleaning the oil while producing fuel.  This is called the transesterification process.  Participating farmers will be able to process seed crops using the mobile unit’s seed crusher (F2F) and convert the oil to biodiesel using an onboard reactor.

Funding:  Southeastern Community College received a $250,000 grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission to implement a biofuels processing laboratory for the outreach and education of farmers. The long-range goal for this funding is to develop crops in and around Columbus County to be used for biofuels and to benefit local farmers. The commission’s funding comes from monies paid by cigarette manufacturers as a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (READ MORE).

Verde Biofuel is located in Jerome, Arizona.   Contact Jason Rogers via phone at 928-399-9843 or via email at mail@verdebiofuel.com to learn more about their products.

For more information about biofuels at Southeastern Community College, contact Gary Nealy at 642-7141, ext. 369 or at gnealy@sccnc.edu.   READ MORE

Biofuels Center of North Carolina,  Oxford, NC In 2007, the North Carolina General Assembly had the foresight and vision to create the Biofuels Center so that the state’s farmers, forestry industry, biofuels manufacturers, biofuels workers and consumers will benefit from this new multimillion dollar home-grown industry.

The Biofuels Center is charged with charting North Carolina’s path toward liquid fuels energy independence. The Center works with a wide range of constituents, from academics and scientists, farmers and industry, the forestry sector, to public policy makers and consumers.  Its mission is to facilitate and support the development of a sustainable biofuels industry in the state.  The Center is a state-funded, private, not-for-profit.

Sample Grants include:

  • $171,293  /  Energy Canes: Ideal Fuelstocks for NC’s Diverse Energy Needs  /  North Carolina State University Mountain Horticulture Crops  /  Mills River
  • $108,800  /  Algae Downstream Processes Automated for Commercialization  /  Cape Fear Resource Conservation & Development, Inc.  /  Wilmington
  • $129,133 /  Extraction and Refinement of Oils from Biodiesel Feedstocks  /  Appalachian State University  /  Boone
  • $194,375  /  Canola Production, Processing, and Market Development for Biodiesel  /  North Carolina Solar Center  /  Raleigh   READ MORE

NORTH DAKOTA

University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center’s National Alternative Fuels Center builds collaborations with industry to overcome technical, economic, and social barriers to commercial utilization of alternative fuels. The National Alternative Fuels Center has been working for the past 18 years developing essential technologies to produce economical fuels and chemicals from renewable agricultural resources. Established in 1988 through support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Alternative Fuels Center is committed to:

  • Developing value-added products from agricultural residuals.
  • Incorporating waste reduction and recycling technologies with fuel production.
  • Optimizing new fuel-processing technologies.
  • Formulating clean fuels to achieve emission reductions.

The production of fuels from agricultural products is paramount to the national security of the United States and is a value-added opportunity for North Dakota agriculture producers.

The National Alternative Fuels Center has leveraged nearly $3.6 million of directed funding into over $7.3 million in projects aimed at the development of ethanol- and biodiesel-blended gasoline and diesel fuels and the determination of fuel use effects on health and the environment. The National Alternative Fuels Center was instrumental in the first successful development and certification of an environmentally friendly ethanol fuel for use in the aviation industry.  READ MORE

University of North DakotaThe Centers for Renewable Energy and Biomass Utilization The Centers for Renewable Energy and Biomass Utilization are a designated Center of Excellence located at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) on the University of North Dakota (UND) campus.  The Centers conduct critical research, development, demonstration, and commercial deployment of technologies utilizing biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric energy sources. The Centers also aid in the development of technologies focused on energy efficiency.  Sample research includes:  EERC Awarded Subcontract to Help Produce 100% Renewable Jet Fuel from Algae The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota has been awarded a subcontract by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) [NYSE: SAI], a Fortune 500 scientific, engineering, and technology applications company based in San Diego.   READ MORE

OHIO

University of Cincinnati, Ohio MBA, B.S Energy and Materials Engineering   The Energy and Materials Engineering (EME) program is part of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Energy, Environmental, Biological and Medical Engineering.  Students learn an array of topics including diverse energy production, conversion and storage opportunities covering fossil fuels, nuclear, wind, solar, water, geothermal, biomass and chemical sources.  Energy and Materials Engineering graduates pursue rewarding careers in industry, consulting, national laboratories and research.

Some areas of study include:

  • Fuel Cells
  • Carbon Management and Environmental Impact
  • Energy Economics and Conservation
  • Fossil Power Generation
  • Bio-fuels /Algae
  • Nanomaterials and Energy Systems

Biofuels Digest Highlighted a Project:   The University of Cincinnati Biofuel production  project is an inspiration taking from nests of a semi-tropical frog called the Tungara frog.  The project uses artificial photosynthesis to create a photosynthetic material from plant, bacterial, frog and fungal enzymes.  Researchers found a way to artificially create a photosynthetic material from foam which uses plant, bacterial, frog and fungal enzymes to produce sugars using solar energy and carbon dioxide. This artificial process has been designed to convert all of the captured solar energy into sugars, which are then used to make ethanol and other biofuels.   The Department of Biomedical Engineering lab provided the basis for this  research (READ MORE).

University of Dayton Dayton, Ohio MS Degree program    The Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of Dayton’s (UD’s) offers a Masters program designed to help address the need for stable, clean and economical energy resources. Students study energy efficiency, advanced thermodynamics, energy materials, renewable energy, clean energy, large-scale energy systems and mathematics.

Renewable & Clean Energy Graduate Program   In cooperation with Wright State University, Central State University and the Air Force Institute of Technology, University of Dayton has started the state’s first master’s program in clean and renewable energy. The two-year program coursework focuses on the  development of energy-reducing design techniques, renewable energy and manufacturing systems, and better forms of solar energy, fuel cells and biofuels (READ MORE).

Master of Science in Renewable and Clean Energy program helps fill the need for stable and clean energy sources by educating people and conducting research to find economical energy alternatives (READ MORE).

Program Emphasizes:

  • Renewable energy systems
  • Energy efficiency in buildings, manufacturing, transportation and life-cycle product design
  • Energy economics
  • Renewable and clean energy device physics needed to develop next-generation renewable and clean energy systems
  • Renewable and clean energy industrial and real-world projects
  • Renewable and clean energy research, including research in energy efficiency

Please visit The Renewable & Clean Energy Advising Site for more information about the M.S program.  Contact Kevin Hallinan, Professor and Chair for the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering program via phone at 937-229-2835.

Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute Renewable Energy Associate Degree Bioenergy Specialization

The Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy emphasis focuses on the generation of biogass from organic materials from agricultural, industrial and municipal byproducts and waste. The two year Associate of Science Degree program provides coursework in chemistry, biology and physics as well as six courses specific to bioenergy production.  The Associate of Science degree allows students to complete approximately 50 percent of the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture at The Ohio State University.  For a complete list of courses please look at the bioenergy curriculum.   For more information, to schedule a visit or to apply just visit The Ohio State ATI’s admissions page.

Internships:  Students in the renewable energy program will complete an industry internship with firms such as biogas generation plants, research facilities and municipalities.  Practicum placements and internships are a key component of the program allowing our students to graduate with state of the art technical skills and a solid work experience in their field.

Facilities:  Ohio State ATI’s specialized facilities provide numerous hands-on opportunities for students.  These facilities include:

  • A renewable energy laboratory including small-scale biodigesters and wind/solar trainers
  • A fully-operational, 555,000 gallon biodigester, owned by quasar energy group, where students will gain hands-on experience
  • A bioenergy research laboratory at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, located adjacent to the ATI campus
  • Our 1,700 acre farm, with dairy, beef, swine, equine and aquaculture facilities and 900 acres of agronomic crops
  • A 21,000 square foot greenhouse complex  READ MORE and MORE

The University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio Undergraduate, Masters and PhD programs

In 2001, The University of Toledo committed to building a program of national excellence in alternative and renewable energy.  The University of Toledo has set a goal to reduce energy consumption 20% by 2014, with a corresponding reduction of greenhouse gas. The Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation, an entire campus dedicated to advancing renewable, alternative and sustainable energies projects including biomass, geothermal, energy storage and electric transportation (READ MORE).

UT Environmental Sciences Program The Department of Environmental Sciences is an interdisciplinary group of ecologists and geologists whose research and teaching interests address human impacts on the environment, earth surface processes, and ecosystem science.  The department offers MS and PhD degrees in Biology (Ecology emphasis) and MS degree in Geology (Earth Surface Processes emphasis) with assistantship stipends and tuition waivers for students, including some teaching fellowships paying a $30,000 annual stipend.  The department also offers a BS degrees in Biology, Geology and Environmental Science as well as a BA degree in Environmental studies through coursework and research opportunities.

Sample Courses Includes:

  • Alternative Energy
  • Internship in Renewable Energy
  • Chemistry of Sustainable Energy Resources

Please contact Sanjay V. Khare via phone at 419-530-2292 or via email at sanjay.khare@utoledo.edu for more information about these courses.  Also contact the Department of Environmental Sciences via phone at 419-530-2009 for more information.

Wright State University, Ohio MS program in Engineering in Renewable and Clean Energy

The purpose of the Master of Science in Engineering in Renewable and Clean Energy at Wright State University’s is to provide our state and country a supply of future engineers and researchers in the critical field of energy.  This program is part of the College of Engineering  and Computer Science program.

The program has different areas of focus within the renewable and clean energy framework.  A focus area that is already emerging at WSU is fuel cells. The proposed program structure will provide students with a broad range of alternative energy topics.

The Renewable and Clean Energy program features two core courses in Advanced Thermodynamics and Energy Materials and three courses in renewable energy systems and clean energy. Students are required to take 3 courses in the Renewable and Clean Energy area. This area comprises four categories: Renewable Energy, Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Large Scale Energy Systems.

Clean Energy Courses Includes:

  • Energy Conversion
  • Solar Engineering
  • Photovoltaics
  • Hydrogen Energy
  • Renewable Energy Systems
  • Advanced Fuel Technology (including biomass)
  • Wind Power Generation and Storage (to be developed)

Please view Renewable and Clean Energy Course Proposal.

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Today, the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station (OAES) stands as the research leg of the three agency group comprising the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources which also includes teaching (the College) and outreach (Cooperative Extension).  Over 100 Ph.D. level faculty members are funded at least partially by the OAES to conduct research in areas ranging from cattle and wheat production to cell wall biology and mechanisms that affect conversion of plant materials to biofuels.  Research labs are located primarily in Agricultural Hall, Noble Research Center, Food & Agricultural Products and Animal Science buildings on campus.  Additionally the OAES operates field, greenhouse and lab facilities at 18 research stations and/or centers located from the southeast to the northwest corners of the state.  READ MORE and articles about sorghum research: 1 2

Oklahoma State University Oklahoma State University is the South Central Regional Center for Sun Grant Initiatives. Current funded projects include:

  • Critical Analysis of Syngas Fermentation Reactors for Biological Alcohol Production, Oklahoma State and Brigham Young University
  • Development of Winter Safflower as a Biodiesel Feedstock, Texas Tech University and Texas AgriLife Research, New Mexico State University
  • Farmers’ Willingness to Produce Cellulosic Biofuel Feedstocks Under Alternative Contractual, Pricing and Harvesting Arrangements, Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University
  • Cellulosic feedstock production and environmental benefits from agroforest systems established on marginal lands, University of Arkansas, University of Louisiana and LSU AgCenter.
  • Selection of Hybrids and Optimization of Planting to Facilitate Just-in-Time Harvest for Sweet and Energy Sorghum, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas Cooperative Extension, Soil and Crop Sciences, LSU AgCenter, Iberia Research Station READ MORE

Oklahoma State, The Biobased Products and Energy Center The Biobased Products and Energy Center is a center being created to better meet the following goals:

  • Strengthen basic research foundation in feedstock development and conversion technologies.
  • Provide undergraduate and graduate training for future biobased economy workforce.
  • Formulate teams of university personnel to determine the most appropriate opportunities in feedstock production and conversion applications for specific regions in Oklahoma.
  • When and where appropriate, establish producer-based feedstock demonstration plots of selected perennial grasses, such as switchgrass.
  • Establish OSU as one of the predominant cellulosic research universities in the biofuels industry.   READ MORE

OREGON

Oregon State is the Western Regional Center for Sun Grant Initiatives.

Oregon State University-Sun Grant Initiative, Algal Biofuels and Biotechnology Institute (ABBI)

The Sun Grant Initiative is part of the College of Agricultural Science at Oregon State University.  It is a national program established to create new solutions for America’s energy needs and to revitalize rural communities by working with land-grant universities and their federal and state laboratory partners on research, education, and extension programs. There are five regional administrative centers throughout the country.  Oregon State University is the administrative center for the Western Region.

Oregon State University is at the forefront of research and innovation involving bioenergy and biofuels production. The institution has the history, technology and resources available to lead the nation towards a renewable, sustainable and domestic energy industry (READ MORE).

The Algal Biofuels and Biotechnology Institute (ABBI) introduces a broad spectrum of disciplines toward developing a comprehensive strategy for utilizing algae as a new source for food, energy and other valuable chemical entities. Algae are capable of being grown in a wide variety of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and can be engineered and optimized to provide a wide variety of biofuels, food, and chemical feedstocks in a responsible and sustainable framework.

The Sun Grant Western Regional Center (WRC) announces the availability of funds through its Competitive Grants Program to support research, education and outreach projects in three program areas:

1) Biofuels Feedstocks Development

2) Biofuels Conversion Processes

3) Bioproducts Development

Read more about their Competitive Grant Program and about the Sun Grant Initiative Mission.

Please contact the Sun Grant Western Regional Center via phone at 541-737-9353 or via eamil at sungrant@oregonstate.edu for more information.

Funded projects include:

  • A Forest Residue-Based Pyrolysis Biorefinery,  Washington State University
  • New Concept to Obtain Higher Yields of Pyrolytic Sugars for Ethanol Production,  Washington State University
  • Camelina Improvement for Insensitivity to Residual Herbicide Activity, Washington State University
  • Exploring Field Crop Biomass Sources for Use in Pacific Ethanol’s Boardman, Oregon Cellulosic Ethanol Plant, Oregon State University
  • Life Cycle, Sustainability and Economic Analysis of Cellulosic Ethanol from Grass Straw in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon State University
  • Arid Land Development of Sweet Sorghum as a Renewable Feedstock, University of Arizona
  • Feasibility of Biopolymer Production in Poplar, Oregon State University READ MORE

Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon Sustainability Coordinator Certificate The Advanced Technology Division provides professional technical training to prepare individuals for the rapidly changing demands of “high tech” industries. Every Advanced Technology program offers “hands on” experience in business, industry and government agencies through Cooperative Education. Two-year associate of applied science degrees and/or two-year certificates of completion, and/or one-year certificates of completion are offered in these programs.

This certificate will prepare students for careers as sustainability coordinators, resource management technicians, corporate social responsibility coordinators, environmental specialists, recycling coordinators, pollution prevention specialists and energy or waste reduction analysts.  Graduates may work for public agencies, school districts, colleges or universities, non-governmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, private businesses or corporations.

Sustainability Coordinator is an emerging occupation.  Market surveys of regional and statewide employers indicate job growth potential is significant and expected to increase. READ MORE

Oregon Institute of Technology B.S. Renewable Energy Engineering In 2005, Oregon Tech furthered its commitment to sustainable power by introducing the first Bachelor of Science in Renewable Energy Systems in North America (now known as Renewable Energy Engineering).  Oregon Tech’s renewable energy program establishes the engineering principles graduates will need to develop, promote, and implement sustainable energy technologies.

The degree program begins by establishing a solid foundation of physics, chemistry and mathematics, which pave the way for coursework in electrical and mechanical engineering.  Upper-division courses in renewable-energy specific courses include photovoltaics, energy management and auditing, wind power, biofuels, renewable-energy transportation systems, green building and fuel cells. READ MORE

Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, Portland-Oregon Renewable Energy Center (OREC), Bachelor of Science Degree in Renewable Energy Engineering.

Oregon Tech, the only completely geothermally heated university campus in America, is home to the Oregon Renewable Energy Center (OREC), which conducts applied research on photovoltaic power systems, ground-source heating systems, fuel-cell systems, wind, biomass and integrated systems. In 2005 the first Bachelor of Science degree in Renewable Energy offered in North America was introduced.

Bachelor of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering – The degree program establishes a solid foundation of physics, chemistry and mathematics.  Upper-division courses in renewable-energy specific courses include photovoltaics, energy management and auditing, wind power, biofuels, renewable-energy transportation systems, green building and fuel cells.  The Renewable Energy curriculum prepares graduates for engineering careers in the energy sector.

The Oregon Renewable Energy Center (OREC) was established in 2001 to integrate renewable energy technologies into energy systems for practical use by businesses and consumers.  OREC promotes energy conservation and renewable energy use in Oregon and throughout the Northwest through applied research, educational programs, and practical information.

The Oregon Renewable Energy Center, in partnership with Oregon Institute of Technology, offers a free summer lecture series centered on renewable energy, alternative building materials and fuels, and the financing options available for energy conservation and renewable energy.

View Lecture 7 on Fantastic Fuels: Biodiesel and Ethanol in Southern Oregon (Reference www.oit.eduPart 1 Part 2 Part 3

Please contact Robert Bass, Associate Professor via phone at 503-821-1253.

PENNSYLVANIA

Penn State University – Online Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems Education    A master’s degree program in the field of renewable energy is designed to prepare you to lead the transformation of a fossil energy economy to a sustainable basis of operation. You can enhance your technical understanding and gain the advanced project management skills to help move sustainability projects forward.

Curriculum  Our 32-credit curriculum is designed to provide the technical education needed by graduates to lead the transformation of the economy to a renewable and sustainable basis. To earn the Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems, students are required to take the following 14 credits:

  • A B E 589: Management and Design of Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (3 credits)
  • BIOET 533: Ethical Dimensions of Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (2 credits)
  • EME 504: Foundations in Sustainability Systems (3 credits)
  • EME 801: Energy Markets, Policy, and Regulation (3 credits)
  • EME 802: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems (3 credits)

The remaining 18 credits are made up of a series of electives. You can work with an academic adviser to determine the course work that will best meet your career interests and goals — or start with one of the following four established options:

READ MORE

Penn State University – Renewable Energy and Sustainable Systems (RESS)
i. RESS programs deliver world class, interdisciplinary education to professionals in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability that empowers them to lead the transformation of our nation’s economy to a renewable, sustainable basis of operation. Our programs are designed to meet critical needs in the nation’s economy and enhance the academic standing of the university.

ii. RESS programs are designed for part-time adult learners and are delivered via an interactive-online learning network that allows students to actively learn while remaining in their current employment and location. Programs prepare students to assume advanced roles and leadership responsibilities within their respective organizations as project and program developers, implementers, policy analysts, etc. RESS programs prepare students to excel in a wide variety of commercial and industrial occupations. Analysis of US Department of Labor projections suggests that the need for trained professionals in Renewable Energy and Sustainability fields is growing quickly in the United States!  https://www.ress.psu.edu/

1. The Bioenergy Option is designed to generate technical understanding in bioenergy, along with project development skills. This mix of theoretical understanding and practical savvy makes the iMPS-RESS Bioenergy Option graduates very capable for a variety of opportunities within the industry. READ MORE

2. This is a multidisciplinary field, including aspects of chemistry, biology, physics, economics, business, engineering, and other disciplines. As such, it is difficult to have a perfect background to study bioenergy. However, it is good to have a basic proficiency in some basic areas if you plan to study bioenergy as part of the RESS program, whether you are pursuing the four bioenergy courses as a graduate certificate, or using them as your option within the full master’s program.

 

Penn State University -  Lignocellulose Center, Biomass Energy Center The DOE plans to fund the Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation, a Department of Energy, Energy Frontier Research Center at Penn State, for $21 million over  five years. Daniel J. Cosgrove, professor of biology, will direct the Center in its efforts to increase our knowledge of the physical structure of the biopolymers in plant cell walls and improve methods for converting plant biomass into fuel. The funding for this center is contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The Lignocellulose Center is one of 46 EFRC centers formed nationwide by the DOE to address fundamental issues in fields ranging from solar energy and electric storage to materials sciences, biofuels and carbon capture and sequestration. The Center has planned collaboration with researchers at North Carolina State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.   READ MORE

The focus of the Biomass Energy Center is to coordinate and facilitate research and outreach across the university, building teams to address the complete value chain of biomass energy systems.   This value chain can be classified into four categories:

  • Improved production of biomass feedstocks;
  • Integration of biomass production into sustainable agrosystems;
  • Conversion of biomass into energy; and
  • Technology transfer to companies, state agencies, NGOs, and citizens throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

Penn State has significant strengths in each these four focal areas— each have a significant number of faculty involved, with a critical mass of researchers emerging in many different areas.   READ MORE

BA, MS, PHD in Horticulture     Penn State offers the only public comprehensive educational program in agricultural sciences in Pennsylvania. Students have options to choose from 19 Undergraduate Program majors Graduate Programs.  The Horticulture program is a green program for students interested in a well-rounded education allowing the opportunity to operate a plant-related business and improving the environment through plant science research (READ MORE).

The Master of Agriculture (M.Agr.), Master of Science (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Horticulture. Students may specialize in genetics, plant breeding, molecular biology, plant physiology, plant nutrition, marketing and production of horticultural crops, ecology, and post harvest physiology (READ MOER).

Penn State Extension Program is part of the Penn State Institute of Energy and The Environment (psiee) College of Agricultural Sciences The extension educators and faculty are working on many fronts to evaluate energy alternatives, develop strategies for using energy more efficiently  and offers practical how-to education and problem-solving assistance based on University research. Penn State Extension, in conjunction with Penn State Farm Operations staff, has worked with equipment manufacturers to demonstrate the use of biodiesel, bio lubricants and other alternative fuels to assess its potential for widespread use in farm and transportation (Read More) View examples of research

Energy-Crops Field Display The Penn State University energy-crop field display was created by Penn State Farm Services.  The display provides educational information on a number of bioenergy crops that the University is testing as possible options for farmers in the area.  The crop displays are used to investigate the actual performance of these crops for energy production and interested persons can see the crops as they would be grown in Pennsylvania and learn about the potential for these crops to be part of the state’s bioenergy industry.  Crops include Atlantic coastal panic grass, camelina, canola, flax, forage sorghum, safflower, sorghum-Sudan grass, Sudan grass, sunflower, sweet stem sorghum and switchgrass.

There were a variety of biomass crops  being grown which are suitable for combustion as well as cellulosic ethanol production.  Oilseed crops being grown are also useful for biodiesel fuel production. Penn State has plans to produce biodiesel that will be used in the university’s fleet vehicles. The energy-crops field display presents a dynamic view of field-scale production of energy crops in Pennsylvania. The display area includes both an informational brochure and signs at each crop and is open to visitors during daylight hours.

Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania M.S. Sustainable Systems The Masters of Science in Sustainable Systems (MS3) program is designed to produce environmental leaders with the skills to address our rapidly increasing environmental problems. Each graduate will learn to critically evaluate our society’s current interactions with the environment and will have the knowledge and experience to lead others as we find ethical and equitable solutions to our environmental challenges.

MS3 graduates will develop the skills to:

  • · Understand the relevant concepts and methods of economics, politics, ethics, design, and environmental geography pertaining to the sustainability of environmental resources and quality of life.
  • · Critically evaluate the sustainability of energy systems, technology, the built environment, and environmental regulations and policy.
  • · Work effectively within the private and public sector to develop and implement sound and equitable strategies for achieving sustainability READ MORE

Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA Thomas Jefferson University researchers have discovered a way to alter the genes in tobacco plants to increase their oil production, which could help spur the use of biofuel at the Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories. The Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories have been investigating alternative means of producing biofuels as inexpensively, quickly and energy-efficiently as possible. The Thomas Jefferson University is conducting pioneer research to create efficient production of biofuel using the plant leaves and stems.

The rapid growth of the tobacco plant and the leaf content can result in efficient biofuel production. Through research, the program has been able to adjust the plant metabolism to significantly increase the oil accumulation in the leaves and stems of the tobacco plants. The tobacco engineering project should double the amount of biodiesel produced per acre of crops in comparison to the amount produced from soybeans (READ MORE) and  (MORE).  Contact Hilary Koprowski at Hillary.Koprowski@mail.tju.edu or via phone at (215) 503-4761.

Lehigh University Bethlehem, Pennsylvania ME 364 Renewable Energy (3) Course

Lehigh University offers a course in Renewable Energy from the  Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics. The programs are designed to prepare students for satisfying and productive careers. Some of the studied discipline includes solid and fluid mechanics, engineering materials, product design and manufacturing, thermodynamics, and control systems.  The department provides world-class instruction and access to research opportunities and independent study projects (READ MORE).

The undergraduate program provides students with the education needed to function in an engineering environment, graduate studies and professional development.   Because of technological innovations and the long term demands of global competition, the department prepare students to adapt to the rapid advances and changes in technology while being cognizant of the needs and concerns of the society at large.

The graduate program bridges between the undergraduate studies and focused research.  New graduate students participate in research by working closely with their faculty advisors; however, they are quickly encouraged to work and think independently, assuming greater responsibility for critical research functions.  This learning process prepares students for future research and development positions in industry or academia.

Sample Mechanical Engineering Courses for Advanced Undergraduates and Graduate Students

ME 364 Renewable Energy (3 credits)  The renewable energy course covers the fundamentals of all currently viable renewable energy technologies such as wind, biofuels, hydro, photovoltaic, solar thermal and geothermal energies. Prerequisites: Math 205, ME 104, ME 231 and/or senior standing in Engineering .  Contact Sudhakar Neti via phone at 610-758-4117 or via email at sn01@lehigh.edu for more information.

PUERTO RICO

University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez M.S, PHD

University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez Marine Sciences Department promotes a greater understanding of the marine environment within the core areas of marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology and marine physics. The specific goals of the department are to increase knowledge in the marine sciences and to serve the community. Original research by both faculty and students is the central focus of the department’s program.

Master of Marine Sciences and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Marine Sciences covers both the full breadth of the discipline and the specialization needed to develop specific technical and analytical skills within a larger scientific context. The program seeks to produce graduates with a solid background in marine sciences who are able to critically analyze problems and offer solutions through the application of scientific knowledge and research (READ MORE).

MS Program Applicants should have a B.S. or M.S. in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics or Marine Science or in an appropriate related scientific discipline. The M.S. requires a minimum of 35 hours of graduate-level credits. Students will conduct an independent research and submit and defend a thesis including a paper submitted to a recommended peer reviewed journal (READ MORE).

PhD. Program Students develop a program of study in biological, chemical, geological or physical oceanography. The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 72 hours of graduate-level credit.  PhD candidates will conduct independent research and submit and defend a dissertation including one published peer reviewed article and two papers submitted to recommended peer reviewed journals (READ MORE).

Research Sustainable biofuel program launching in southwestern Puerto Rico

Nadathur S. Govind, Ph.D., Professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, believes he can rebuild the local economy by harnessing bacterial enzymes extracted from the guts of termites and shipworms (mollusks) found in the mangroves off the coast to break down the lignocellulose in sugarcane and hibiscus.

The idea is that if he can bring agricultural production back to his community, he can use the crop waste to produce ethanol to supplement Puerto Rico’s demand for fuel. And since the byproduct of ethanol is carbon dioxide, he also plans to use algae to capture the gas and produce biodiesel. The waste that he has left over can then be returned to the soil as fertilizer or given to livestock as feed (READ MORE).

  • Watch Video-Biofuels in Puerto Rico

Please contact Nadathur S. Govind via email at  g_nadathur@cima.uprm.edu to learn more about his research and programs.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Clemson University Clemson, SC Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Clemson University Agricultural & Biological Engineering is an academic unit of professionals who discover, adapt and disseminate knowledge and technologies. The focus is to enhance and sustain human and natural resources by integrating the basic biological and physical science and engineering principles with food, fiber and environmental systems.  made up of three program areas: Biosystems EngineeringAgricultural Mechanization and Business, and Agricultural Education.

The Biosystems Engineering program offers two areas: Bioprocess Engineering and Ecological Engineering. The Agricultural Education program offers three areas of emphasis (READ MORE).

Switchgrass as a Biofuel Clemson University scientists, in collaboration with USDA-ARS researchers, are initiating studies that will maximize production of native warm-season grasses under the climatic, soil, and socio-economic conditions encountered by farmers and other landowners in South Carolina.

Crops such as corn and soybeans are currently being used to produce biofuels. Scientists are exploring ways warm-season grasses (such as switchgrass, Panicum virgatum) can be used for making ethanol from plant cellulose, for raw material in coal-fired electric generation facilities, and/or for making synfuels (READ MORE) and MORE.

View Degree Programs Please contact Terry Walker, PhD, Associate Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering for more information.

READ MORE about projects funded by  the Clemson Creative Inquiries Program on Clemson’s Sustainable Biofuels website.

South Carolina State University Orangeburg, SC Undergraduate Minor in Transportation and Master of Science in Transportation

South Carolina State University S.C. BioEnergy Research South Carolina State University’s James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center, is to enhance the exchange of ideas and the development and use of new technologies.

The goal South Carolina State University’s James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center is to assist federal, state and local agencies in meeting their goals to develop a highly skilled workforce to meet the future needs in transportation.

JECUTC assists academic divisions and departments with implementing a multi-disciplinary program of course work and experiential learning. The education program includes an undergraduate minor concentration in transportation and master of science degree in transportation (READ MORE).

JECUTC Collaboration with the Clemson University Restoration Institute, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory, among other organizations provides a multi-modal research with emphasis on developing solutions to a variety of problems including activities related to energy and environment.  Collaborative research areas includes:

  • Crop development and harvesting, including switchgrass, sweet sorghum and pineStudy emerging energy alternatives, such as algae
  • Crop-processing techniques to yield viable energy and chemical products, including ethanol, biodiesel and energy briquettes (READ MORE).

View Student Services Please contact Larrie Butler Program Coordinator via email at lbutler@scsu.edu or via phone at  803-516-4796 for more information

SOUTH DAKOTA

South Dakota State University M.S. or Ph.D. degree in the Biological Sciences

South Dakota State University Graduate degrees available through the Department of Biology and Microbiology.  The department offers M.S. and  Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. Students may choose specializations in Biology or Microbiology

The M.S. degree program prepares students for a variety of careers such as teachers, laboratory research assistants, positions with state and federal agencies, and many private industry positions. Some M.S. students choose to pursue a Ph.D. degree after completing their M.S. degree at SDSU. Similar career opportunities also exist for students completing their Ph.D. degree, however, job placement is typically at a higher level.University or college faculty positions generally require a Ph.D. degree (READ MORE).

M.S. or Ph.D. degree in the Biological Sciences qualifies students for a variety of different careers, including positions at Universities or Colleges, with state or federal agencies, and for jobs in industry. The goal of basic research is to expand human knowledge and to advance our knowledge of living organisms to e.g. develop solutions for human health problems or to increase environmental sustainability. Whereas applied research is directed towards solving specific problems and to develop for example new drugs or treatments, increase agricultural productivity or to develop new biofuels (READ MORE).

Biofuels Research

The Physics Department, in collaboration with Microbiology, Plant Science, and Biochemistry, is currently assessing irradiation pretreatments of feedstocks such as switchgrass DDG, and corn stalks that may be considered as potential sources of ethanol in the future (READ MORE).

Please contact Dr. Robert McTaggart via phone at 605-688-6306 to learn more about this research.

South Dakota State University is the North Central Center for Sun Grant Initiatives at

Funded projects include:

TENNESSEE

University of Tennessee (Land Grant School)

The University of Tennessee Biofuels Initiative (UTBI) is a state sponsored plan to decrease our dependency on foreign oil while simultaneously increasing rural economic development and domestic energy production within Tennessee.

The project which is part of The Institute of Agriculture and Office of Bioenergy program aims to find a practical alternative to produce fuels from a hearty plant called Switchgrass which are grown on marginal land almost anywhere. Ethanol fuel that is derived from plant material such as switchgrass, wood chips and other forest and agricultural biomass.

The taxpayers of the state of Tennessee were promised an industry that would benefit farmers and create thousands of green jobs.  The project, which was expected to produce five million gallons of biofuel from switchgrass within two years, would soon be fiscally self-sustaining.

Funding

Funding for the UTBI comes via a $70 million commitment over 5 years from the state of Tennessee. In 2007, the Tennessee Legislature appropriated $40.7 million for capital and $8.25 million for research, farmer incentives, and operating expenses for the Biofuels Initiative. Also contributing to the effort will be UT’s technology partner(s) in the development of the cellulosic biorefinery. Partners to date include DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol. The UT Research Foundation has formed a Joint Venture LLC to operate the facility called Genera Energy (READ MORE).

This comprehensive program will pay farmers on a per acre basis to produce switchgrass in advance of a mature market for the new energy crop. Participating farmers will receive high quality switchgrass seed for planting, as well as research and technical support related to switchgrass production (READ MORE) and MORE.

See below for Biofuel Programs

Switchgrass Production Extension Program- As part of the UT Biofuels Initiative, UT Extension has developed a switchgrass Extension program based in Vonore, TN. Two state level specialists are stationed at this office and assist producers in establishing the dedicated energy crop as well as work with UT faculty and staff to conduct important research on the crop. UT Extension has the only dedicated switchgrass Extension program in the nation.

Wood Products Extension – The Forest Products Extension Program at the University of Tennessee exists to assist the wood products industry and the citizens of Tennessee through information transfer and applied research. The Wood Products Extension program is intimately involved in this sector of the industry, conducting educational programs and providing technical assistance.

Plant Sciences Undergraduate Concentration in Bioenergy – The bioenergy concentration is intended for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the quickly-expanding biofuels and bioenergy fields. The graduate will have the background and internship experience to enter directly into the bioenergy workforce.

BioSucceed – Funded by a USDA Higher Education Grant and working with North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T, The University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station is developing a new academic curriculum to provide that advanced workforce. BIOSUCCEED’s innovation is based on the development of a complete MS degree program that can be delivered by any of the three University partners, and via distance education. It will develop six graduate level classes, two classes aimed at undergraduates, and modules that can be inserted in individual classes. Ultimately, these classes will be offered at no cost to the national biomass community for customization by any institution around the country.

Read more about UTIA Research and Development

University of Tennessee is also the Southeastern Regional Center for Sun Grant Initiatives. Current funded projects include:

  • Bacterial adaptations for enhanced cellulose utilization: a systems approach, University of Kentucky
  • Enzymatic and Multiphase Solution Processing of Lignocellulosic Biomass, Florida State, Florida A&M, Lafayette College
  • Mechanisms of Surfactant Effects on Biomass Conversion, Virginia Tech READ MORE

The University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN Bachelor of Science Degree, Master of Science Degree

The University of Tennessee‘sDepartment of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries The Office of Bioenergy Programs at the University of Tennessee is actively working toward a secure and sustainable energy future for the state and nation. Housed in the Institute of Agriculture, the Office of Bioenergy Programs coordinates a variety of research, development, and outreach programs, all involving bioenergy.

Institute of Agriculture as research programs in biomass feedstock development and production, biomass pretreatment and processing, biomass conversion technologies, and biobased products, such as fuels, polymers, and chemicals. offers an advanced degree to master’s and Ph.D. students called BioSUCCEED.

Funded by a USDA Higher Education Grant and working with North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T, The University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station is developing a new academic curriculum to provide that advanced workforce. BIOSUCCEED’s innovation is based on the development of a complete MS degree program that can be delivered by any of the three University partners, and via distance education. It will develop six graduate level classes, two classes aimed at undergraduates, and modules that can be inserted in individual classes. Ultimately, these classes will be offered at no cost to the national biomass community for customization by any institution around the country.

Sample Courses for Master of Science Degree Programs

  • Fundamentals of Biomaterials Science
  • Biomaterials Characterization
  • Thermal Conversion Processes
  • Biological Conversion Processes
  • Solid State Composites
  • Environmental and Policy Studies of Biomass Us
Sample Courses for Bachelor of Science Degree Programs
  • Sustainable Biobased Materials
  • Technology and Policy Impacts on Sustainable Bioproducts

View

Please contact Office of Bioenergy Programs via phone at  (865) 946-1130 or via email at  bioenergy@tennessee.edu

Center for Native Grasslands Management – Biofuels Integration Research

will implement two experiments to establish production parameters for the Mid-South for NWSG as forages, biofuels, and wildlife habitat.  In the first experiment, we will test three harvest timing (vegetative + dormant, boot + dormant, and dormant only) and three species mixtures (switchgrass only, switchgrass/big bluestem/indiangrass, and big bluestem/indiangrass) treatments in a randomized block design at four Tennessee locations. In the second experiment, we will test two of the same three species mixtures and two grazing (intensive early and full-season) treatments in a randomized block design at three Tennessee locations using steers on 3-ac paddocks (READ MORE).

Student Alternative Fuels Collaborative (SAFC) is a joint program between the UT Chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers and the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCFC).  SAFC is committed to providing information about biofuels use on and off campus as well as the benefits and drawbacks of using biofuels (READ MORE)

Alternative Fuel Program Promotion :

  • Facility Services using B20 (20% biodiesel) in their diesel vehicles.
  • UT Biodiesel producing biodiesel from waste cooking oil from UT Dining Services
  • KAT bus’s operating on campus using either B20, Propane, or Propane Hybrid Electric Trolleys

View Other Biofuel Programs

Please contact the UT Biodiesel  via email at utbiodiesel@utk.edu for more information about student involvement.

TEXAS

Lone Star Community College, Texas Lone Star Community College’s head of Biotechnology, Daniel Kainer, Ph.D is leading the biofuels challenge in Houston. Dr. Danny Kainer believes that developing a biodiesel processing equipment will create large quantities of algae and allowing the opportunity to  dry, extract oil, and turn the oil into biodiesel all in one location. The project will also allow the biotechnology program to broaden its scope to include a focus on alternative energy and provide internships for students interested in that field.

The  PBR project will convert pond scum into biofuel utilizing greenhouse technology to grow hundreds of gallons of algae at a time, will open up opportunities for students in the biotechnology program to do research, complete on-site internships, and develop partnerships within the energy industry.

Under the guidance of Kainer, students in the biotechnology program work directly with the PBRs to grow the algae and monitor growth rates and pH levels, as well as carbon dioxide and nutrient levels. Their research will benchmark the commercial-scale system and be used in future industrial algal oil projects (READ MORE).

The college has added a new general microbiology course (Biology 2421) available in the spring 2011 semester that includes in-depth coverage of algae, including an examination of industrial applications and algal oil research. This course is part of the AAS Degree in Biotechnology (READ MORE).

Please contact Daniel Kainer, Ph.D via phone at 936-273-7060 for more information.

Prairie View A&M University Prairie View, Texas Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Master of Science in Engineering    Prairie View A&M University Chemical Engineering Department offer two degree programs for undergraduate students: the Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (B.S.Ch.E), and the B.S.Ch.E. with a Concentration in Bioengineering. Master of Science in Engineering with a Concentration in Chemical Engineering is offered to graduate students.

The departments faculty participate in a wide array of research projects ranging from reservoir transport modeling and simulation, process safety, pollution and prevention, technology assessment, to research in nanotechnology, nuclear radiation,  life sciences, membrane separation, bioprocess, molecular simulation and engineering education.

The goal of research performed is to positively impact society by providing new knowledge, improved technologies, and the advancement of science and technology in today’s global world. An additional benefit is that many of our undergraduate students are actively engaged in authentic and basic research (READ MORE).

Core  Research Areas The department has identified four core research areas to focus, expand, and strengthen its capabilities and expertise. There are currently funded projects in each of these areas within the department. Please access our Research Matrix to examine our different research areas and where each of our research faculty works.

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioseparations
  • Biocatalysis
  • Bioprocess
  • Biofuels
  • Biomedical
  • Biomaterials

Please access Research Matrix to examine our different areas where each research faculty works.

Texas A&M University College Station, TX Biofuel Classes and Programs    Texas A&M University the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Science prepare students for careers in soil, plant and environmentally related disciplines.  Students discover new scientific knowledge and develop technologies to sustain environmentally sound and economically profitable production systems.

The Graduate Program of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences is designed to prepare students for careers in research, teaching, extension, industry, and management of agronomic enterprises. Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are available in Agronomy, Food Science and Technology, Genetics, Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences, Plant Breeding, and Soil Science.

Undergraduates have opportunities for individual study and participation in faculty research projects, including regional, national, and international field programs. Information about undergraduate research opportunities can be obtained from students’ academic advisors.

View Office of Undergraduate Research

Research Groups at Soil & Crop Sciences-  Biofuel

Research Areas Includes:

  • Grain Crops for Ethanol
  • Oilseed Crops
  • Sweet Sorghum and Sugar Cane Crops

View Biofuel Classes and Program

Please contact Department of Soil and Crop Sciences via phone at  979-845-3041.

VERMONT

University of Vermont Biomass to Biofuels course (4 Credits)  University of Vermont and has a 4-credit 4-week course called “Biomass to Biofuels”  as part of their leadership program within the school of Institute for Global Sustainability.  Experts and researchers in biofuels will provide hands-on instruction in various biofuel topics including:

  • Liquid Biofuels (oil seed-based biodiesel; bioethanol; algae-biofuel)
  • Solid Biofuels (wood & grass energy)
  • Biogas (the farm-based energy)

The  course covers a wide-range of Biofuels related science & technology topics, background & literature, as well as environmental, economic, social and other Biofuels related issues.  All are welcome including degree and non-degree students, farmers, entrepreneurs and teachers.

Course work includes:

  • Wood Biomass Energy
  • Grass Energy
  • Bidessiel (Oil seed-based)
  • Biogas
  • Algae Biofuel
  • Integrated Sustainability Assessments of Biofuels
  • Economics of Biofuels
  • Material and energy flow combined food-Energy systems for designing appropriate agricultural technologies

Duration: 4 weeks (Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday – half day each). First & last weeks on-campus/online; middle two weeks hands on at farm/facilities/laboratory.

Click below to learn more about  and to view the Grass Energy Project.

Please contact Dr. Anju Dahiya via phone at 800-639-3210 for more information.

VIRGINIA

Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium VCERC was created by the VA legislature in 2007 and first received funds from the Commonwealth in fiscal year (July 1st 2007-June 30th 2008). Since July 2007 VCERC has developed coastal energy technologies and the Virginian knowledge base to assist the Commonwealth in meeting the targets set out in the VA Energy Plan. VCERC’s ongoing efforts impact three key VA Energy Plan objectives: creation of renewable energy resources; improving the environment; and economic development.

Specifically, VCERC provides the research and development required for the commercialization and implementation of renewable energy by using algal biomass, wind and wave resources available in Virginia. Algal biomass energy removes pollutants from Chesapeake Bay, represents an innovative win-win wastewater remediation-biofuel production technology, and avoids utilizing food crops, trees, and other valuable natural resources to produce fuel. Project expansion in algal biofuels and wind power will lead to spin-off industry, creating jobs, investment and lowering fuel prices in Virginia.

The Consortium is governed by a board which consists of fourteen members – with representatives from each of the eight partner universities (Old Dominion University, Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute, James Madison University, Norfolk State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Virginia and Hampton University) and six government and industry partners. The Consortium is located at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.  READ MORE

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) Danville, VA MS, PhD in Horticulture      The Department of Horticulture at Virginia Tech is part of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences which offer Bachelor’s, Master of Science and PhD degree programs.   Prospective students are encouraged to contact their faculty advisor to learn about research, study opportunities and financial assistance (READ MORE).

Graduate Programs  The Horticulture Department offers both Master’s of Science and Doctoral degree programs. Graduate degree programs are available in all areas of faculty specialization, including environmental and urban horticulture, biofuels, functional genomics, vegetable and fruit crops, vineyard cultivation, nursery production, plant breeding and genetics, and molecular biology. The department also participates in the Agricultural and Life Sciences Online Master’s Program and horticulture faculty can serve as advisors for online graduate students.

Undergraduate Program – Bachelor’s Degree  The horticulture curriculum builds on a broad foundation in science, communication, economics, and horticultural science during the first two years and then provides for an individualized program of study based on student interests and goals.  Students may specializing in one of the following options:

  • Horticulture Crops Production - Students gain knowledge on how to manage and market ornamental and food crops,  and learn sustainable organic alternatives to meet tomorrow’s challenges.
  • Landscape Contracting - Students design, build, and manage functional landscapes using science-based practices that improve and contribute to environmental sustainability.
  • Horticulture Science and Biotechnology - Students find a cutting-edge career opportunity to improve horticulture crops through micro propagation, molecular engineering, and plant-pathogen.

The Institute for Sustainable and Renewable Resources is studying the potential to use the Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosis), a perennial native sunflower species, as a feedstock for producing ethanol. The ISRR has brought together expertise in plant tissue culture, plant molecular biology, genomics, molecular breeding and information technology to facilitate the development and propagation of novel ornamental, crop and forestry plant varieties.  The institutes desire is to use plant biology to enhance economic and community development in Southside Virginia.

Research center is affiliated with the departments of horticulture and forestry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).  To improve the Jerusalem artichoke’s potential as a feedstock for ethanol, the institute is identifying the genes that regulate flowering and the translocation of sugars in the plant and modify the genes to prolong the growing season, increase sugar production, and delay the translocation of sugars (READ MORE).

Contact Dr Javed Iqbal via phone at 434-766-6712  and via email at mjiqbal@ialr.org to learn more about his research. (READ MORE) about The Institute for Sustainable and Renewable Resources.

Virginia State University Petersburg VA Agricultural Research Station, Corporative Extension Program

Virginia State University School of Agriculture provides research-based solutions, information, and technology to students.  The Department of Agriculture and Human Ecology prepares students for rewarding careers in agricultural business, nutrition and dietetics, family and consumer science, hospitality management, teaching, and government.

The Agricultural Research Program seeks new knowledge to enhance the  productivity and profitability of agriculture while protecting the environment.  In its Cooperative Extension Program, the school transfers research-based information on agriculture, youth, environment and health to improve the life of its clientele.

Agricultural Research Station

The M.T. Carter Agricultural Research Center Research Focus includes:

  • Developing production systems that conserve natural resources
  • Crop diversity and alternative crops
  • Economically competitive and sustainable small-scale agricultural systems
  • Bio-based energy production
  • Improve food safety and quality
  • Value-added plant and animal products

Corporative Extension Program

Dr. Landesman, Louis is a professor at the School of Aquaculture Cooperative Extension program developing educational programs to assist farmers in tobacco growing counties to diversify into aquaculture production.

The program objective is to:

  • Provide educational programs to individuals, families, organizations, and communities in three broad areas of: 1) agriculture and natural resources; 2) 4-H youth development; and 3) family and consumer sciences.
  • Provide prompt access to unbiased, objective, research-based information and educational programs through an innovative network of human and technological resources.
  • Collaborate with public and private partners to better utilize our resources, enhance our effectiveness, and reach a more diverse audience.
  • Partner with citizen-led Extension Leadership Councils throughout the state to identify local issues

Dr. Landesman research expertise includes:

  • Raising algae for biofuel.
  • The use of duckweed to treat agricultural and domestic wastewater.
  • Floating aquatic plants like Lemna, Spriodela, Wolffia and Azolla for phytoremediation of contaminated effluent waters.

Please contact Dr. Landesman, Louis via phone at (804) 318-3664 or via email at landesman49@yahoo.com to learn more about his research and program.

The College of William and Mary – Virginia Institute of Marine Science Gloucester Point, VA  MS, PhD     The School of Marine Science (SMS) is the academic program within the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), and is one of four graduate and professional schools of the College of William and Mary. SMS/VIMS offers a unique research and educational opportunity to students seeking advanced degrees in marine science. VIMS emphasizes interdisciplinary research that brings perspectives from a variety of disciplines to search for new solutions to issue-driven questions (READ MORE) and (MORE).

Graduate studies and research opportunities for students pursuing a Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degrees are offered in four major program areas: biological sciences, environmental and aquatic animal health, fisheries sciences, and physical sciences (READ MORE).  Research at SMS/VIMS emphasizes the study of marine environments from estuaries to the open ocean, with concentration on coastal systems. Click here to view course catalog.

ChAP—the Chesapeake Algae Project The College of William and Mary and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have formed a collaborative research initiative to investigate new technology to produce biofuel from algae growing naturally in rivers.  ChAP—the Chesapeake Algae Project—is a research for algae-based energy production and environmental remediation. The project involves the process of producing biofuels, from algal growth to harvesting, extracting the oil from the algae, processing the oil, and producing the final biofuel product.  Grant and contract support for VIMS research comes from the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Click here to watch (Reference: www.vims.edu):

Contact Dennis M. Manos Vice Provost for Research and Graduate/Professional Studies for questions regarding the Chesapeake Algae Project.

 

George Mason University The Mission of the Mason Center for Climate and Society is to provide education, independent analysis and research to simultaneously fight global climate change and reduce world poverty.  Technological changes over the past century have put in place vast changes to the climate system that will continue to affect all life on the planet, even if all sources of greenhouse gasses were shut down. But immediate cessation of carbon emissions will not stop vast changes to the resource that all people call “normal weather and climate”. These changes will continue for several decades, if not centuries. Some societies can adapt to a changing climate, and some can find profit in the new conditions, but the world’s poor are not in a position to benefit, but only to suffer the consequences. The mission of the Mason Center for Climate and Society aims to keep the interests of the world’s poor “at the table” when climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies are developed.

The Center involves nearly all colleges, schools and institutes of George Mason University, as well as national and international partners to deliver this mission through balanced analysis including science, technology, economics, ethics, policy and public health. MCCS partners with US and foreign universities, NGOs and foundations to achieve its goals.  READ MORE

WASHINGTON

Washington State University’s Bioprocessing and Bioproduct Engineering Laboratory The Bioprocessing and Bioproduct  Engineering  Laboratory (BBEL) contributes to the College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Engineering and Architecture at Washington State University in serving the State of Washington as the land grant university in the state.  BBEL conducts research, development, education, and technology transfer addressing bioenergy, bioproducts, and environmental issues.  In doing so, the BBEL advances related sciences and technologies that benefit the broader society.  READ MORE

The Bioprocessing & Bioproducts Engineering Laboratory’s biodiesel research focuses on second generation biofuel system using algae as the main feedstock. Our target product is high quality Jet fuel. We are one of the few programs in the US specializing in heterotrophic processes although we currently have on-going research projects on both phototrophic and autotrophic processes. In addition to feedstock, we also study the oil extraction process from algae and conduct research on biodiesel quality. Our past and current main research efforts include:

* Development of high density heterotrophic culture systems

* Screen cold water species for special fatty acid profiles

* Use organic waste for co-production of hydrogen and biodiesel feedstock

* Investigating the effect of minor compounds in biodiesel upon fuel quality

* Develop process models as decision support tools for evaluating second generation of biofuel   READ MORE

Washington State University – Tri-Cities Center for Bioproducts and Bioenergy The University’s newly opened facility, the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL), at the Tri-Cities campus, cooperating with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is home to one of Washington’s star researchers in microbiology, Professor Birgitte Ahring. Ahring will lead research conducted throughout the WSU system, but much of it will happen inside the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory, a 57,000-square-foot, $24.8 million facility opening this spring at WSU Tri-Cities. BSEL is a partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and will include 10 jointly appointed scientists who will conduct cutting edge research and development in bioenergy. PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy.   READ MORE

  • Sample Research Funding:    1/10/10 -   Washington State University, a partner in BSEL, will receive $620,000 for its research based at WSU Tri-Cities.   WSU also will receive $495,000 for research based at WSU Pullman for its participation in NAABB.  This funding is part of a larger funding package announced by the DOE in January 2010.

Washington State University – Extension Energy Program The WSU Energy Program is a self-supported department within the university’s Extension Service. We receive project funding from federal government agencies, federal power marketing agencies, the nonprofit Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and several other sources.

The WSU Energy Program has a budget of about $6 million and a staff of 60 working at our downtown Olympia office, in Spokane and at other satellite locations. The WSU Energy Program is interested in biofuels, biopower and bioproducts, which offset petroleum use.   READ MORE

Bainbridge Graduate Institute BGI’s pioneering MBA and certificate programs prepare diverse leaders to build enterprises that are financially successful, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.   Our innovative curriculum preserves the rigor of a traditional MBA program, while infusing sustainability—environmental and social responsibility—throughout every course.

The MBA program combines distance learning with monthly, intensive, face-to-face classroom sessions.  Students build a strong, cooperative learning community with each other, the faculty and staff. Our faculty includes distinguished business school professors and business innovators from around the U.S. and Canada with a passion for sustainability.   READ MORE

University of Washington Certificate in Green Chemistry & Chemical Stewardship

A new certificate program from the University of Washington will help chemists, environmental and sustainability professionals, health and safety professionals and product managers make informed product decisions that take into account sustainability, toxicity and human health concerns. The certificate in Green Chemistry & Chemical Stewardship will be offered through the Professional and Continuing Education program at the University of Washington. The classes will be offered sequentially, beginning in January, 2015, and concluding in August, 2015.

Study the fundamental principles of green chemistry, which encourages the reduction in use of harmful substances through chemical design and material decision making processes. Examine the connection between chemicals, toxicity and human health and how these factors influence material and product decisions. Learn how to identify sustainability issues related to the adoption of green chemistry practices and how to apply your newly acquired knowledge and skills to promote chemical stewardship.

  • Online format
  • Experience using comparative chemical hazard assessment tools for product selection
  • Capstone project to evaluate a chemical or product within a sustainability framework

READ MORE

WEST VIRGINIA

West Virginia University Bachelor of science , Masters, Doctorate

West Virginia University Division of Forestry & Natural Resources strives to spark passion in our students for the principles of stewardship and sustainability of our renewable natural resources.  The Division of Forestry & Natural Resources combines the warmth of a small school with the resources of West Virginia University.

Undergraduate Programs Of Study

If you are interested in natural resources and the out-of-doors, you may be interested in one of the four curricula offered by the Division of Forestry & Natural Resources. Those include forest resources management, recreation, parks and tourism resources, wildlife and fisheries resources, and wood science and technology (READ MORE).

Graduate Programs Of Study (READ MORE)

The Masters degree is awarded in three discipline areas, as noted below:

  • Master of Science-Forestry
  • Master of Science-Recreation
  • Master of Science-Wildlife and Fisheries

The Doctorate in Forest Science is awarded with emphasis in one of the following disciplines:

  • Forest Resource Science
  • Natural Resource Recreation
  • Wildlife and Fisheries Science
  • Wood Science and Technology

Sample Course

The Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design is offering a new class this fall – Introduction of Biobased Energy Systems. The course will explore the legislation of and demand for renewable energy, standard terminology, types of source material, characterizations, pretreatments and productions, conversion technologies, as well as economics, sustainability and life cycle analysis.

Biomaterials and Wood Utilization Research Center

Biomass and Bioenergy: This Center focuses on efforts to identify bioenergy related economic opportunities in the state and provide scientifically proven methodologies and tools to convert woody biomass into biofuels and bioproducts through basic and applied research.

The missions of the center are as follows: (1) create a multi-disciplinary research network with universities, state and federal agencies, and industries to facilitate research and pilot project demonstrations, (2) identify bio-based material resources and research needs to develop marketing strategies for biofuels and bioproducts, and (3) enhance biomaterial and bioenergy production technology transfer to promote economic and rural community development opportunities in West Virginia (READ MORE).

Ongoing research activities include:

  • Woody biomass utilization economics
  • Coal/biomass to liquid fuels
  • Pretreatment of cellulose biomass
  • Biomass conversion to biofuels

Projects Include:

  • Assessment of coal/biomass to liquid fuels
  • Feasibility study for the development of an automated log to lumber tracking system for hardwood sawmills
  • Hybrid structural wood composites engineered from underutilized hardwood species combined with reformulated waste materials
  • From woody biomass to biofuels: a research demonstration project to promote wood residue utilization in West Virginia
  • Design of a ground penetrating radar (GPR) based log scanning set up for improving the quality of wood products from saw mills
  • New processes and products from lignocelluloses biomass: potential opportunities for economic

For more information, please contact Dr. Jingxin Wang via phone at (304) 293-7601 or via email at jxwang@wvu.edu.  Also contact Dr. Joseph McNeel via phone at (304) 293 4412 or via email at jmcneel@wvu.edu

 

West Virginia State University Agricultural and Environmental Research Program, Master of Science Degree in Biotechnology

West Virginia State University Master of Science Degree in Biotechnology is a unique graduate program in the life sciences. Students will learn state of the art biotechnology and use acquired techniques to conduct research that addresses environmental, agricultural and biomedical problems.

The goal of the Master’s Degree Program in Biotechnology is to provide instruction in the broad field of biotechnology as well as specialized training in the current concepts and technological advances of a sub-discipline of biotechnology. This program will prepare students for diverse careers in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, and Environmental Sciences, and Health Care industries as well as Education (READ MORE) .

Research

The school is conduction research to develop a systems analysis of model bioenergy bioreactors to produce predictive models that explain key properties of energy thresholds and resilience. This will help identify renewable bioenergy, produced from agricultural, municipal and industrial waste biomass, providing further options for meeting global energy needs.

For additional information about WVSU’s Agricultural and Environmental Research Program, contact Associate Director Robert J. Barney at 304-204-4318, 304-766-3102 or via email at  ruhnketr@wvstateu.edu

WISCONSIN

Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative Created in 2007 by University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative (WBI) seeks to cultivate bioenergy expertise among UW-Madison, UW-System and Wisconsin stakeholders to anchor the innovative research that is being conducted within our great state. We are a university-based coalition that helps the talent across Wisconsin create, commercialize and promote bio-based solutions.  READ MORE

Wisconsin Mid-State Technical College Associates Degree, Biorefinery Program One of the Wisconsin Technical College System’s 16 colleges, MSTC is a leading provider of higher education offering more than 50 career opportunities through associate degrees, technical diplomas and certificates. Student-focused and community-based, MSTC serves a resident population of approximately 165,000 in central Wisconsin. The college has campuses in Marshfield, Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids, and a learning center in Adams.

The Biorefinery Technology program prepares technicians to perform operations and maintenance tasks in the expanding biofuel and biogas production and biorefining industries.

The curriculum emphasizes learning and performing the mechanical processes of biofuel production and biorefining, as well as plant operations, systematic troubleshooting, logical problem-solving and safety. READ MORE

United States (multi-state programs; alpha by program title)

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a global mission to improve the human condition through plant science.

The Danforth Center was founded in 1998 through gifts from the St. Louis-based Danforth Foundation, the Monsanto Fund (a philanthropic foundation), and a tax credit from the State of Missouri. Among the distinct features of the Center is the unique and innovative alliance joining the Danforth Center in collaborative research with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the University of Missouri-Columbia, Monsanto Company, Purdue University, and Washington University in St. Louis.   Sample research grants include:

  • 1/14/2010 The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center will receive $44 million from the U.S. Department of Energy in economic stimulus funding to lead a consortium that will conduct research on advanced biofuels.

FlowCAM Algae Technology Scholarship The FlowCAM® Collaboration Scholarship Program offers students studying algae technology up to $1,000.00 per year for up to four consecutive years. It’s open to high school, college, graduate or post-graduate level students studying biofuels, nutraceuticals and other algae products at the leading algae research institutions listed here.

Applications for 2012/2013 academic year algae scholarship awards due August 30, 2012. The application is available through each school’s office of scholarships. Members of the faculty, please call Victoria Kurtz at 207.846.6100 to become a partner institution and secure scholarship funding for your students while featuring the most advanced algae research technology in your department.  READ MORE

A Danforth press statement noted the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB), led by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, is one of two groups that will seek to breakdown “critical barriers to the commercialization of algae-based and other advanced biofuels such as green aviation fuels, diesel, and gasoline that can be transported and sold using today’s existing fueling infrastructure.” The Danforth Center is a national leader in algal biofuel research.   READ MORE

National Science Foundation The Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) awarded 20 grants in FY 2009, including the following on the topic of Hydrocarbons from Biomass (HyBi):

  • Maximizing Conversion of Biomass Carbon to Liquid Fuel, Purdue University.Lignin Deconstruction for the Production of Liquid Fuels, (0937657), University of Kentucky.
  • Green Aromatics by Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Lignocellulosic Biomass, University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
  • Fungal Processes for Direct Bioconversion of Cellulose to Hydrocarbons, Montana State University and Yale University.
  • Algal Oils to ‘Drop-In’ Replacements for Petroleum-derived Transportation Fuels, North Carolina State University.
  • The Science and Engineering of Microalgae Hydrothermal Processing, University of Michigan.
  • Bioengineering a System for the Direct Production of Biological Hydrocarbons for Biofuels, Iowa State University,  University of Puerto Rico–Mayagüez and California State University.
  • Conversion of Biomass to Fuels using Molecular Sieve Catalysts and Millisecond Contact Time Reactors,  University of Minnesota, Princeton University, University of Delaware.   READ MORE

Southeastern Regional Biomass Partnership State Participation: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee The Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) has been awarded a cooperative agreement to administer the Southeastern Regional Biomass Energy Program (SERBEP), funded through the Department of Energy’s Atlanta Regional Office. Through the use of small, cost-shared grants, the Program encourages economic development through public/private partnerships that demonstrate bioenergy technology applications. SSEB is currently involved in numerous projects in its participating states.  The objectives of SERBEP are:

  • To improve government and industry capabilities and effectiveness in the production and use of biomass resources,
  • To support planning efforts that make these resources available,
  • To encourage economic development through private and public investment in biomass technologies, and
  • To engage in research projects that demonstrate biomass technology applications.    READ MORE

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory PNNL is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) ten national laboratories, managed by DOE’s Office of Science. PNNL also performs research for other DOE offices as well as government agencies, universities, and industry to deliver breakthrough science and technology to meet today’s key national needs. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory frequently collaborates with universities, industry, and other government agencies on scientific research and technology development. The synergy that comes from melding minds and expertise from different institutions often sparks solutions to today’s complex problems.   PNNL is a world leader in proteomics, gasification and catalysis research – capabilities critical to better understanding the cellular dynamics of biomass materials and to more completely and economically converting biomass into fuel. The Lab will leverage expertise and capabilities at the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory, a facility located on the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus where PNNL and WSU researchers collaborate; the Institute for Interfacial Catalysis, which PNNL launched in 2005 to bridge the gap from fundamental catalysis research to process application; EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a DOE national scientific user facility located at PNNL;  and PNNL’s Marine Sciences Laboratory, DOE’s only marine research facility located in Sequim, Wash.  Sample Research Funding includes:

  • 1/14/10 -  The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will receive about $14.2 million for its role in two biofuels research consortia.  The consortia will advance the science and technology needed to remove hurdles and accelerate the ability to convert plants and other biological material into biofuels that can be used in existing infrastructure.  READ MORE

See Government Resources page for links to other national laboratories.

Pacific Regional Biomass Energy Partnership State Participation:  Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Hawaii, Oregon The mission of the Pacific Regional Biomass Energy Partnership is to encourage the use and development of biomass energy technologies that are technically feasible and cost effective. We work to provide technology transfer, remove barriers to biomass energy production and promote its benefits. We provide information and technical assistance to improve the regional environment and economies.

The partnership’s major purpose is to encourage the deployment of biomass energy technologies. For example, the partnership has worked to develop biodiesel and ethanol production throughout the region. The partnership also has supported biopower development through the testing and demonstration of the anoxic gas flotation process for dairies that use a flush system to handle manure. In addition, the partnership produces and distributes reliable information on potential biomass energy technologies.   READ MORE

Online Energy Degrees (see also posts of Online Courses)

Marylhurst University, Oregon M.S. Sustainable Business, Concentration, Renewable Energy Marylhurst University is a private liberal arts university located 10 miles south of Portland, Oregon, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as professional certificates.

Marylhurst’s online Master of Business Administration degree in Sustainable Business prepares you to make a positive footprint in your office and in the world around you. When you choose a concentration in Renewable Energy you’ll gain a fresh perspective on business while learning how to address environmental regulations and policy that incorporate important decisions impacting energy use, business strategy and operational management. READ MORE

Miles Community College, Milwaukee Online Associates Degree, Energy Technology; A.A.S Biofuels Miles Community College has collaborated with The University of Montana College of Technology in Missoula to offer an online degree in Energy Technology. The Energy Technology Program introduces students to the full suite of energy technologies—traditional, emerging, renewable, and alternative—and prepares them for careers in the energy industry. READ MORE

National Biodiesel Board  With the ever-expanding availability of biodiesel and biodiesel blends in the fueling and automotive marketplace, the National Biodiesel Board believes that providing current information to the technical experts who maintain our national’s vehicles and fleets is key.  See this page for access to an online self-directed program and for lists of other mechanics training opportunities.  READ MORE

In response to the US Engine and equipment manufacturers (EMA/OEM) support for biodiesel blends, the National Biodiesel Board’s Technical team provides education and outreach throughout several sectors of the OEM industry. Part of this technical support is hosting technical seminars for OEM equipment dealers and technicians across North America. These technical seminars follow a workshop format with both lecture and/or hands-on practicum. Typically the workshop is tailored to the industry sector and location’s needs and experience. The National Biodiesel Board OEM Technical Training Seminar series offers courses on the following subjects:

  • Introduction to Biodiesel, Technical Overview (BIO 1.0)
  • Overview of Diesel Engine Fundamentals (BIO 2.0)
  • Understanding Today’s Diesel Fuel (BIO 2.1)
  • Biodiesel Vehicle Performance and Maintenance (BIO 3.0)
  • Biodiesel Fleet Case Studies (BIO 3.1)
  • Biodiesel Fuel Quality and Filtration (BIO 3.2)
  • Biodiesel Educational Resources (BIO 4.0)
  • Biodiesel and Exhaust Emissions After-treatment (BIO 3.3)
  • Biodiesel Train-the-Trainer (BIO 5.0)   READ MORE

Sun Grant Regional Centers and Associated Research Projects

The Sun Grant Initiative is a national network of land-grant universities and federally funded laboratories working together to further establish a biobased economy.

These institutes are at the forefront of research and innovation involving bioenergy and biofuels production. They have the history, technology and resources available to lead the nation towards a renewable, sustainable, domestic energy industry.

Sun Grant Centers are also charged with reviving America’s farming communities by placing an emphasis on rural economic development through the production of biobased renewable energy feedstocks.

Sun Grant Centers and Representative Grants

The Centers are located at Cornell UniversityOklahoma State UniversityOregon State UniversitySouth Dakota State University, and the University of Tennessee. See information in main entries above. READ MORE

Other Resources

Engineers have many employment opportunities in the areas of advanced biofuels development and deployment.

www.mechanicalengineeringschools.org is a searchable internet database that will link you to degrees available when working to achieve a job in the field of mechanical engineering.

http://www.mastersinengineering.org/ provides links to engineering masters programs.  Engineers apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Their work is the link between scientific discoveries and the commercial applications that meet societal and consumer needs.

Both traditional and online masters in engineering degrees will provide you with in-depth information and expertise in a selected engineering specialty. Usually a person will get a Master of Science in Engineering (MS or MSE), or a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree. In order to get any masters in engineering degree, one must have an undergraduate degree in engineering, or a science related area of study. As a graduate studies student you can design your master in engineering studies for actual-world career application or for future academic studies.