Richard Gustafson

  • Professor
    • 206-543-2790
  • Richard Gustafson

    • Professor

    Research areas

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

    B.S., Wood and Fiber Science, University of Washington
    Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Washington


    • BSE 422 | Bioresource Engineering III (4) - Autumn
    • BSE 480 | Bioresource Design I (4) - Winter
    • BSE 481 | Bioresource Design II (5) - Spring

    Current Sponsored Projects

    • Production of Aviation Biofuels
      This research builds on the UW work with ZeaChem to produce jet fuel from cellulosic feedstock. The research will result in a bench scale demonstration of an innovative technology to produce 100% biobased jet fuel.
    • System for Advanced Biofuels Production from Woody Biomass
      Project goal is to ready the Pacific Northwest for an introduction of a 100% infrastructure-compatible biofuels industry that meets the region's pro-rate share of Renewable Fuel Standard 2 targets using sustainably grown regionally appropriate woody energy crops.

    Selected publications

    Dou, C., Ewanick., S., Bura., R., and Gustafson., R. 2016. Post-treatment mechanical refining as a method to improve overall sugar recovery of steam pretreated hybrid poplar. Bioresource Technology 207: 157-165.  Link

    Budsberg, E., Crawford, J., Gustafson, R., Bura, R., and Puettmann, M. 2015. Ethanologens vs. acetogens: Environmental impacts of two ethanol fermentation pathways. Biomass and Bioenergy 83: 25-31.  Link

    Ewanick, S., Schmitt, E., Gustafson, R., and Bura, R. 2014. Use of Raman spectroscopy for continuous monitoring and control of lignocellulosic biorefinery processes. Pure and Applied Chemistry 86: 867-879.  Link

    Bruce Lippke, Richard Gustafson, Richard Venditti, Philip Steele,Timothy A. Volk, Elaine Oneil, Leonard Johnson,Maureen E. Puettmann, and Kenneth Skog. 2012. Comparing Life-Cycle Carbon and Energy Impacts for Biofuel, Wood Product, and Forest Management Alternatives. Forest Products Journal 62(4): 247-257.  Link

    Bruce Lippke, Maureen E. Puettmann, Leonard Johnson, Richard Gustafson, Richard Venditti, Philip Steele, John F. Katers, Adam Taylor,Timothy A. Volk, Elaine Oneil, Kenneth Skog, Erik Budsberg,Jesse Daystar,and Jesse Caputo. 2012. Carbon Emission Reduction Impacts from Alternative Biofuels. Forest Products Journal 62(4): 296-304.  Link