University of Florida

Biological Engineering Projects

ABE faculty are involved in a wide range of projects in biofuels, biotechnology, plant-space biology, biological systems modeling and nanotechnology. The following are highlights of current research areas. Additional projects can be viewed at faculty websites listed below.

Bin Gao - Assistant Professor

Bin Gao's research mainly lies in studying water quality and environmental sustainability. It spans a broad range of topics including environmental and water resources engineering, environmental nanotechnology, waste and water reclamation, and hydrologic modeling. Most of his research is interdisciplinary and balances experimental and modeling investigations. http://www.abe.ufl.edu/Bingao/research/index.shtml

Bin GaoProject Title: Biochar for Waste Reclamation
Summary: Biochar, also known as “agrichar” or “biomass-derived black carbon”, is a charcoal produced from carbon-rich material. Recent advance in the biochar technologies makes it possible to turn some of solid wastes (trashes) into value-added biochar and bioenergy (treasures). This project is designed to evaluate the environmental, social, and economic benefit of using carbon-rich solid wastes for the production of biochar and bioenergy.

Project Title: Biochar Land Application
Summary: Biochar, also known as “agrichar” or “biomass-derived black carbon”, is a charcoal produced from carbon-rich material. Biochar technology not only produces sustainable bio-energy, it can also store massive amount of carbons within the charcoal. Land application of biochar has been proposed as a novel approach to establish a significant, long-term sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide in terrestrial ecosystem. In addition, it can also improve the soil quality and enhance crop productivity. This project is designed to evaluate the environmental, social, and economic benefit of biochar land application

Eric McLamore - Assistant Professor

Dr. McLamore’s lab focuses on the development of sensor technology, combining the unique electrocatalytic and photonic properties of nanomaterials with biological molecules for measuring analyte transport. Our lab is involved in a large number of interdisciplinary research projects, mainly focusing on agricultural and environmental research applications.

http://abe.ufl.edu/Faculty/mclamore/index.shtml

Eric McLamore Project Title: Non invasive self-referencing biosensors for real time monitoring of biogas production
Sponsor: UF Innovation Fund
Summary: This research aims to develop and test novel biosensors for monitoring biogas (methane) from agro-processing residue.  We are developing these sensors using a combination of nanomaterials (platinum nanoclusters and carbon nanotubes) and enzymes (alcohol oxidase) immobilized in self assembled layers on a platinum surface.  These sensors will be used in a self-referencing format for non-invasive quantification of methanol transport to/from biofilms immobilized on hollow fiber silicon membranes. 
Collaborators:P. Pullammanappallil, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida
J. Garland, Dynamac Corporation, Kennedy Space Center

Zhaohui "Julene" Tong - Assistant Professor

Dr. Tong and her team are involved in a number of projects, primarily focusing on Bio-based Materials research.

Zhaohui TongProject Title: Green poly-lactic acid (PLA) composites reinforced with lignin and associated carbohydrates
Summary: The overall objective of this study is to prepare the composite of poly-lactic acid (PLA) composites reinforced with lignin and associated carbohydrates to expand the use and utility of PLA-derived polymers. Then it aims to determine the impact of lignin subunit composition on physico-chemical properties of lignin-based composites derived from the waste stream generated by bagasse processing.

Project Title: Synthesis of bio-based dispersion with encapsulated nanolignin-clay hybrid
Summary:The overall objective of this project is to synthesize stable waterborne dispersion with nanolignin-clay hybrid encapsulated into biopolymer via miniemulsion polymerization and understand the synthesis mechanism in the presence of nanolignin-clay hybrid and the acrylated plant-oil based monomer.