Engineering team to perform fuels research for Alabama River Pulp Company

Published: Nov 10, 2008 3:25:01 PM
Media Contact: Sally Credille,, 334.844.3447

Harry Cullinan and Ram Gupta, faculty members in Auburn University's Department of Chemical Engineering, have reached a three-year $750,000 sponsored research agreement with Alabama River Pulp Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Parsons and Whittemore, Inc., to conduct research related to the production of biocrude and hydrogen fuel from paper sludge, using supercritical water (SCW) technology. Auburn is a leader in SCW technology in which hot and compressed water is utilized to carry out chemical reactions. The research will be conducted at the Alabama Center for Paper and Bioresource Engineering, where Cullinan is director.

"The Department of Chemical Engineering and the Alabama Center for Pulp and Bioresource Engineering have previously completed similar projects related to bench scale testing of cellulosic feedstock in supercritical water reactors," said Cullinan. "We look forward to pursuing the application of supercritical water to biomass conversion on behalf of Alabama River Pulp Company."

Parsons and Whittemore, founded in 1853, has been recognized as a leading builder of pulp and paper mills, having completed more than 60 projects in 28 countries. The company has made a significant contribution to the wider and more efficient use of assorted non-traditional raw materials through extensive research in the utilization of agricultural fibers.

Additional information about the Department of Chemical Engineering can be found at