Drs. Jin Wang & Mario Eden: Sun Grant Awards

Dr. Jin Wang

Dr. Jin Wang

Bredd Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
Auburn University

Dr. Mario Eden

Dr. Mario Richard Eden 

Joe T. and Billie Carole McMillan Associate Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
Auburn University


Dr. Jin Wang and Dr. Mario Eden have each been awarded grants from the Sun Grant Initiative for their research in the production of biofuels. Dr. Wang was awarded $250,000 over three years, and Dr. Eden was awarded $250,000 over two years.

The Sun Grant Initiative is a national network of land-grant universities and federally funded laboratories on the cutting-edge of research and innovation in bioenergy and biofuels production. These institutes work together to further establish a biobased economy. The initiative is funded by U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration.

Dr. Jin Wang, along with her co-principal investigator Peter He of Tuskegee University, received the award for their proposal Optimization and Control of a Coculture System in a Novel Bioreactor for Ethanol Production from Lignocellulosic BiomassThe conversion of the pentose sugars to ethanol is one of the major barriers of industrializing lignocellulosic ethanol processes. In this project, Dr. Wang will investigate the coculture system of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pichia stipitis, which will constitute the first systematic study to understand the dynamics of such a coculture system. This will enable the design of innovative coculture systems as cost-effective biocatalysts for renewable biofuels production.

Dr. Mario Eden, with his co-principal investigators Dr. Christopher Roberts, Dr. Steven Taylor, and Dr. Sushil Adhikari, received the award for their proposal Integrated Biorefinery Optimization through Biomass Fractionation, Gasification and Advanced Catalytic Conversion Processes. This project will utilize a unique set of testbeds in the Auburn University Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts, most notably a pilot-scale gasification unit that will be used to produce synthesis gas for subsequent gas-to-liquids processing. By first fractionation the biomass into its fundamental chemical constituents, the problems associated with the highly variable and structurally diverse biomass feedstocks are mitigated, and thus  will ensure consistent downstream thermochemical processing into liquid fuels.

Last Updated: Feb 09, 2011