Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Office of the Vice President for Research have selected a new biofuel project to receive $125,000 through the Connecting through Research Partnerships (Connect) Program. Funding 1 begins September 2015.
SwRI is collaborating with UTSA to develop a supply chain model for the new field of commodity biomaterials and biofuels starting with feedstocks from non-food crop resources and their descriptions and specifications all the way to finished products.
SwRI’s role will be to develop a prototype biofeedstock upgrading process using its new fluidized bed reactor pilot plant to supply data to the UTSA model.SwRI’s Jimell Erwin, Ph.D., and Monica Medrano will collaborate with UTSA’s Krystel Castillo, Ph.D., Sc.D., on the project, “An Efficient Circulating Fluidized Reactor Technology Integrated into a Stochastic Model with Biomass Quality Variables for Sustainable Biofuels and Biobased Products.” Castillo is an assistant professor in the UTSA Department of Mechanical Engineering. Erwin is the director of the Chemical Engineering Department in the SwRI Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division and Medrano is an SwRI research engineer.
Since its inception in 2010, the Connect Program has funded nine projects from 49 proposals submitted by teams from SwRI and UTSA.
The Connect program was founded to enhance greater scientific collaboration between SwRI and UTSA and to increase their research-funding base.