Faculty Collaborating with the Energy Institute

Biological and Environmental Engineering

Ahner, Beth

Research Interests:  Prof. Ahner’s current energy-related research  is focused on the growth and use of algae biomass.  Algae can extract dilute nutrients from waste water, efficiently fix CO2 and simultaneously produce valuable products including biofuel and protein for animal feed.  Optimization of algae biomass production in ponds or reactors requires diagnostic tools to interrogate various aspect of algae physiology; these tools range from rapid detection of intracellular lipid content of individual cells to RNA-based detection of specific biochemical stress responses.  In one on-going project we are developing a new set of RNA-based bioassays that could be used to improve production systems.  We are also working on the production of new transgenic strains of algae that will simultaneously produce high value proteins.  The functional proteins will provide added benefits to the use of algae protein in feed markets.

Email: baa7@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-2270
Website:  http://bee.cornell.edu/people/profile-ahner.cfm

Anderson, C. Lindsay

Research:  In order to meet both environmental targets and energy needs in the future, a significant portion of our electricity supply will be procured from renewable energy sources that are also uncertain and variable. As the proportion of these sources increases, the existing power systems and operators will require new technology and new operational methods to preserve reliability and security. The Anderson research group is focused on mathematical and computational methods that maximize effectiveness of operations under uncertain forecasts, and maximize use of complementary technologies such as storage and responsive demand. This is an interdisciplinary research program with aspects of operations, optimization, as well as environmental and systems engineering.  Prof. Anderson holds field memberships in Biological and Environmental Engineering, Systems Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell, and an Adjunct appointment in Applied Mathematics at Western University (Canada).

Impacts of Uncertainty in Biobased Industries - this is a developing project in collaboration with Professor Larry Walker and the Biofuels Research Laboratory.

Email: cla28@cornell.edu
Website: http://bee.cals.cornell.edu/people/catherine-anderson

Angenent, Largus

Research Interests: Lars Angenent is interested in converting organic materials with undefined mixed cultures, defined mixed cultures, or pure cultures of microbes to generate specific products, such as the energy carriers – methane; carboxylates; electric current; n-butanol. Pretreatment of the biomass may be necessary to increase the conversion rates, and therefore Lars Angenent is also interested in physical/chemical (e.g., dilute acid method), thermochemical (e.g., slow pyrolysis), and biological pretreatment steps. In regards to bioprocessing steps, Lars Angenent studies anaerobic digestion, anaerobic fermentation, bioelectrochemical systems, syngas fermentation, and ABE fermentation. Other areas of interest are biosensors and biocomputing devices that are based on bioelectrochemical systems (BESs); and photobioreactors.  For organic waste conversion into bioenergy, Lars Angenent is promoting the carboxylate platform as an important platform in biorefineries because water and nutrients must be recycled while bioenergy yields must be maximized. This platform is based on microbial conversions with undefined mixed cultures that can handle the complexity and variability of organic wastes. Therefore, Lars Angenent is interested in the microbial community dynamics in engineered systems. For this reason, his lab utilizes second-generation sequencing platforms in combination with powerful bioinformatic tools and ecology theory.

Email: la249@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-2480
Website: http://angenent.bee.cornell.edu/DrLarsAngenent.html

Scott, Norm (Emeritus)

Research Interests: My research interests are in sustainable development. I believe "sustainable development" is the dominant economic, environmental and social issue for the 21st century. To meet this challenge requires an entrepreneurship, which combines energy, environmental, industrial, and agricultural knowledge and innovation. The objective is to combine science, engineering, technology, economics, and social principles to "engineer" new ecologically sustainable communities. The concept represents the epitome of systems analysis- a challenge combining the insight from the physical sciences with those of the biological and social sciences. Characteristics of a sustainable community will be based in biologically-derived fuels, renewable energy, recycling, energy conservation, reduced transportation, managed ecosystems, advanced housing systems and sustainable agriculture. "

Email: nrs5@cornell.edu
Phone: (607) 351-3147
Website:  http://bee.cornell.edu/people/profile-scott.cfm
National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Member: https://www.nae.edu/MembersSection/MemberDirectory/27805.aspx


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