People - Faculty - Rick Gustafson
Professor of Forest Resources
B.S., Wood and Fiber Science, University of Washington, 1977
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, 1982
Pulp and paper mills in the United States are facing pressures from all corners to produce a superior product with a minimal environmental impact. Environment pressures are affecting the quantity and quality of their fiber supply, significantly changing permitted process chemicals, and forcing mills to further minimize energy and water usage. Research in our group investigates ways that mills can modify their processes to comply with these environmental pressures, while still producing an acceptable product at a profit. A major effort of our research group has been the development of fundamental pulping and bleaching process models. These models have applications in process design, optimization, and control. Currently we are developing experimental techniques to investigate pulping uniformity by measuring the lignin contents of individual fibers. Pulping uniformity experiments will be coupled with the modeling effort to develop reactor designs and operating politics that produce superior pulp while reducing effluent levels and resource demands.