New Staff Intro: Kurt Haunreiter

This fall, we were very pleased to welcome Kurt Haunreiter has the new manager of the Paper Science Center in Bloedel B-14! He arrived at the beginning of October, right when classes started, and he’s been scrambling to get the paper lab back in shape. “It’s been kind of a whirlwind,” he says.

2015_11_Kurt HaunreiterHaunreiter, who lives north of Everett, Wash., earned a bachelor’s in chemistry from the University of Washington, and then a master’s from the Georgia Tech Institute of Paper Science and Technology. He started in the industry as an analytical chemist for the James River Corporation in Camas, Wash., and then held positions as a process engineer, tissue operations manager and pulp manufacturing superintendent at Kimberly-Clark in Everett.

A big part of what attracted him to this position was the opportunity to work with students, and this quarter he’s been assisting Professor Anthony Dichiara with BSE 248: Paper Properties. He attends every class, making sure the lab is ready and writing simplified procedures for each instrument the students use for the course.

Fridays are papermaking days, as well, and Haunreiter has been working with a few BSE students to get the paper pilot machine fully operational in time for the senior papermaking class this winter (which will led by Shannon Ewanick and taught jointly with Professor Dichiara). His goal is to have the students more directly engaged in the process, and he’s been writing new procedures so they can eventually operate the paper machine independently.

If you haven’t had a chance to introduce yourself yet, we hope you’ll join us in welcoming Haunreiter to the SEFS community!

Photo of Kurt Haunreiter © Karl Wirsing/SEFS; photo of papermaking © Kurt Haunreiter.

BSE students at work in the paper lab last Friday, November 20.

BSE students at work in the paper lab last Friday, November 20.

SEFS Seminar Series: Week 6 Preview

Biofuels Slide

Lignocellulose, or dry plant matter, is the most abundantly available raw material for the production of biofuels. But how can we improve the production of fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass? And how do we deal with heterogeneous biomass?

Join Professor Renata Bura this Wednesday, February 13, as she tackles these questions in Week 6 of the SEFS Seminar Series!

The seminars, held in Anderson 223 on Wednesdays from 4 to 5 p.m., are open to all faculty, staff and students. Check out the rest of the seminar schedule for the Winter Quarter, and join us each week for a reception in the Forest Room from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Additional Background:
Professor Bura is part of the Biofuels and Bioproducts Laboratory (BBL), which includes Shannon Ewanick, Brian Marquardt, Rick Gustafson, Erik Budsberg and Jordan Crawford. Here’s what she says about the lab’s work and her seminar presentation:

Improvements in individual processes (pretreatment, saccharification and fermentation) have been ongoing, but few researchers have considered the effect that the incoming heterogeneous raw biomass can have on the process. Even within the same species, biomass is physically and chemically very heterogeneous due to the agronomy practices, water and nutrients management, weed control, harvest and storage, seasonal changes, and age. Rather than designing a biorefinery around an ideal source of a given feedstock, it is preferable to understand how we can process heterogeneous feedstock. How can we alter the heterogeneous biomass to provide the maximum yield of hydrolysable and fermentable sugars from whatever is available?

In this presentation we discuss how by preconditioning of biomass, online reaction control, techno-economic and life cycle analysis we can deal with heterogeneous biomass such as switchgrass, sugarcane bagasse and hybrid poplar. We will present that by improving the uniformity of heterogeneous biomass in terms of moisture content, we could improve sugar yields by 28 percent. Another means of dealing with heterogeneous biomass is to improve overall process control by increasing the level of data collection. We will show how Raman spectroscopy could provide early detection of feedstock heterogeneity, leading to increased real-time awareness. Finally, when processing heterogeneous biomass, overall results of the techno-economic analysis have to be incorporated into life cycle assessment work to estimate life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from mixed lignocellulosics.

Join us on tomorrow to learn more!

BBL Graphic © Renata Bura.