Rodrigo Morales


Rodrigo Morales Vera

Dr. Morales obtained his engineering degree in the Faculty of Forest Sciences University of Chile and PhD in Bioresources Science and Engineering from University of Washington. Currently he is working as a research associate in Rick Gustafson’s lab. Morales’ primary research focus is the bioconversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals through Aspen+ modeling and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).

Considering the lack of diversification of the world matrix, his purpose as a researcher is to contribute to the development of bioenergy field. However, it is not only important to have a deep knowledge of each step of different methods of the biofuels and biochemicals production, it is also necessary to understand the environmental and economic performance for any production system.

His current work includes design and modeling using Aspen plus the process to make poplar to glacial acetic acid economically feasible and sustainable. In addition, he is working in modeling and analyzing the economic performance of transforming waste paper to ethanol in the King County area, Washington.

CV available by request

Areas of interest:
Renewable energies, bioenergy and biofuels, biomaterials and bioproducts, waste reuse, environment, LCA (life cycle assessment), industrial ecology.


Vera, R. M., Bura, R., & Gustafson, R. (2015). Synergistic effects of mixing hybrid poplar and wheat straw biomass for bioconversion processes.Biotechnology for Biofuels8(1), 1.