Chemical Engineering

Sridhar Viamajala 


Sridhar Viamajala 
Phone: +1 (419) 530-8094
Fax: +1 (419) 530-8086

The University of Toledo
Chemical Engineering (MS 305)
3060 Nitschke Hall
1650 N Westwood Ave
Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390







2003 Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Washington State University
1997 B.Tech (Hons) Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur


Research Interests

My research interests fall in two broad areas:

(1) Algal biofuels and issues related to:

  • Quantifying phototrophic growth and lipid-accumulation kinetics as they are influenced by simultaneous interactions between light (quality and irradiance), carbon dioxide concentrations, pH, temperature and nutrients;
  • strategies for economical downstream conversion of algal lipids to biodiesel (fatty acid alkyl esters); and,
  • influence of nutrient (C, N and P) speciation on algal growth and lipid content.

(2) Lignocellulose-derived biofuels and issues related to:

  • enzymatic digestion at high solid concentrations; and,
  • carbonic acid pretreatment.


Selected Publications
  1. Maddi B, Viamajala S, Varanasi S. 2013. “Pyrolytic fractionation: A promising thermo-chemical technique for processing oleaginous (algal) biomass” Energy and Environmental Science (under review)
  2. Fields EK, Gerlach R, Viamajala S, Jennings LK, Peyton BM, Apel WA. 2013. “The influence of carbon source, iron minerals, and electron shuttling compounds on hexavalent chromium reduction by Cellulomonas sp. strain ES6.” Biodegradation. 24:437-450
  3. Bollin P, Viamajala S. 2012. “Reactive Extraction of Biomass Triglycerides as Fatty Acid Methyl Esters using Lewis Acidic Chloroaluminate Ionic Liquids.” Energy & Fuels. 26:6411-6418.
  4. Chowdhury R, Viamajala S. 2012. “Reduction of environmental and energy footprint of microalgal biodiesel production through material and energy integration.” Bioresource Technology. 108:102-111
  5. Linton E, Rahman A, Viamajala S, Sims RC, Miller CD. 2012. “Polyhydroxyalkanoate quantification in organic wastes and pure cultures using a single-step extraction and (1)H NMR analysis.” Water Science and Technology. 66:1000-1006
  6. Maddi B, Viamajala S, Varanasi S. 2011. “Comparative study of pyrolysis of algal biomass from natural lake blooms with lignocellulosic biomass.” Bioresource Technology. 102:11018-11026
  7. Gerlach R, Field EK, Viamajala S, Peyton BM, Apel WA, Cunningham AB. 2011. “Influence of carbon sources and electron shuttles on ferric iron reduction by Cellulomonas sp. strain ES6.” Biodegradation. 22: 983-995
  8. Sivaswamy V, Boyanov MI, Peyton BM, Viamajala S, Gerlach R, Apel WA, Sani RK, Dohnalkova A, Kemner KM, Borch T. 2011. “Multiple Mechanisms of Uranium Immobilization by Cellulomonas sp. strain ES6.” Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 108: 264-276
  9. Wahal S, Viamajala S. 2010. “Maximizing algal growth in batch reactors using sequential change in light intensity.” Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 161: 511-522.
  10. Donohoe BS, Selig MJ, Viamajala S, Vinzant TB, Adney WS, Himmel ME. 2009. “Detecting cellulase penetration into corn stover cell walls by immuno-electron microscopy.” Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 103:480-489.
  11. Viamajala S, Schell DJ, McMillan JD, Elander RT. 2009. “Rheology of dilute acid pretreated biomass slurries: Effect of solids concentration and particle size.” Bioresource Technology. 100: 925–934.
  12. Viamajala S, Peyton BM, Gerlach R, Sivaswamy V, Apel WA, Petersen JN. 2008. “Permeable reactive biobarriers for in-situ Cr(VI) reduction: Bench scale tests using Cellulomonas sp. strain ES6.” Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 101: 1150-1162.
  13. Selig MJ, Viamajala S, Decker SR, Tucker MP, Himmel ME, Vinzant TB. 2007. “Deposition of Lignin Droplets Produced During Dilute Acid Pretreatment of Maize Stems Retards Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Cellulose.” Biotechnology Progress. 23: 1333-1339.
  14. Viamajala S, Selig MJ, Vinzant TB, Tucker MP, Himmel ME, McMillan JD, Decker SR. 2006. “Catalyst transport in corn stover internodes: Elucidating transport mechanisms using direct blue I.” Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 129: 509-527.
  15. Viamajala S, Peyton BM, Petersen JN. 2003. “Modeling chromate reduction in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1: Development of a novel dual-enzyme kinetic model.” Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 83: 790-797.


  1. Alipour S, Li B, Varanasi S, Relue P, and Viamajala S. New methods for high yield production of furans from biomass sugars at mild operating conditions. US Serial No. 61/898,889 filed November 1, 2013.
  2. Shao H, Vadlamani A, Viamajala S, Varanasi S, Relue P. 2013. Enzymatic digestion of microalgal biomass for lipid, sugar and protein recovery. US Serial No.: 61/877,497 filed September 13, 2013
  3. Maddi B.; Viamajala, S.; Varanasi, S. 2011. Thermal Fractionation of biomass of non-lignocellulosic origin for multiple high-quality biofuels (US Patent Pending) #13/294510.
  4. Viamajala S, Nelson D, Sims RC. 2010. Transesterified lipid recovery and methods thereof. WO2011100563-A2; 18 Aug 2011 C12P-007/64 201157. (Patent Pending)
  5. Yamamoto K., Viamajala S., Varanasi S., Nguyen K., Abel G., Mudiyanselage A. Y., Cross Metathesis Approach to C12 and C13 Fatty-Chain Amino Esters from Oleic Acid Derivatives, (US Patent Pending) #1-56166/D2014-06
  6. Yamamoto K., Viamajala S., Varanasi S., Nguyen K., Mudiyanselage A. Y Ring Closing Metathesis Approach To Produce Precursors Of Nylon 11, 12, And 13 From Oleic Acid (US Patent Pending)


Research Funding
  1. Viamajala S, Varanasi S, Gerlach R, Characklis W, Hamud I, Johnson R, Fields M, Peyton B. “Integration of Nutrient and Water Recycling for Sustainable Algal Biorefineries.” Funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of the Biomass Program. Collaborating Institutions – The University of Toledo, Montana State University, University of North Carolina, City of Logan (Environmental Department) and Advanced Algae Solutions, LLC. Lead Institution – The University of Toledo. Total project award: $2,999,934. UT award: $1,140,508. Role: Project PI. September 2012. (Duration – 3 yrs)
  2. Viamajala S, Gerlach R, Characklis W, Varanasi S, Yamamoto K, Fields M, Peyton B. “SEP Collaborative: Alkaliphilic microalgae-based sustainable & scalable processes for renewable fuels and products.” Funded by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Sustainable Energy Pathways (SEP) Program. Collaborating Institutions – The University of Toledo, Montana State University and University of North Carolina. Lead Institution – University of Toledo. Total project award: $1,900,000. UT award: $950,000. Role: Project PI. August 2012. (Duration – 4 yrs)
  3. Viamajala S, Varanasi S, Yamamoto K, Isailovic D. “Interdisciplinary Research Initiative Grant.” Funded by the University of Toledo. UT award: $100,000. Role: Project PI. May 2012. (Duration – 1 yr)
  4. Bayless D, Viamajala S, Stuart B, Varanasi S et al. “Center for Algal Engineering Research and Commercialization.” Funded by the Ohio Third Frontier’s Wright Project program. Collaborating Institutions – Ohio University and The University of Toledo. Lead Institution: Ohio University. Total project award: $2,970,063. UT award: $1,027,061; Role: PI for UT award and project co-I. May 2010. (Duration – 3 yrs)
  5. Viamajala S. “Nutrient utilization by algal strains from Lake Erie”. Funded by the Air Force Research Office (AFRO) and subcontracted through the Center for Innovative Food Technologies, Toledo, Ohio. UT award: $45,700. Role: Project PI. July 2010 (Duration – 1 yr)
  6. Varanasi S, Lapitsky Y, Viamajala S, Anderson J, Schall C. “MRI-R2: Acquisition of a suite of analytical instrumentation essential for investigating fuel, chemical and polymer production from biomass.”, Funded by the NSF Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program. UT award: $992,690. Role: co-I. April 2010 (Duration – 3 yrs)
  7. Viamajala S, Wood B, Sims RC, Ban H. “Effects of flue gas on algal growth and lipid production.” Funded by the US Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory and subcontracted through Arizona Public Service. USU award: $105,837. Role: Project PI. April 2009 (Duration – 1 yr).
  8. Peyton BM, Viamajala S, Cooksey K, Fields M, Seefeldt L, Barney B. “Extremophilic microalgae: Advanced lipid and biomass production for biofuels and bioproducts.” Funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of the Biomass Program. Collaborating Institutions – Montana State University and Utah State University. Lead Institution – Montana State University. Total project award: $900,583. USU award: $445,260. Role: PI for USU award and project co-I. September 2008. (Duration – 3 yrs)
  9. Sims RC, Viamajala S, Hansen C, Miller C. “Biological phosphorus removal combined with bio-energy production research.” Funded by the City of Logan Environmental Department. USU award: $199,964. Role: co-I. September 2008. (Duration – 2 yrs).
  10. Muhs J, Wood B, Viamajala S, Seefeldt L. “Developing methods of producing jet fuel using algae rather than from fossil fuels.” Funded by US Department of Defense - DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and subcontracted through General Atomics. USU award: $785,000. Role: co-I. August 2008. (Duration – 1yr).
Last Updated: 7/17/18