Patricia A. Relue, Ph.D.


    Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies & Research

    B.S. in Chemical Engineering (1988)
    University of Toledo
    Toledo, OH

    Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering (1994)
    University of Michigan
    Ann Arbor, MI


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The projects in my laboratory are diverse, but all have the common theme of applying engineering first principles to the solution of problems involving biological systems. These problems include:

  • improving sugar recovery from biomass
  • the production of furans and other high-value products from biomass
  • development of techniques for non-invasive measurement of metabolites and compounds

Just as petroleum has been used as a feedstock for fuels and polymers, biomass can serve as a feedstock for the production of fuels and other value-added compounds. Biomass is an attractive alternative to petroleum because of its abundance, cost, and renewability. However, biomass has a very complex, organic structure and must be deconstructed and reformed by physical, chemical and biological methods. The carbohydrate fractions of biomass are often deconstructed to simple sugars, some of which are more easily used and recovered than others.

Improving biomass deconstruction and producing new value-added compounds require analytical techniques for identifying and quantifying compounds of interest. We are developing non-invasive methods to detect and quantify compounds of interest using enzyme systems and optical techniques.

Last Updated: 6/27/22