David R. Shonnard

David R. Shonnard


Professor, Chemical Engineering

Richard and Bonnie Robbins Chair in Sustainable Materials


Research interests are in the areas of sustainability of the chemical industry, environmental life-cycle assessments, environmental transport processes, and forest-based biofuel process technology development.

Life Cycle Assessment/Sustainability
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a method that allows for a comprehensive assessment of environmental impacts for a product or process. The scope of the assessment is over the entire life cycle; starting with extraction of raw materials from the environment manufacturing transportation use in society, recycle, reuse, and final treatment or disposal in the environment. Multiple indicators of environmental impacts are used; for example air greenhouse gasses, water emissions, toxicity, and resource consumption. The purpose of LCA is to compare alternative products or processes that meet the same function. An example might be alternative fuels to meet a specific transportation requirement (conventional gasoline versus ethanol). Studies conducted thus far include a comparison of regional cellulosic feedstocks for ethanol production, green jet from numerous plant oils, pyrolysis-based biofuels and biopower, and forest feedstock supply chain.

Bioproccess Engineering / Renewable Bio-Based Fuels
Research in these areas employ a range of conversion approaches, including molecular biology techniques for enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass and acid catalyzed hydrolysis of woody biomass.  Thermochemical process engineering includes micropyrolysis and pilot-scale fast pyrolysis.  Biomass feedstocks include forest biomass, forest residuals, municipal solid waste,  forest products wastewater streams, energy crops (hybrid poplar, switchgrass, willow), and residuals from the agricultural sector (corn stover, cane bagasse, rice straw).

Links of Interest

Research Interests

  • Bioprocess engineering
  • Alternative energy
  • Sustainability


  • Klinger, J., Bar-Ziv, E., & Shonnard, D. (2015). Unified kinetic model for torrefaction–pyrolysis. Fuel Processing Technology, 138 (0), 175-183. doi: Read More
  • Shonnard, D.R., Fogliatti, D., Kalnes, T., (2015), Response to Comment on “Life Cycle Carbon Footprint of Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate from Coconut Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, and Petroleum Based Paraffins”, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 3 (8), DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.5b00158.
  • Canter, C., Blowers, P., Handler, R., Shonnard, D.R., (2015), Implications of widespread algal biofuels production on macronutrient fertilizer supplies: nutrient demand and evaluation of potential alternate nutrient sources, Applied Energy, 143(April 1, 2015), 71-80.
  • Klinger, J., Bar Ziv, E., Shonnard, D.R., "Predicting Properties of Torrefied Biomass by Intrinsic Kinetics, Energy & Fuels, 29, 171-176.
  • Ukaew, S., Beck, E., Archer, D.W., Shonnard, D.R., Application of the IPCC Method to Regional Differences in C Stock Changes for the Rapeseed Hydrotreated Renewable Jet Life Cycle, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, published online 17 Feb., 2015; DOI 10.1007/s11367-015-0863-1.
  • Klinger, J., Klemetsrud, B., Bar-Ziv, E., Shonnard, D., (2014) Temperature Dependence of Aspen Torrefaction Kinetics, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 110, 424-429.
  • Groves S, Lui J, Shonnard D, Bagley S (2014) Evaluation of hardboard manufacturing process wastewater as a feedstream for ethanol production. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 40(7):671-677
  • Ukaew, S., Beck, E., Meki, M.N., Shonnard, D.R., (2014), Application of the RSB and IPCC Methods to Regional Differences in N2O Emissions for the Rapeseed Hydrotreated Renewable Jet Life Cycle, Journal of Cleaner Production, Read More
  • Liu, J., Shonnard, D.R., Life Cycle Carbon Footprint of Ethanol and Potassium Acetate Produced from a Forest Product Wastewater Stream by a Co-located Biorefinery, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 2014, 2 (8), pp 1951–1958.
  • Fogliatti, D., Kemppainen, S., Kalnes, T, Fan, J., Shonnard, D.R., (2014), Life Cycle Carbon Footprint of Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate from Coconut Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, and Petroleum Based Paraffins, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 2 (7), pp 1828–1834.
  • Handler, R.M., Shonnard, D.R., Lautala, P., Abbas, D., Srivastava, A., (2014), Environmental impacts of roundwood supply chain options in Michigan: Life-cycle assessment of harvest and transport stages, Journal of Cleaner Production, 76, 1 August, Pages 64–73.
  • Handler, R., Shonnard, D.R., Kalnes, T., Lupton, S., (2014), Life cycle assessment of algal biofuels: Influence of feedstock cultivation systems and conversion platforms, Algal Research, 4, 105-115.
  • Klinger, J., E. Bar-Ziv and D. Shonnard (2013). "Kinetic study of aspen during torrefaction." Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis 104: 146-152.
  • Fan, J., Shonnard, D.R., Kalnes, T., Streff, M., Hopkins, G., (2013), Emission reduction using RTPTM green fuel in industry facilities: A life cycle study, Energy and Fuels, 27, 5260−5267.
  • Maleche, E. Glaser, R., Marker, T., Shonnard, D., (2013) Life Cycle Assessment of Biofuels Produced by the Integrated Hydropyrolysis-Hydroconversion (IH2®) Process, Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy, Article first published online : 4 APR 2013, DOI: 10.1002/ep.11773.
  • Thoma, G., Popp, J., Shonnard, D., Nutter, D., Matlock, M., Ulrich, R., Kellogg, W., Kim, D.S., Neiderman, Z., Kemper, N., Adom, F., East, C. (2013). Regional analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from US dairy farms: A cradle to farm-gate assessment of the American dairy industry circa 2008. International Dairy Journal, 31 (April), S29-S40.
  • Thoma, G., Popp, J., Nutter, D., Shonnard, D., Ulrich, Matlock, M., R., Kim, D.S., Neiderman, Z., Kemper, N., East, C., Adom, F., (2013) Greenhouse gas emissions from milk production and consumption in the United States: A cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment circa 2008, International Dairy Journal, 31 (April), S3-S14).
  • Adom, F., Workman, C, Thoma, G., Shonnard, D., Carbon footprint of dairy feed from a mill in Michigan, USA, (2013) International Dairy Journal, 31 (April), S21-S28.
  • Fan, J., Shonnard, D.R., Kalnes, T.N., Johnson, P., Rao, S., (2013) A life cycle assessment of pennycress-based green diesel and green jet, Biomass and Bioenergy, 55, 87-100,
  • Kreiger, M.A., Shonnard, D.R., Pearce, J.M., (2013), Life Cycle Analysis of Silane Recycling in Amorphous Silicon-Based Photovoltaic Manufacturing, Resources Conservation & Recycling, 70, 44-49.
  • Allen, D.T. and Shonnard, D.R. (and other contributors), “Green Engineering: Environmentally Conscious Design of Chemical Processes, Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002, pp. 552, ISBN 0-13-061908-6.
  • Jensen, J.R., Brodeur-Campbell, M., Morinelly, J., Gosson, K., Shonnard, D.R., (2010), Effects of Dilute Acid Hydrolysis Conditions on Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Aspen, Balsam, and Switchgrass, Bioresource Technology, 101(7), 2317-2325.
  • Chen, H., Rogers, T.N., Barna, B.A., Shonnard, D.R., 2003, Automating Hierarchical Environmentally-Conscious Design Using Integrated Software: VOC Recovery Case Study, Environmental Progress, 22 (3), 147-160.
  • Morinelly, J.E., Jensen, J.R., Browne, M., Co, T.B., Shonnard, D.R., (2009), Kinetic Characterization of the Formation and Degradation of Xylose Monomer and Oligomer during Dilute Acid Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass from Forests and Switchgrass, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 58, 9877-9884.
  • Holman, P.A., Shonnard, D.R., Holles, J.H., (2009), Using Life Cycle Assessment to Guide Catalysis Research, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 48, 6668- 6674
  • Kalnes, T., Marker, T., Shonnard, D.R., 2007, Green Diesel: A Second Generation Biofuel, International Journal of Chemical Reaction Engineering, 5(article A48), Read More
  • Zhang, Q., J.C. Crittenden, D. Shonnard, and J.R. Mihelcic, 2003, "Development and evaluation of an environmental multimedia fate model CHEMGL for the Great Lakes region,“ Chemosphere, 50(10), 1377-1397