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