The Louisiana Board of Regents has awarded the LSU AgCenter’s Louisiana Institute for Bioproducts and Bioprocessing a grant of nearly $1 million to upgrade equipment.
LIBBi and the scientists that work with it are dedicated to expanding and strengthening Louisiana’s role in developing novel bioproducts and new technologies from the state’s forestry and agricultural industries, says Qinglin Wu, professor in the AgCenter School of Renewable Natural Resources and the lead scientist on the grant.
“Louisiana has a lot of biofiber resources,” Wu says. “The wood products industry is one of the largest industries in the state, and the agricultural industry produces a lot of fibers such as sugar cane fibers.”
Wu says the institute’s work would add value to forestry and agriculture while creating sustainable products.
The LIBBi team also includes Gillian Eggleston and Giovanna Aita with the Audubon Sugar Institute; Dorin Boldor, Cristina Sabliov and Todd Monroe with the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering; and Achyut Adhikari with the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences.
Wu says researchers across the LSU campus would have access to the 12 pieces of state-of-the-art equipment tied to the grant, allowing the institute to support other programs such as engineering and chemistry. Equipment includes an advanced imaging device for chemical structures, extraction devices for chemical compounds, nanomaterial fabrication and characterization equipment, and advanced tools to assist the industry with process improvement.
The scientists will build on the successes they have already had with bioproduct development. Wu is looking to create new sustainable products such as his TigerBullets-Nano, which is a plastic-free composition that prevents lost circulation in oil-drilling wells. Read more from LSU.