EECE Seminar - Wei Liao

Oct 18, 2019
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
Brauer Hall, room 12

Dr. Wei Liao, Professor
Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center, Director
Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
Michigan State University

Food Energy-Water Nexus Solutions towards Global Sustainability


Rapid growth of the world population, along with accelerating industrialization and expanding urbanization, quickly pushes the global community to face the serious challenges (i.e., food, energy, water, air pollution, climate change, and diseases) of living in the Anthropocene. Food, energy, and water (FEW) are the most significant ones among them, where innovations are urgently needed to develop system-based FEW solutions. In response to this critical need, the MSU ADREC is studying a variety of chemical and biological approaches, and developing integrated systems that can sustainably address FEW nexus challenges. The following topics are included in this talk: 1) Small solar receiver for concentrated solar energy collection; 2) anaerobic digestion – new roles for carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and water sequestration; 3) aerobic fermentation of biofuel production; 4) one-carbon platform of food/fuel/chemical production; and 5) examples of system integration in real-world applications.


Dr. Liao, a registered professional engineer (PE), is a professor and director of the Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center (ADREC) in the Department of Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering (BAE) at Michigan State University (MSU). Dr. Liao is leading an active research program on developing integrated systems to utilize organic residues for energy and chemical production. Current research areas Dr. Liao's group is working on are: integrated farm-based biorefining, solar-bio-based solutions to convert organic wastes/wastewater into energy and clean water, and one-carbon platform of food/fuel/chemical production etc. Dr. Liao has been extensively involved in international research and education activities on renewable energy and environmental sustainability. His group is carrying out research projects in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Dr. Liao is a member of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ASABE), American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AiCHE), Algal Biomass Organization (ABO), and Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). Dr. Liao currently serves as an associate editor for Journal of Biotechnology for Biofuels, and is on the editorial boards of Journal of Biomass and Bioenergy and Journal of Industrial Biotechnology. He is also the chair of Global Engagement Committee at ASABE, and organizing an ASABE global engagement conference – Sustainable Energy for Sustainable Future that will be held at Costa Rica in 2021.