University of Louisiana Lafayette

Research Interests

University of Louisiana LafayetteThe University of Louisiana at Lafayette's primary interest as a member of CPERC lies in the conversion of biomass into fuels and other value-added chemicals. Of particular interest to UL are the conversion and product development aspects of the fast-developing bioprocessing industries. The focal point for these activities is the Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (BRL) which is a multi-disciplined facility containing a large array of research equipment. This laboratory is composed of several state-of-the-art facilities housing numerous reactor systems and associated R&D equipment used to develop and optimize bioprocesses. The multi-disciplined approach used by the BRL Team involves collaboration of researchers from the Colleges of Engineering, Science, and Business. This diverse team allows UL Lafayette to provide a research foundation capable of addressing technology short-comings using a holistic approach that is required given the challenges that the biotech industry faces from both a technical and economic perspective. Efforts underway at the BRL range from basic research to assisting Louisiana industries with the commercialization of promising bioprocessing production systems, particularly in the alternative energy arena.

Current Projects

Click here to see a list of our Current Projects.

Research and Development Capabilities

  • Various fermentation systems
  • Chemical extraction systems for extraction of value-added products from various matrices
  • Highly equipped analytical capabilities including GC/MS, GC/FID, GC/TCD, HPLC, IC, TOC/TIC, Spectro-Analyzers, LC, and TPH analyzers
  • Full proteomics and associated developmental technologies capabilities
  • Fully equipped SEM systems
  • Complete materials processing laboratory for production of polymers and associated QA/QC testing capabilities
  • Fully equipped microbiology facilities for development of novel biocatalysts
  • Separatory/purification systems used for product development
  • Chemical production unit processes for small pilot scale experiments used with manufacturing of biochemicals
  • Advanced 3D visualization capabilities

Research and Development Topics

  • Evaluate new feedstocks for use in the production of biofuels.
  • Develop novel processing techniques for the cost-effective extraction and purification of value-added chemicals from plant and animal-based materials.
  • Explore production methods for new biopolymers.
  • Conversion of waste products into feedstocks that may be used for the production of marketable chemicals.
  • Design bioreactor systems that may be employed to reduce production costs.
  • Develop regional inventory management systems for both feedstocks and associated products.
  • Discover novel biocatalysts that are of industrial importance.
  • Develop new value-added materials from process side-streams.
  • Evaluate processing techniques that are particularly well suited to Louisiana-based feedstocks.
  • Work with agricultural experts to expand the markets for Louisiana feedstocks.
  • Assist industries with both commercialization and process optimization initiatives.

Associated UL Lafayette Faculty

Dr. Rakesh Bajpai
Chaired Professor of Bioproducts Manufacturing

Dr. Andrei Chistoserdov
Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Amy Lui
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Dr. John Guillory
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Bill Chirdon
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Dr. Roy Brown
Professor of Biology

Dr. Devesh Misra
Director of the Center for Structural and Functional Materials and Stuller Chair in Chemical Engineering

Dr. Barbara Benson
Assistant Professor of Renewable Resources

Dr. Durga Poudel
Professor of Renewable Resources

Dr. August Gallo
Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Ramesh Korulu
Director of Center for Business and Information Technologies (CBIT)

Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE)

Dr. Geoff Stewar
Assistant Professor of Marketing

Dr. Don Hayes
Professor of Civil Engineering

Dr. Wu Xu
Associate Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Daniel Gang
Associate Professor of Civil Engineering


Mark E. Zappi, Ph.D., P.E., Director
Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (BRL)
College of Engineering
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
PO Box 42251
Lafayette, LA  70504
Phone: 337-482-6686
Fax: 337-482-6688

University of Louisiana
Lafayette Website

Rakesh K. Bajpai, Ph.D., Associate Director
Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (BRL)
College of Engineering
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
PO Box 44130
Lafayette, LA  70504
Phone: 337-482-5910
Fax: 337-482-1220