This page contains videos created as part of the Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Award 2008-2013, “Building Oklahoma’s Leadership Role in Cellulosic Bioenergy”. This is a multi-institutional collaborative project that includes researchers from Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma and the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. Researchers from these institutions are working together to develop efficient alternative fuels from switchgrass.


A look into the ongoing switchgrass biofuels research in Oklahoma. This video includes OSU’s James Wicksted, Yanqi Wu, Mostafa Elshahed, Ajay Kumar, and Ray Huhnke; collaborators included in this video from OU are Lance Lobban and Friederike Jentoft; and from the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Rao Uppalapati and Kiran Mysore.

EPSCoR Bioenergy Focus

Dani Bellmer, Professor
Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
Dr. Bellmer’s research involves processing ethanol from sweet sorghum, biomass gasification and waste utilization for energy production.


Million Tadege, Associate Professor
Plant and Soil Sciences
Dr. Tadege’s research focuses on understanding the molecular basis of biomass production by dissecting key developmental programs that control plant size and architecture. Specifically, his research involves identifying genes and genetic pathways that control leaf development, plant height and floral transition in C4 grasses; primarily sorghum and switchgrass.


Ajay Kumar, Associate Professor
Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
Dr. Kumar’s research involves thermochemical conversion of biomass into fuels, chemicals and power. His primary research goals are to improve gas composition, decrease the tar level, increase overall efficiency, and develop mathematical models to predict output product composition.


Krushna Patil, former Associate Researcher
Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
Dr. Patil’s research efforts focus on biomass gasification, pyrolysis and fluidization.

All researchers involved in the EPSCoR bioenergy 2008 – 2013 project have a connection with the Center efforts. The following researchers have held a vested interest in the Center’s pursuits within their personal research goals at OSU and OU prior to the 2008 project.

Stephen Marek, Associate Professor
Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University
Dr. Marek’s research interests include biology and functional genomics of plant pathogenic fungi.


Mostafa Elshahed, Associate Professor
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University
Dr. Elshahed and his colleagues are discovering the diversity, ecophysiology, and metabolic capabilities of novel microorganisms; studying the bacterial diversity in soil habitats; investigating the potential of anaerobic fungi in biofuel research; and identifying natural bacterial communities in oil and natural gas reservoirs; and exploring new approaches for the use of microorganisms to enhance oil recovery and improve oil quality.


Ralph Tanner, Professor
Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma
Dr. Tanner’s research focuses on a variety of projects, with emphasis on applied microbiology in anaerobic systems and bacterial catalysts for biofuels production.


Bradley Stevenson, Associate Professor
Microbial Ecology and Environmental Microbiology, University of Oklahoma
Dr. Stevenson’s biofuels research includes studies of several acetogenic clostridia, which are capable of converting synthesis gas (largely CO, CO2, and H2) to the liquid biofuels ethanol and butanol. Transcriptomics and genetic engineering approaches are used to better understand and optimize biofuel production.

These videos were coordinated by Ray Huhnke and Amanda Erichsen, OSU Biobased Products and Energy Center. Video production was conducted by Craig Woods, OSU Agricultural Communication Services.

The videos on this page were funded by EPSCoR: Oklahoma EPSCoR is funded through awards from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EPS-0814361 and by Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
Visit http://www.okepscor.org/ for more information about Oklahoma EPSCoR.