WSU Tri-Cities

Bioproducts, Sciences & Engineering Laboratory

Birgitte Ahring

Birgitte K. Ahring, Ph.D.

Director and Battelle Distinguished Professor

Washington State University, Tri-Cities Campus
2710 Crimson Way
Richland, WA 99354-1670
Email: bka@wsu.edu
Tel: 509-372-7682
Fax: 509-372-7690

Research and Teaching Interests

Battelle Distinguished Professor and Director of the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory at WSU Tri-Cities, Dr. Ahring participates in research in feedstock development, biomass conversion and fuel refining as part of the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance. She is an internationally recognized microbiologist who studies the use of anaerobic bacteria — bacteria that exists in an oxygen-free environment — to produce biofuels and bioproducts, and to reduce waste. She has over 350 peer-reviewed publications and numerous patents related to renewable energy.

Since 1986, Dr. Ahring has been a member of the faculty in Denmark and at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked as a Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the World Bank with work periods in Tanzania, Morocco, Tunesia, Uganda, India, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. She has headed and/or consulted with multiple companies in academia and in the private and public sectors. She joined Washington State University in 2008.

Dr. Ahring received Washington State’s STAR researcher award in 2008. In January 1999, she received the Danish Government’s highest scientific award ($500,000), the Kann Rasmussen Foundation’s Yearly Award for Outstanding Technical Research, appointed Wiley Research Fellow at EMSL (Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory) in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Recent Publications

  1. Rana, D., Rana, V., Ahring, B.K. 2012. Producing high sugar concentrations from loblolly pine using wet explosion pretreatment. Bioresource Technology, 121, 61-67.
  2. Otieno, D.O. and Ahring, B.K. 2012. A thermochemical pretreatment process to produce xylooligosaccharides (XOS), arabinooligosaccharides (AOS) and mannooligosaccharides (MOS) from lignocellulosic biomasses. Bioresource Technology, 112, 285-292.
  3. Otieno, D.O. & Ahring, B.K. 2012. The potential for oligosaccharide production from the hemicellulose fraction of biomasses through pretreatment processes: xylooligosaccharides (XOS), arabinooligosaccharides (AOS), and mannooligosaccharides (MOS). Journal Carbohydrates. Carbohydrate Research, 360, 84-92.
  4. Njoku, S.I., Ahring, B.K., Uellendahl, H. 2012. Pretreatment as the crucial step for a cellulosic ethanol biorefinery: Testing the efficiency of wet explosion on different types of biomass. Bioresource Technology, 124, 105-110.
  5. Biswas, R., Ahring, B.K., Uellendahl, H. 2012. Improving biogas yields using an innovative concept for conversion of the fiber fraction of manure. Water Science & Technology, 66(8), 1751-58.
  6. Sørensen, A., Ahring, B.K., Lübeck, M., Ubhayasekera, W., Bruno, K.S., Culley, D.E., Lübeck, P.S. 2012. Identifying and characterizing the most significant β-glucosidase of the novel species Aspergillus saccharolyticus. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 58(9), 1035-46.
  7. Zheng, Y., Chi, Z., Ahring, B.K., et al. 2012. Oleaginous yeast c Cryptococcus curvatus for biofuel production: Ammonia’s effect. Biomass & Bioenergy, 37, 114-121.
  8. Panichnumsin P., Ahring B.K., Nopharatana A., Chaiprasert P. 2012. Microbial community structure and performance of an anaerobic reactor digesting cassava pulp and pig manure. Water Science Technology, 66(7), 1590-1600.
  9. Sørensen, A., Lübeck, P.S., Lübeck, M., Ahring, B.K., et al. 2012. Aspergillus saccharolyticus sp nov., a black Aspergillus species isolated in Denmark. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 61, 3077-83.
  10. Sørensen, A., Teller, P.J., Lübeck, P.S., Ahring, B.K. 2011. Onsite enzyme production during bioethanol production from biomass: screening for suitable fungal strains. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 164(7), 1058-70.
  11. Sørensen, A., Luebeck, P.S., Luebeck, M., Ahring, B.K., et al. 2011, beta-Glucosidases from a new Aspergillus species can substitute commercial beta-glucosidases for saccharification of lignocellulosic biomass. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 57(8), 638-650.
  12. Xue, J. & Ahring, B.K. 2011. Enhancing isoprene production by genetic modification of the 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate pathway in bacillus subtilis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77(7), 2399-2405.
  13. Ahamed, A. & Ahring, B.K. 2011. Production of hydrocarbon compounds by endophytic fungi Gliocladium species grown on cellulose. Bioresource Technology, 102(20), 9718-22.
  14. She, X., Brown, H.M., Zhang, X., Ahring, B.K., Wang, Y. 2011. Selective hydrogenation of trans, trans-muconic acid to adipic acid over a titania-supported rhenium catalyst. ChemSusChem, 4(8), 1071-1073.