The Department of Biological Systems Engineering has teaching and research facilities spread out among 5 different buildings on the University of Wisconsin campus.

2. Wisconsin Energy Institute

Environmental Sustainability Assessment Lab

Biochemistry Lab

Biomass Chemistry Lab

3. Enzyme Research Institute

Food Engineering & Nanobiosensing Lab

Bioenergy & Bioproducts Lab

The Bioenergy and Bioproducts Lab is focused on developing novel and advanced technologies for efficient conversion of lignocellulosic biomass (such as wood chips, corn stover, and switchgrass) into high value chemicals, fuels, fibers, and biomaterials under economical and environmentally sustainable contexts. The lab conducts both fundamental and applied research to develop sustainable and innovative solutions for bioenergy and bio-product production. Areas of research interest include:

  • Biomass pre-treatment and fractionation for conversion
  • Sugars production from biomass using enzymatic and chemical processes
  • High-value and functional products from cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin
  • Catalytic conversion of biomass sugars to chemicals and drop-in hydrocarbon fuels
  • Fundamental understanding of behaviors, changes, and mechanisms of cell wall components of lignocellulosic biomass during biological and catalytic conversion

The Bioenergy and Bioproducts laboratory in the department of Biological Systems Engineering includes the following key equipment for biofuel and bioprocessing research:

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)

  • Shimadzu QP2010 Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry  

Gas Chromatography (GC)

  • Shimadzu GC-2014 Gas Chromatography

High Performance Ion Chromatography (HPIC) 

  • Dionex ICS-3000 equipped with a UV detector

Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC)

  • Dionex ICS-3000 equipped with a UV detector

Microwave reactor

  • CEM Mars X microwave digestion oven
  • Delivers maximum energy to the sample, ensuring complete digestion

Tube furnace

  • OTF-1200X MTI corporation

Flash chromatography system

  • Biotage, accelerated chromatographic isolation
  • High speed, high resolution and purity

High and low pressure rector

  • PARR 5500 High pressure and high temperature reactor


  • Thermo Scientific, Genesys, UV-Visible spectrophotometer


  • New Brunswick Innova 4200 incubator shaker
  • Thermo Scientific, MAXQ 4450


  • Eppendorf Centrifuge 5424
  • Thermo Scientific SORVALL Legend XTR centrifuge

Chambers and processors

  • ARTEK sonic 300 dismembrator
  • LABCONCO-Purifier PCR enclosure
  • Rotary vacuum evaporator R-215




Microwave Reactor

Flash Chromatography system


4. Biomedical Science Building

Biowaste Lab

Microbial bioreactor constructed to remove H2S from biogas

The biowaste lab is a state of the art lab to characterize wastes, evaluate environmental impacts from wastes, and develop and test treatment and waste processing systems. This includes the evaluation of laboratory scale anaerobic digestion systems which can be used to evaluate additives, microbial communities, co-digestion, and other research which requires numerous replication not feasible in larger scale systems.

The lab also includes a gas chromatograph to assess the biogas constituents including methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. Spectrophotometers, pH meters, ovens, an AQ2 and other equipment allow researchers to further characterize wastes. One of the most important functions of the lab space is to construct treatment systems, such as bioreactors, to evaluate their effectiveness before implementing in the field.  

Alysa Hinde using an AQ2 automated system to determine nutrient concentration in a waste sample

5. Agricultural Engineering Building

Soil & Water Lab

Milking Research & Instruction Lab

Environmental Quality Lab

Bio-Instrumentation Lab

Biosystems Heat & Mass Transfer Lab

Construction Lab