Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA
Dr. Birgitte Ahring (Battelle Distinguished Professor) brings extensive experience managing and directing complex renewable energy and applied biotechnology projects worldwide.
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She is an internationally recognized microbiologist for her studies on the use of anaerobic bacteria - bacteria that exists in an oxygen-free environment - to produce biofuels and bio-products or to reduce waste. She is further the inventor of the Wet Explosion pre-treatment process, an efficient process for deconstruction of lignocellulosic materials. This process is now in industrial scale and under expansion into new applications. She has also founded several firms in Denmark and the US that design and develop technologies to produce renewable fuels and products from lignocellulosic biomass or for making waste to value. In August 2008 she joined Washington State University as the Director of the Center for Bioproducts and Bioenergy where she was responsible for setting up leading research activities in a collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PNNL within the field of bioproducts and biofuels with a focus on advanced biofuels such as drop-in replacement fuel. As part of this partnership she has participated in a number of large initiatives including National Advanced Biofuels Consortium (NABC), (DOE) and The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), (USDA). Dr. Ahring has also extensive experience in international collaboration and has participated as the lead consultant for projects within the UN system (UNDP, UNIDO and World Bank) as well as being the lead on several EU projects.