Sustainable bioeconomy for arid regions: lessons from the American Southwest - by Prof. Kimberly L. Ogden

Speaker: Kimberly L. Ogden

Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering & Agricultural-Biosystems Engineering

Department Chair, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, The University of Arizona (US)

Lead Principle Investigator & Executive Project Director, Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions (SBAR)


– Hosted by Dr. Rebekah Waller


Join us on Zoom.



Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions (SBAR) is a multi-level research project that investigates the cultivation of a desert-dwelling crop called guayule. Guayule (perennial) is a source of natural rubber and resin, but 80% of the biomass is lignocellulosic. The crop is drought and heat-tolerant, grows on marginal lands, and is therefore an important alternative crop in times of water rationing. Scale-up to profitable production, however, requires feedstock improvements, expansion of cultivation, agronomic knowledge and practices, and economic crop residue utilization. Researchers from The University of Arizona (UA), Bridgestone Americas Inc., Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Colorado State University (CSU), New Mexico State University (NMSU), and USDA-ARS are collaborating on research, development, and deployment (RD&D) activities to: 1) improve feedstock; 2) produce feedstock in a sustainable manner; 3) evaluate co-products and understand the best methods for converting the bagasse to biofuel; and 4) enhance transport, techno-economic, and sustainability models to provide a clear path to commercialization. The project has led to a new collaborative effort on climate-smart commodities that will begin in the spring of 2022. This seminar gives an overview of the project and focuses on growth modeling of guayule in the field, evaluation of coproducts, and techno-economic and life cycle analysis results.

About the speaker

Kimberly L. Ogden received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania (US) and her Master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Colorado (US). She is a fellow and past-President of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Ogden’s research focuses on bioreactor design for production of alternative fuels and chemicals from algae, guayule, and guar, as well as the energy/water nexus. She was the Engineering Technical Lead for the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB). Her research in algae to biofuel continued through a Regional Algal Feedstock Testbed program funded by the Department of Energy. The goal of this project was to obtain long-term outdoor algal cultivation data that is available to the public for use in modeling and other research efforts, and demonstrate the feasibility of year-round cultivation.

Event Quick Information

02 Nov, 2022
04:00 PM - 05:00 PM