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Bruce Dale - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Bruce Dale Bruce Dale

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science | Michigan State University


An international expert in biofuels, specifically ethanol






Michigan State University Professor of Engineering Bruce Dale describes his research in to biomass



Dale specializes in studies of renewable energy sources, and is currently working on creating methods of turning grass into ethanol for use as fuel. Dale received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Arizona and his Ph.D. from Purdue University. Dale is a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He served as a missionary for the church in the Mexico West Mission. He has been a bishop and Sunday School teacher in the LDS Church. From 1999 to 2008 Dale served as stake president of the Lansing Michigan Stake. Prior to joining the faculty of MSU, Dale was a professor at Colorado State University and at Texas A&M University. In July, 2009 Dale and George W. Huber co-authored the front page article for Scientific American about the potential of organic food, specifically non-edible organic fuels.

Industry Expertise (4)

Energy Education/Learning Research Biotechnology

Areas of Expertise (4)

Ethanol as Fuel Biofuels Biotechnology Energy

Education (2)

Purdue University: Ph.D., Chemical Engineering

University of Arizona: M.S., Chemical Engineering

Journal Articles (3)

Ethanol production potential from AFEX™ and steam-exploded sugarcane residues for sugarcane biorefineries Biotechnology for Biofuels

Thapelo Mokomele, Leonardo da Costa Sousa, Venkatesh Balan, Eugéne van Rensburg, Bruce E. Dale and Johann F. Görgens


Expanding biofuel markets are challenged by the need to meet future biofuel demands and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, while using domestically available feedstock sustainably. In the context of the sugar industry, exploiting under-utilized cane leaf matter (CLM) in addition to surplus sugarcane bagasse as supplementary feedstock for second-generation ethanol production has the potential to improve bioenergy yields per unit land. In this study, the ethanol yields and processing bottlenecks of ammonia fibre expansion (AFEX™) and steam explosion (StEx) as adopted technologies for pretreating sugarcane bagasse and CLM were experimentally measured and compared for the first time.

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Conversion of lignocellulosic agave residues into liquid biofuels using an AFEX™-based biorefinery Biotechnology for Biofuels

Carlos A Flores-Gómez, Eleazar M Escamilla Silva, Cheng Zhong, Bruce E Dale, Leonardo Costa Sousa, Venkatesh Balan


Agave-based alcoholic beverage companies generate thousands of tons of solid residues per year in Mexico. These agave residues might be used for biofuel production due to their abundance and favorable sustainability characteristics. In this work, agave leaf and bagasse residues from species Agave tequilana and Agave salmiana were subjected to pretreatment using the ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) process. The pretreatment conditions were optimized using a response surface design methodology. We also identified commercial enzyme mixtures that maximize sugar yields for AFEX-pretreated agave bagasse and leaf matter, at ~ 6% glucan (w/w) loading enzymatic hydrolysis. Finally, the pretreated agave hydrolysates (at a total solids loading of ~ 20%) were used for ethanol fermentation using the glucose- and xylose-consuming strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae 424A (LNH-ST), to determine ethanol yields at industrially relevant conditions.

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Anaerobic co-digestion of multiple agricultural residues to enhance biogas production in Southern Italy Waste Management

Francesca Valenti, Yuan Zhong, Mingxuan Sun, Simona MC Porto, Attilio Toscano, Bruce E Dale, Fabrizio Sibilla, Wei Liao


To valorize agricultural wastes and byproducts in southern Italy, anaerobic co-digestion of six feedstocks (citrus pulp, olive pomace, cattle manure, poultry litter, whey, and corn silage) was studied to produce biogas for renewable energy generation. Both batch and semi-continuous co-digestion approaches were adopted to carry out the investigation. The feedstocks were mixed at different percentages according to their availabilities in southern Italy. The batch anaerobic co-digestion demonstrated that six studied feedstock mixtures generated an average of 239 mL CH4/g VS loading without significant difference between each other, which concluded that the feedstock mixtures can be used for biogas production. Considering the feedstock availability of citrus pulp and olive pomace in Sicily, three feedstock mixtures with the highest volatile solids concentration of citrus pulp (42% citrus pulp, 17% corn silage, 4% cattle manure, 8% poultry litter, and 18% whey; 34% citrus pulp, 8% olive pomace, 17% corn silage, 4% cattle manure, 8% poultry litter, and 18% whey; and 25% citrus pulp, 16% olive pomace, 17% corn silage, 4% cattle manure, 8% poultry litter, and 18% whey, respectively) were selected to run the semi-continuous anaerobic digestion. Under the stabilized culture condition, the feed mixture with 42% citrus pulp, 17% corn silage, 4% cattle manure, 8% poultry litter, and 18% whey presented the best biogas production (231 L methane/kg VS loading/day). The corresponding mass and energy balance concluded that all three tested feedstock mixtures have positive net energy outputs (1.5, 0.9, and 1.2 kWh-e/kg dry feedstock mixture, respectively).

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