Dr. Bi is a Professor within the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC and the Director of the Clean Energy Research Centre.
Green Engineering, Clean Energy and Sustainability: Green Engineering is the design, commercialization and use of processes and products, which are feasible and economical while minimizing impacts on ecosystems over the full life-cycle. Traditional engineering focuses on the technical and economic aspects of a technology. In contrast, Green Engineering extends our research and development beyond product manufacturing to include the ecological impacts of a process/product or a technology on the renewability and sustainability of the raw materials, the toxicity and health risks of the product use, and the recycleability and degradability at the end of the product use. We are developing environmental systems and life cycle analysis tools to model and evaluate biomass energy systems, including Canadian wood pellets, BC forest residues, animal wastes, agricultural residues and municipal wastes, as well as integrated impact assessments of biomass combustion, gasification, torrefaction and pyrolysis processes. At the same time, we are developing novel thermo-catalytic technologies to convert biomass residues to bio-fuels, biochar, torrefied pellets and renewable natural gas, with a focus on reactor design and catalyst development. Both clean energy and green engineering are key areas of my research and teaching.