David R. Shonnard, Professor
David R. Shonnard, Professor
Contact Information: Department of Chemical Engineering
Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931-1295
Ph: 906/487-3468
Fax: 906/487-3213
Summer Research Announcement in Hawaii

Teaching, Courses, etc.



Research interests are in the areas of environmentally-conscious chemical process design, life-cycle assessment, environmental transport processes, and bioengineering. 

Environmentally-Conscious Design of Chemical Processes 

Continued economic growth and expansion of industrial activity will adversely affect human health and environmental quality unless impacts are reduced at the source of waste generation, that is within industrial processes themselves. Environmentally-conscious design is the integration of environmental concerns into the design and operation of industrial processes, with the goal of minimizing the generation (and also the hazardous characteristics) of the manufactured products and of byproducts of industrial activity. With the support of the National Science Foundation, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and private industry, research is being conducted in the following areas: i) methods of assessing environmental impacts of industrial processes, ii) optimization of chemical process flowsheets to minimize impacts and maximize profits, and iii) the development of design guidance based on environmental assessments.   

Chen, H. and Shonnard, D.R. A Systematic Framework for Environmental -Conscious Chemical Process Design:  Early and Detailed Design Stages, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, in press.

Roelant, G.J., Kemppainen, A.J., and Shonnard, D.R., Environmental, Energy, and Economic Evaluations of the Automobile Assembly Paint Process, Journal of Industrial Ecology, in press.

Chen, H., Rogers, T.N., Barna, B.A., Shonnard, D.R., 2003, Automating Hierarchical Environmentally-Conscious Design Using Integrated Software: VOC Recovery Case Study, Environmental Progress, 22 (3), 147-160.

Wen, Y., and Shonnard, D.R., 2003, Environmental and Economic Assessments of Heat Exchanger Networks for Optimum Minimum Approach Temperature, Computers & Chemical Engineering, 27(11), 1577-1590.

Chen, H., Badenschier, S.M., and Shonnard D.R., 2002, Uncertainty analysis for toxicity assessment of chemical process designs, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 41(18), 4440-4450.

Chen, H., Wen, Y., Waters, M.D., and Shonnard, D.R., 2002, Design guidance for chemical processes using environmental and economic assessments”, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 41(18), 4503 – 4513.

Chen, H., Barna, B.A., and Rogers, T.N., Shonnard, D.R., 2001, A screening methodology for improved solvent selection using economic and environmental Assessments, Clean Products and Processes, 3(3), 290-302.

Raymond, J.W., Rogers, T.N., Shonnard, D.R., Kline, A.A., 2001, A review of structure-based biodegradation estimation methods, Journal of Hazardous Materials, B84, 189-215.

Allen, D.T. and Shonnard, D.R., 2001, Green engineering: Environmentally conscious design of chemical processes and products, AIChE Journal,47(9), 1906-1910.

Shonnard, D.R., Rogers, T.N., Barna, B.A., Crowl, D.A., Oman, E.J., Radecki, P.P., Herlevich Jr., J.A., and Parikh, P.B., 2001, “Integrated assessment methodologies and software tools for process design: economic, environmental, safety, and decision analyses”, in “Process Design Tools for the Environment”, ed. S.K. Sikdar and M. El-Halwagi, Taylor and Francis, New York, 39-64.

Shonnard, D.R. and Hiew, D.S., 2000, Comparative environmental assessments of VOC recovery and recycle design alternatives for a gaseous waste stream”, Environmental Science and Technology, 34(24), 5222-5228.

Life Cycle Assessment/Sustainability 

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a method that allows for a comprehensive assessment of environmental impacts for a product or process.  The scope of the assessment is over the entire life cycle; starting with extraction of raw materials from the environment, manufacturing, transportation, use in society, recycle, reuse, and final treatment or disposal in the environment.  Mulitple indicators of environmental impacts are used; for example air quality issues, water emissions, solid waste, and resource consumption.  The purpose of LCA is to compare alternative products or processes that meet the same function.  An example might be alternative fuels to meet a specific transportation requirement (conventional gasoline versus ethanol). Studies conducted thus far include a comparison of regional cellulosic feedstocks for ethanol production and alternative beneficial uses for industrial hazardous wastes and household waste (alternatives to landfill).

Kemppainen, A.J. and Shonnard, D.R., Comparative Life Cycle Assessments for Biomass to Ethanol Production from Different Regional Feedstocks, submitted to  Biotechnology Progress.

Shonnard, D.R., Kicherer, A., and Saling, P., 2003, Industrial Applications Using BASF Eco-Efficiency Analysis: Perspectives on Green Engineering Principles, Environmental Science and Technology, 37(23), 5340-5348.

Mihelcic, J. R., J. C. Crittenden, M. J. Small, D. R. Shonnard, D. R. Hokanson, Q. Zhang, H. Chen, S. A. Sorby, V. U. James, J.W. Sutherland, J. L. Schnoor, 2003, "Sustainability Science and Engineering: The Emergence of a New Metadiscipline," Environmental Science and Technology, 37(23), 5314-5324.


Environmental Transport Processes

Transport processes are important in many environmental applications. An understanding of transport processes is critical for predicting pollutant dispersion in the environment and in the design of some in-situ waste treatment processes. Research projects involve diffusion of volatile organic compounds in soils, atmospheric dispersion, emission estimation from area sources using inverse modeling, and microorganism transport in groundwater.  A large-scale aquifer simulator apparatus is available for complex transport and remediation studies (Subsurface Remediation Laboratory).  

Zhang, Q., J.C. Crittenden, D. Shonnard, and J.R. Mihelcic, 2003, "Development and evaluation of an environmental multimedia fate model CHEMGL for the Great Lakes region," Chemosphere, 50(10), 1377-1397.

Deshpande, P.A. and Shonnard, D.R., 2000, An improved spectrophotometric method for studying the effects of ionic strength on bacteria transport through porous media, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 66(2), 763-768.

Deshpande, P.A. and Shonnard, D.R., 1999, Modeling the effects of systematic variation in ionic strength on the attachment kinetics of Pseudomonas fluorescens UPER-1 in saturated sand columns, Water Resources Research, Vol. 35, No. 5, 1619-1627.

Shonnard, D.R. and Bell, R.L., 1994, The effects of nonlinear sorption on the diffusion of volatile organic compounds from air-dry soils. A theoretical analysis. Journal of Hazardous Materials , 37(3), 397-414.

Lehning, M., Shonnard, D.R., Chang, D.P.Y., and Bell, R.L., 1994, An inversion algorithm for determination of upwind area source-strength from downwind concentration measure-ments. Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association , 44(10), 1204-1213.  

Shonnard, D.R., Taylor, R.T., Boro, C.O., Hanna, M.L., and Duba, A.G., 1994, Bacterial attachment patterns created by horizontal injection into a two-dimensional miniature aquifer-simulator: Applied to Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b, Water Resources Research 30(1), 25-35. 

Shonnard, D.R. and Bell, R.L., 1993, Benzene emissions from a contaminated air-dry soil with fluctuations of soil temperature or relative humidity. Environmental Science and Technology  27(13), 2909-2913.

Taylor, R.T., Duba, A.G., Durham, W.B., Hanna, M.L., Jackson, K.J., Knapp, R.B., Jovanovich, M.C., Knezovich, J.P., Shah, N.N., Shonnard, D.R., Wijesinghe, A.M., 1993, In situ bioremediation of tricholorethylene-contaminated water by a resting-cell methanotrophic microbial filter, Hydrological Sciences Journal , 38 (4), 323.

Shonnard, D.R., Bell, R.L., and Jackman, A.P. 1993, The effects of nonlinear sorption on the diffusion of benzene and dichloromethane from two air-dry soils, Environmental Science and Technology 27(3), 457-466.

Shonnard, D.R., Taylor, R.T., Tompson, A., and Knapp, R.B. 1992, Hydrodynamic effects on microcapillary motility and chemotaxis assays of Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b, Applied and Environmental Microbiology 58(9), 2737-2743.

Shonnard, D.R. and Bell, R.L. 1989, Diffusion experiments in soils and their implications on modeling transport, in "Pollutants in a Multimedia Environment", ed. Y. Cohen et al., Plenum Press, New York.

Shonnard, D.R. and Whitaker, S. 1989, The effective thermal conductivity for a point-contact porous medium: An experimental study, Int J. Heat Mass Transfer 32(3), 503-512.

Smith, R.W. and Shonnard, D.R., 1986, Electrokinetic study of the role of modifying agents in flotation of salt-type minerals, AIChE Journal 32(5), 865-868.


A current project is investigating the use of in-vitro mammalian cell bioassays as indicators of exposure and toxic effects of hazardous chemicals. The in-vitro methods in our study utilize bioluminescense (catalyzed by the enzyme luciferase) as a biomarker for cell health status (intracellular ATP level).  In the presence of increasing concentration of a toxic chemical, ATP levels within the cell drop.  An improved luciferase that is not inhibited by the test chemical is the objective of this work. In-vitro methods can reduce reliance on animal studies for determining toxicological properties of High Production Volume chemicals. 

Kim, E., Danilo, C., Kelly, J., Carroll, R., Rybina, I., Shonnard, D.R., Improving enzymatic properties of Luciferase for ATP-based in vitro cytotoxicity measurements of HPV chemicals, Presentation Record for the AIChE 2003 Annual Meeting, November 17-21, San Francisco, CA,. Session: [404] Biotechnology Applications for Toxicity Screening.  

Chemical Engineering Curriculum Development

Curriculum development projects have focussed on environmental applications, especially Green Engineering and Sustainability, and in biochemical engineering.  Green Engineering is the development and commercialization of industrial processes that are economically feasible and reduce the risk to human health and the environment. Recent efforts in Green Engineering involve a textbook and national/regional workshops for educating engineering faculty on these emerging design and computational tools. 

Shonnard, D.R., Allen, D.T., Nguyen, N., and Austin, S., 2003, Green Engineering Education Through a US EPA/Academia Collaboration, Environmental Science and Technology, 37(23), 5253-5462.

Mihelcic, J. R., J. C. Crittenden, M. J. Small, D. R. Shonnard, D. R. Hokanson, Q. Zhang, H. Chen, S. A. Sorby, V. U. James, J.W. Sutherland, J. L. Schnoor, 2003, "Sustainability Science and Engineering: The Emergence of a New Metadiscipline," Environmental Science and Technology, 37(23), 5314-5324.

Shonnard, D.R., Fisher, E.R., and Caspary, D., 2003, Integrated Bioprocess Experiments for the Senior Laboratory: Fermentation for L-Lysine Production, Chemical Engineering Education, 37(4),262-267.

Shonnard, D.R., Allen, D.T., Weil-Austin. S.A., Nguyen, N., 2003, US EPA/academia collaboration for a Green Engineering textbook for Chemical Engineering, Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 5(4-3), 226-231.

Allen, D.T. and Shonnard, D.R. (and other contributors), “Green Engineering: Environmentally Conscious Design of Chemical Processes, Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002, ISBN 0-13-061908-6. 

Shonnard, D.R., "Solutions Manual For - Green Engineering: Environmentally-Conscious Design of Chemical Processes", Prentice-Hall, 2002.

Shonnard, D.R. and Deshpande, P.A., 2001, Column transport experiments for dissolved pollutants and colloids, Chemical Engineering Education, 35(3), 222-228.

Gierke, J.S., Mayer, A.S., and Shonnard, D.R., 1998, Multidisciplinary subsurface remediation courses: fundamentals, experiments, and design projects. Journal of Engineering Education, 87(5), 555-566.


This page was last updated on 09/04/02 03:51:17 PM
1400, Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI, Ph: 906-487-3132, Fax: 906-487-3213
©Copyright 2001- Michigan Technological University- Department of Chemical Engineering, All Rights Reserved

Go to Michigan Tech home page Takes you to University Web page for Prospective Students Takes you to University Web page for Current Students Complete List of Majors and Minors for all Colleges and Schools Go to Michigan Tech Athletics Website Visit the University Alumni Page Information for Parents Web Page for Faculty and Staff Search Michigan Tech Campus The Whole University Directory from A to Z