Prof. Sabrina Spatari


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Prof. Sabrina Spatari


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Main energy field:

Biomass and Bioenergy; Life cycle assessment


PostDoc – 2007-2008 – University of California, Berkeley, Energy and Resources Group

PhD – 2007 – University of Toronto, Civil and Environmental Eng.

MSc – 1998 – University of Michigan, Chemical Eng.

BSc – 1995 – University of Toronto, Chemical Eng.

Roles, Chairs, prizes:

Associate Editor, Global Change Biology, Bioenergy

Associate Editor, Journal of Industrial Ecology

Research Area in Energy:

Alternative fuels – Biomass-Based Fuels:

Life cycle assessment (LCA) and techno-economic analysis (TEA) of low carbon transport fuels, particularly biofuels via biochemical (enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation) and thermochemical (fast pyrolysis and upgrading) conversion.

Life cycle assessment – Renewable energy, Energy provision, Energy and the built environment:

My research focuses on the development and application of life cycle assessment (LCA) and other systems analysis methods for guiding engineering decision making and public policy on renewable energy, particularly biomass and bioenergy (thermal, electrical, and CHP applications, district heating and cooling), biofuels, PV electricity and micro-grids, and low impact development in urban infrastructure.

Selected Publications:

Billen, P.; Leccisi, E.; Dastidar, S.; Li, S.; Lobaton, L.; Spatari, S.; Fafarman, A. T.; Fthenakis, V. M.; Baxter, J. B., Comparative evaluation of lead emissions and toxicity potential in the life cycle of lead halide perovskite photovoltaics. Energy 2019, 166, 1089-1096.

Gao, S.; Gurian, P. L.; Adler, P. R.; Spatari, S.; Gurung, R.; Kar, S.; Ogle, S. M.; Parton, W. J.; Del Grosso, S. J., Framework for improved confidence in modeled nitrous oxide estimates for biofuel regulatory standards. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 2018, 23, (8), 1281-1301.

Riazi, B.; Karanjikar, M.; Spatari, S., Renewable Rubber and Jet Fuel from Biomass: Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Land Use Trade-offs in Energy and Material Markets. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering 2018, 6, (11), 14414-14422.

Sorunmu, Y.; Billen, P.; Elangovan, S. E.; Santosa, D.; Spatari, S., Life-Cycle Assessment of Alternative Pyrolysis-Based Transport Fuels: Implications of Upgrading Technology, Scale, and Hydrogen Requirement. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2018, 6, (8), 10001-10010.

Hums, M. E.; Amin, H.; Tsao, Y.-C.; Olson, M. S.; Spatari, S.; Cairncross, R. A., Longitudinal Study of Wastewater Greases and Their Potential for the Production of Biofuels. Energy & Fuels 2018, 32, (2), 1831-1842.

Björnebo, L.; Spatari, S.; Gurian, P. L., A greenhouse gas abatement framework for investment in district heating. Applied Energy 2018, 211, 1095-1105.

Adler, P. R.; Spatari, S.; D’Ottone, F.; Vazquez, D.; Peterson, L.; Del Grosso, S. J.; Baethgen, W. E.; Parton, W. J., Legacy effects of individual crops affect N2O emissions accounting within crop rotations. GCB Bioenergy 2018, 10, (2), 123-136.

Fertitta-Roberts, C.; Spatari, S.; Grantz, D. A.; Jenerette, G. D., Trade-offs across productivity, GHG intensity, and pollutant loads from second-generation sorghum bioenergy. GCB Bioenergy 2017, 9, (12), 1764-1779.

Sorunmu, Y. E.; Billen, P.; Elkasabi, Y.; Mullen, C. A.; Macken, N. A.; Boateng, A. A.; Spatari, S., Fuels and Chemicals from Equine-Waste-Derived Tail Gas Reactive Pyrolysis Oil: Technoeconomic Analysis, Environmental and Exergetic Life Cycle Assessment. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2017, 5, (10), 8804-8814.

Liu, W.; Wang, J.; Richard, T. L.; Hartley, D. S.; Spatari, S.; Volk, T. A., Economic and life cycle assessments of biomass utilization for bioenergy products. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining 2017, 11, (4), 633-647. IF= 3.376; Citations=5.

Hums, M. E.; Cairncross, R. A.; Spatari, S., Life-Cycle Assessment of Biodiesel Produced from Grease Trap Waste. Environmental Science & Technology 2016, 50, (5), 2718-2726, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b02667.

Ciliberti, C., Jordaan, S.M., Smith, S.V., Spatari, S. A Life Cycle Perspective on Land Use and Project Economics of Electricity from Wind and Anaerobic Digestion, Energy Policy 2016, 89, 52-63.

Pourhashem, G., Adler, P.R., Spatari, S., Time Effects of Climate Change Mitigation Strategies for Second Generation Biofuels and Co-products with Temporary Carbon Storage, J. Cleaner Production 2016, 112, Part 4, 2642-2653.

Adler, P. R.; Mitchell, J. G.; Pourhashem, G.; Spatari, S.; Del Grosso, S. J.; Parton, W. J., Integrating biorefinery and farm biogeochemical cycles offsets fossil energy and mitigates soil carbon losses. Ecological Applications 2015, 25, (4), 1142-1156.

Keedy, J.; Prymak, E.; Macken, N.; Pourhashem, G.; Spatari, S.; Mullen, C. A.; Boateng, A. A., Exergy Based Assessment of the Production and Conversion of Switchgrass, Equine Waste, and Forest Residue to Bio-Oil Using Fast Pyrolysis. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2015, 54, (1), 529-539.

Nguyen, L.; Cafferty, K.; Searcy, E.; Spatari, S., Uncertainties in Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Advanced Biomass Feedstock Logistics Supply Chains in Kansas. Energies 2014, 7, (11), 7125-7146.

Pourhashem, G.; Spatari, S.; Boateng, A. A.; McAloon, A. J.; Mullen, C. A., Life Cycle Environmental and Economic Tradeoffs of Using Fast Pyrolysis Products for Power Generation. Energy & Fuels 2013, 27, (5), 2578-2587.

Pourhashem, G.; Adler, P.R.; McAloon, A. J.; Spatari, S., Cost and greenhouse gas emission tradeoffs of alternative uses of lignin for second generation ethanol. Environmental Research Letters 2013, 8, (2), 025021.

Wilson, T. O.; McNeal, F.M.; Spatari, S.; G. Abler, D.; Adler, P. R., Densified Biomass Can Cost-Effectively Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Address Energy Security in Thermal Applications. Environmental Science & Technology 2011, 46, (2), 1270-1277.

Yeh, S.; Jordaan, S. M.; Brandt, A. R.; Turetsky, M. R.; Spatari, S.; Keith, D. W., Land Use Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Conventional Oil Production and Oil Sands. Environmental Science & Technology 2010, 44, (22), 8766-8772.

Spatari, S.; MacLean, H. L., Characterizing Model Uncertainties in the Life Cycle of Lignocellulose-Based Ethanol Fuels. Environmental Science & Technology 2010, 44, (22), 8773-8780.

Spatari, S., Bagley, D.M., MacLean, H.L., Life cycle evaluation of emerging lignocellulosic ethanol conversion technologies, Bioresource Technology, 2010, 101: 654–667.

MacLean, H.L. and Spatari, S., The Contribution of Process Enzymes and Process Chemicals to the Life Cycle of Ethanol, Environ. Res. Lett. 2009, 4:1-10.

Spatari, S., Zhang, Y., MacLean, H.L. Life Cycle Assessment of Switchgrass and Corn Stover-Derived Ethanol Fueled Automobiles. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2005, 39(24):9750-9758.