1- Biorefining-Lignin Modification
The main focus of this research program is to produce value-added chemicals from lignin. Currently, lignin has a limited industrial application and low value. In this program, lignin from various sources are chemically modified to produce various value-added chemicals with a variety of industrial applications. This program started in 2011 and will be actively continued. Funds for graduate students are available. Please see the available opening page for more information.
2- Biorefining-Hemicelluloses Modification
In this research program, hemicelluloses are extracted from various wood species, and they are grafted or copolymerized with different chemicals to alter their characteristics. Subsequently, the application of these modified hemicelluloses as value added green chemicals are evaluated. Alternatively, the hemicelluloses will be converted to mono sugars and various furan-based chemicals are produced. There are few openings in this programs and interested candidates are encouraged to apply.
The main focus of this research program is to develop processes for isolating the lignocelluloses from spent liquors (e.g. black liquor, acidic spent liquor, pressate, bleaching effluent) of various pulping processes. These processes should be industrially attractive and have potential to be integrated into the exisiting configurations of pulping processes. Various alternatives are currently under investigation. This program was started in 2009 and will be actively continued. The isolated lignocelluloses will then be employed in the production of various value-added chemicals or biofuel. There are few openings in this program for suitable candidates.
4- Agro-Based Biorefining
In this research program, agro-based residues are dissembled, their lignocelluloses are separated and subsequently the possibilities for producing various value-added chemicals or biofuel from the isolated lignocelluloses are assessed. The main goal of this program is to evaluate the technical feasibility of producing value-added chemicals from agro-based residues that are currently wasted. There are few openings in this research program for qualified candidates.
5- Biorefining-Cellulose Fiber Modification
In this research program, various approaches are taken into account to modify cellulose fibers for their potential usage in various end-use products. Adsoprtion of chemicals on cellulose fibers and the chemical modification (grafting and co-polymerization) of cellulose fibers are two main approaches currently under investigation for producing modified fibers. There are two openings in this programs and interested candidate are encouraged to apply.
6- Advanced Wood Pellet Production
In this research program, a new method to produce wood pellets with superior properites are evaluated. The main focus of this research program is to produce wood pellets with hydrophobic properties so that they can be stored in an open environment. This process has the advantage that it generates a value-added with a wide range of industrial applications. This program was started in 2014 and will be actively continued. Please see the available opening page for more information.
7- Industrial Waste Treatment
In this research program, the application of lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose based chemicals as flocculants or adsorbants for varoius industrial wastes, e.g. municipal or industrial wastewater, tailling waste of the oil-sand and mining industires, are evaluated. The main focus of this program is to improve the efficiency of wastewater treatment systems to reduce their environmental foot prints and process costs. This program was started in 2012 and will be actively continued. Pease see the available opening page for more information.
8- Dispersion of Industrial Suspensions
In this research program, the application of lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose based chemicals as dispersants for aqueous suspensions, e.g. froth flotation of the mining industry, cement admixture and paints, are evaluated. The main focus of this program is to improve the rheological behavior of the suspensions with the aid of green chemicals. This program was started in 2013 and will be actively continued.
Current active projects
- Lignin containing cellulose micro fibrils
- Cellulose nanofibrils
- Lignin characterization fundamentals
- Green energy storage materials
- Green coating formulations and films
- Functionalized lignin nanoparticles
- Lignin enriched emulsions and suspensions
- Functionalized cellulose nanocrystals
- Antimicrobial lignin products
- Lignin containing hydrogels, aerogels and composites
- Conductive biopolymers