(6g) Transformation of Waste Biomass into Bioproducts (Bioenergy, Biomaterials, Biochemicals)

Authors: 
Achinivu, E. - Presenter, North Carolina State University
Research Interests:

Effectively partitioning waste biomass into its various fractions and converting these fractions into high value products is of high importance for the valorization and commercialization of bioproducts from bioresources from waste biomass. Waste biomass is released at over 2 billion tons per year in the U. S and has the potential to serve as a source of bioproducts with high commercial value. My research interests involve advancing green engineering and green materials, particularly with regard to their link to new production methods for a sustainable energy infrastructure. This typically involves the application of green chemistry/engineering principles, towards the design of sustainable products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances. The core of my research strategies fall within the chemical and biomolecular engineering specialty, however, I often draw on key techniques in biology/microbiology, organic/analytical/computational chemistry and materials processing/characterization. In particular my expertise encompasses the development of effective practices for the valorization of waste bioresources into commercially viable bioproducts (biofuels/bioenergy/biomaterials). My unique contribution is to apply the idea of sustainable development (i.e. the triple bottom line―economics, environment and society) towards establishing long lasting research innovations in my chosen field.

Proposed Research Thrusts

  • Isolation, Purification and Characterization of Compounds of Significance from Waste Biomass (Biopolymers and Bioactives)
  • Application Development (Chemical Functionalization/Deriviatization, Material Formation and Product Formulations)
  • Process Development (Life Cycle Analyses, Techno-Economic Analyses and Process Modeling/Scale up)

Teaching Interests:

In addition to my research, I have developed my capacity for engineering principles through hands-on instruction. My major teaching experience is related to the Chemical Engineering curriculum, although, I have also taught Chemistry and Mathematics courses in the past. I have also acquired formal training/experience in teaching lectures through the “Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching (CoAT)” program at North Carolina State University. As part of this program, I was required to lead at least forty-five hours of lecture, attend six training seminars on fundamentals in teaching and develop a teaching portfolio. During this program, I taught Transport Processes and notably, I co-developed a course titled: Engineering Challenges at the Energy Frontier.

Postdoctoral Research (Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship): Extraction and Recovery of Sinapic Acid from Oleaginous Biomass (Mustard Bran): A Sustainable Access to a Valuable Phenolic Platform Chemical

Supervisor. Professor FLorent Allais, Chaire ABI Agro-Biotechnologies Industrielles-AgroParisTech

Ph.D. Dissertation: Isolation and Recovery of Lignin from Lignocellulosic Biomass Using Recyclable Protic Ionic Liquids (PILs) for a Cost-Effective Biomass Processing Technique.

Ph.D. Advisor: Dr. Wesley Henderson, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; North Carolina State University

Selected Publications

  1. Achinivu E. Protic Ionic Liquids for Lignin Extraction—A Lignin Characterization Study. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2018, 19, 428; DOI:3390/ijms19020428
  2. Achinivu E. C., Howard R. M., Li G., Gracz H., Henderson W. A. Lignin extraction from biomass with protic ionic liquids. Green Chemistry, 2014, 16, 1114-1119; DOI: 10.1039/C3GC42306A