Home |  Research  |  Publications  |  Group Members  |  The Lab  | News |  Teaching  |  Openings  |  Contact Us

2022 |2021 |2020 |2019 |2018 | 2017 | 2016

Dec 2022: Yuxuan's research "Lignin derived hydrophobic deep eutectic solvents as sustainable extractants" is published in Journal of Cleaner Production. In this work, he prepared novel low viscosity hydrophobic DESs based on lignin derivatives and demonstrated the potential application as extraction media to recover the biofuel molecules including acetone, ethanol, n-butanol, and isopentanol from aqueous solutions. [Link]

Sept 2022: Shi Lab selected to receive a $2.6M grant (including cost-share) from U.S. Department of Energy to valorize municipal solid waste (MSW) to sustainable aviation fuels. Powered by innovative 4D imaging technology and deep learning based predictive models, this project will develop advanced MSW feedstock preprocessing technologies through surface enhancement and smart formulation to enable year-round supply of high-quality conversion-ready feedstocks for thermochemical conversion. The project is led by University of Kentucky with partners ​at Idaho National Laboratory, Iowa State University, Red Rock Biofuels, and Wasatch Waste Management District.  Details... 

July 2022:  The United States produces almost 300 million tons of municipal solid waste per year. Ashlee Edmonson interned at the Idaho National Laboratory to work on diverting MSW from landfills to create biofuels. Ashlee conducted MSW decontamination experiments to increase low- and high-temperature biofuel conversion yields. She is pictured here at the intern poster conference.  During her summer in Idaho, she also got to travel to national parks, surf sand dunes, and make friends with other interns from across the world. 

June 2022: Trip to the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) at NC State University and group reunion. 

March 2022: Check on Makua's new papers "Fractionation and Upgrade of Endocarp Lignin to Carbon-Silicon Nanocomposites as an Anode Material In Lithium-Ion Batteries" and "Characterization of the Composition, Structure, and Mechanical Properties of Endocarp Biomass". The papers are appearing in the Journal of the ASABE [Link] and Applied Engineering in Agriculture [Link]. 

Sept 2021: Shi group is part of a Department of Energy - National Energy Technology Laboratory funded project on co-gasification of coal, biomass and plastic wastes for production of hydrogen and fuels.  The team is led by UKY's Center for Applied Energy (CAER) to study waste plastic-biomass blend for improved feedstock characteristics. Details...

Aug 2021: Congratulate Jameson Hunter for successfully defending his thesis and receiving an M.S. degree in engineering. Hid research is about "Extraction of Micro- and Nano-Plastic Particles from Water Using Hydrophobic Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents"​. Jameson will stay as a technician to continue his research on waste plastics conversion. Details...

July 2021: Shi group alumni landed positions in biotech industry. Lalitendu Das started working as scientist at Seqirus; Joe Stevens started working as a scientist at KBI Biopharma.

July 2021: Congratulate Makua Vin-Nnajiofor for successfully defending her thesis and receiving her M.S. degree. Her research is about "Characterization and upgrade of endocarp biomass derived lignin to value added products"​. Makua just moved to Boston and will work as a Fermentation Operation Engineer at Ginkgo Bioworks. Details...

April 2021: Check on our new book chapter "Product and Solvent Recovery in Ionic Liquid-Based Biomass Pretreatment Processes" published in the Encyclopedia of Ionic Liquids (Zhang eds.) with Springer. The chapter is available here for download.

March 2021:  Ryan Kalinoski (as the entrepreneur lead) along with Dr. Patrick Heist from Ferm Solutions Inc. (as the industry mentor) and Dr. Jian Shi (as the technical lead) were selected to the Spring 2021 nationacohort of NSF I-Corps.  The team will explore the market space and commercialization potential of lignin-derived antimicrobials to control bacterial contamination in fuel ethanol fermentation. This patent pending technology was derived from Ryan's dissertation research. Details...

Jan 2021: The Shi Lab partnered with researchers at Chemical Engineering (lead) and Computer Science on an Igniting Research Collaborations (IRC) project to develop a "Simulation-Deep Learning-Experiment Pipeline for Discovery of Novel Deep Eutectic Solvents".

Dec 2020: Congratulate Ryan Kalinoski for successfully defending his dissertation and receiving his Ph.D. degree. His research is about "Characterizing and predicting the antimicrobial properties of lignin derivatives"​. Ryan will stay and continue working on a NSF funded project distilled from his thesis research. Details...

Nov 2020: Check on Ryan's new paper "Antimicrobial properties of corn stover lignin fractions derived from catalytic transfer hydrogenolysis in supercritical ethanol with a Ru/C catalyst". The paper is appearing in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. [Link] 

Oct 2020: Check on Wenqi's new paper "Mechanistic insight into lignin slow pyrolysis by linking pyrolysis chemistry and carbon material properties". The paper is appearing in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. [Link] 

Aug 2020: Check on Binling's new paper "Natural deep eutectic solvents mediated extrusion for continuous high-solid pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass". The paper is appearing as a Back Cover article in Green Chemistry. [Link] 

Aug 2020: Congratulate Joe Stevens for successfully defending his dissertation and receiving his Ph.D. degree. His research is about "Characterization and enzyme engineering of laccases towards lignin valorization in aqueous ionic liquids​"​. Joe is moving to California to join Berkeley Lab as a postdoc fellow. Details...

July 2020: Ga-Young Lee was a visiting student from Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences durign the summer 2016-2018. Her work is published in MDPI Fermentation journal. The paper is about "Effect of substrate characteristics on the growth and sporulation of two biocontrol microorganisms during solid state cultivation" [Link]

July 2020: Check on Joe Stevens' new paper "Characterization and enzyme engineering of a hyperthermophilic laccase toward improving its activity in ionic liquid" appearing in Frontier in Energy Research [Link]. This is a collaboration between researchers at University of Kentucky's Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Biochemistry and Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI), France.

May 2020: Group meetings amid pandemic.

March 2020: Check on Lalitendu Das' recent research article "Comparative evaluation of industrial hemp cultivars: agronomical practices, feedstock characterization and potential for biofuels and bioproducts" appearing in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering [Link]. This work was featured in several news outlets including UK CoE and CoA websites, Biofuels Digest, Hemp Today, etc.

Jan 2020: Selected as one of the 33 NSF EPSCoR Research Fellow awardees national wide, Dr. Shi and his students will visit and conduct collaborative research with the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the next two years. This project aims to elucidate enzyme-ionic liquid interactions using advanced analytics with an end goal to enable effective lignin valorization”.  Details...

Dec 2019: A Spotlights article about Joe Stevens, a PhD candidate in Shi Lab. He recently returned from France, where he spent nine months as a researcher thanks to a Chauteaubriand Fellowship. The article interviewed Joe to hear what it's like to do high-level research in another country, what places he visited and whether he enjoyed French cuisine.  Joe is the recipient of the 2019 departmental Outstanding Graduate Student. Details...

Dec 2019: Congratulate Wenqi Li for successfully defending his dissertation and receiving his Ph.D. degree. His research is about "Lignin-derived carbon and nanocomposite materials for energy storage applications​"​. Wenqi is the first PhD out of the Shi Lab and a pride of his advisory committee (Drs. Nokes, Montross, Cheng, Conners and Shi) Details...

Nov 2019: Check on Joe Stevens' recent research article "Understanding laccase-ionic liquid interactions toward biocatalytic lignin conversion in aqueous ionic liquids" appearing in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering [Link]

Oct 2019: Joe Stevens is one of two students attending the National Supercomputing Conference in Denver next month after winning a free trip during the 3rd annual Commonwealth Computational Summit, sponsored by UK’s Center for Computational Science. His poster submission presented work he did with the modeling group at Toulouse Biotechnology Institute during his recently concluded Chateaubriand Fellowship in Toulouse, France.​ Details... 

Oct 2019: The Shi Lab was selected to receive a $2M grant (including cost-share) from U.S. Department of Energy to investigate sulfur profiling in pine residues and its impact on thermochemical conversion. The project is led by University of Kentucky with partners ​at Idaho National Laboratory, Kansas State University, Red Rock Biofuels, and Mississippi State University.  Details... 

Sept 2019: Jameson Hunter​ received a NSF travel grant for him to attend and present a poster at the Global Symposium on Waste Plastic​, an AIChE conference.

Aug 2019: Ryan Kalinoski placed in the ASABE Oral/Poster Competition within the ES & ESH technical community for his work entitled, “Antimicrobial Properties of Lignin Derivatives from Thermochemical Depolymerization,” presented during ASABE annual meeting in Boston.

Aug 2019: Shi Lab welcomes new MS student Jameson Hunter and new PhD student Yuxuan Zhang 

Aug 2019: Summer Intern Jeremy Kimbrough (second from left), a pre-mechanical engineering undergraduate from Kentucky State University (KSU), worked with Jian Shi (far right) and Ryan Kalinoski (far left) this summer in the BAE Department. Dr. Kazi Javed (third from left), is Jeremy’s KSU advisor.

Aug 2019: Snapshot of Abby Olayeye, a BAE junior, recipient of KY NSF EPSCoR research scholar. Abby has worked on converting food waste to lipo-chitooligosaccharides as biofertilizer in Dr. Shi's lab since summer 2018. Details... 

Aug 2019: Check on Joe Stevens' recent review article "Biocatalysis in ionic liquids for lignin valorization: Opportunities and recent developments" appearing in Biotechnology Advances [Link]

Aug 2019: Check the two new publications with our LSU collaborators on modulating mechanical properties of collagen–lignin composites appearing in ACS Applied Bio Materials as a supplementary cover article [Link] and on rapid microwave-assisted biomass delignification and lignin depolymerization in deep eutectic solvents appearing in Energy Conversion and Management [Link].

March 2019: Congratulations to Kristian Bolden and Jonathan Lott, high school seniors from Carter G. Woodson Academy, Lexington on taking second place in the Environmental Engineering Category at the State Science Fair. Their research is on "comparing biomass derived antioxidant with a customized pulsed Ultraviolet (UV) system to extend the shelf life of strawberries" co-hosted by Drs. Bode and Shi's labs.

Feb 2019: Check our new publication on sequential extraction and characterization of lignin derived compounds from thermochemically processed biorefinery lignins appearing in Energy and Fuels [Link]

Feb 2019: Makua, Wenqi and Ryan had drawn a crowd by demonstrating their lignin based carbon and hydrogel material projects at the UKY Engineering Day (E-day)… >>Details

Jan 2019: Shi Lab part of the UK Sustainability Challenge grant to convert Kentucky’s bourbon industry residues (corn stover and spent grains) to value-added products… >>Details

Jan 2019: Check our new publication on antimicrobial hydrogels derived from lignocellulosic biomass appearing in Industrial Crops and Products  >>Details

Jan 2019: Shi Lab welcomes new MS student Makua Vin-Nnajiofor (joined spring 2019) and new PhD student Can Liu (joined fall 2018)

Dec 2018: Check our new publication on fractionation and characterization of lignin streams from unique high-lignin content endocarp feedstocks appearing in Biotechnology for Biofuels  >>Details

Nov 2018: Wenqi Li, Joe Stevens and Ryan Kalinoski from Shi Lab presented talks at the 2018 AIChE Annual Meeting at Pittsburg, PA  >>Details

Nov 2018: Check our new publication on linking lignin source with structural and electrochemical properties of lignin-derived carbon materials appearing in RSC Advances  >>Details

Oct 2018: Shi Lab welcomes Kristian Bolden and Jonathan Lott, both high school seniors from Carter G. Woodson Academy, Lexington. Kristian and Jonathan will work on antioxidant fermentation from cellulosic biomass and explore its application to extend produce shelf-lifeThe team will then compare application of biomass derived antioxidant with a customized pulsed Ultraviolet (UV) system to treat fruits and vegetables, a device previously built in Dr. Bode's Lab.

Sept 2018: Abby Olaleye received a KY NSF EPSCoR Research Scholars Program (RSP) Award to investigate new ways to produce crop yield enhancer/bio-fertilizer from food wastes. The award also supports her travel to a professional conference. 

Aug 2018: Joe Stevens received a prestigious Chateaubriand/MOPGA fellowship (one of the 30 recipients nationwide). The fellowship will sponsor his 9-month research project at the Laboratoire d'Ingénierie des Systèmes Biologiques et des Procédés (LISBP), French National Institute for Applied Sciences (INSA)  >>Details

July 2018: Ryan Kalinosi and Wenqi Li won 1st and 2nd place Boyd-Scott Graduate Research Award under PhD category. This award recognizes excellence in graduate student research, which is honored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).  >>Details

July 2018: Wenqi Li, Ryan Kalinoski and Sandra Lee from Shi Lab presented talks and posters at the 2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting at Detroit, MI  >>Details

June 2018: Check our new publication on catalytic transfer hydrogenolysis of deep eutectic solvent extracted sorghum lignin to phenolic compounds appearing in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering  >>Details

June 2018: Shi Lab welcomes UG summer interns: Alex Espinosa, Truc Nguyen, Abby Olaleye, and Jameson Hunter. 

May 2018: Shi Lab received a $500k grant from USDA-NIFA to develop lignin-silicon nanocomposite materials for next generation batteries >>Details

May 2018: Luke Dodge (the second Shi Lab graduate), earned a M.S. degree in Biosystems Engineering. Congratulations! >>Details

April 2018: Chemical Engineering Sophomores David Jenkins and Andrew Lin conducted research at Shi lab and presented a poster of their research findings at the 2018 Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars >>Details

April 2018: Check our new publication on lignin fractionation and characterization from engineered switchgrass treated by an aqueous ionic liquid​ appearing in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering  >>Details

April 2018: Members from Shi Lab presented talks and posters at the 40th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals at Clearwater, FL.

March 2018: Makua Vin-Nnajiofor and Luke Dodge presented posters at the 255th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, New Orleans, LA.

March 2018: Check out a video clip on YouTube featuring our lignin research. >> Details

March 2018: Members from Shi Lab attended the 2018 KY-LSU EPSCoR Track II 2nd Annual Joint Conference and toured LSU/Ag center at Barton Rouge, LA.

Feb 2018: Joe Stevens, Ryan Kalinoski, Makua Vin-Nnajiofor, Wenqi Li and Lalitendu Das presented posters at the Super Collider Conference organized by KY NSF EPSCoR.  >>Details

Dec 2017:  Joe Stevens and Wenqi Li participated 7th Annual Sustainability Forum at UKY.

Nov 2017: Members from Shi Lab presented talks at the 2017 AIChE Annual Meeting at Minneapolis, MN.

Nov 2017:  Members from Shi Lab presented an invited talk on IL-based lignin biocatalysis at the 2017 American Chemical Society Southeastern Regional Meeting at Charlotte, NC.

Sept 2017:  Makua Vin-Nnajiofor received a KY NSF EPSCoR Research Scholars Program (RSP) Award to investigate new ways to produce high-value carotenoids from biorefinery waste streams.

Aug 2017: Check our new publication for a comparative study of ionic liquid, dilute acid, and ammonium hydroxide pretreatment of engineered switchgrass appearing in BioEnergy Research  >>Details

Aug 2017: Members from Shi Lab attended the 2017 KY-LSU EPSCoR Track II First Annual Joint Conference and toured Buffalo Trace Distillery at Frankfort, KY.

Aug 2017: Shi Lab received a grant from Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation (KSEF) to develop bioderived lipo-chitooligosaccharide (LCO) as crop yield enhancer from sweet sorghum bagasse >>Details

Aug 2017: Check our new publication for a combined experimental, agronomic and economic analysis of industrial hemp based fuels and bioproducts on Bioresource Technology  >>Details

July 2017: Wenqi Li, Ryan Kalinoski and Lalitendu Das from Shi Lab presented talks and posters at the 2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting at Spokane, WA  >>Details

July 2017: Check our new publication about lignin catalysis in ionic liquid on Frontier in Energy Research.  >>Details

June 2017: Joe Stevens won a pechakucha presentation challenge, that earned him the opportunity to travel to Missoula to compete against other students at the National EPSCoR Conference!  >>Details

May 2017: Members from Shi Lab presented talks and posters at the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE3) workshop at Louisville, KY  >>Details

May 2017: Enshi Liu, the first Shi Lab graduate, earned a M.S. degree in Biosystems Engineering. Congratulations!  >>Details

May 2017: Members from Shi Lab presented talks and posters at the Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals at San Francisco, CA 

Feb 2017: Ulalo Chirwa, Enshi Liu, and Lalitendu Das won Best Poster Awards at the Super Collider Conference organized by KY NSF EPSCoR.  >>Details

Jan 2017: Read a recent blog entry "Finding a sustainable way to produce fuels and chemicals from plants" featuring Enshi Liu's research experiences as a graduate student at BAE department.

Dec 2016: Areej Saeed won the 2016 Oswald Research and Creativity Competition for undergraduates, 2nd place under Physical and Engineering Sciences category.  >>Details

Nov 2016: Enshi Liu received 2nd place poster award at 2016 Frontiers in Biorefining Conference.    >>Details

Oct 2016: Enshi Liu received travel award sponsored by NSF to present his research at 2016 Frontiers in Biorefining Conference.  >>Details

Sept 2016: Check out our new publication about cellulase/substrate interactions on Biotechnology & Bioengineering>>Details

Sept 2016: Shi Lab part of a $4M NSF grant to study lignin based chemicals and materials for applications in food, energy and water systems… >>Details

Aug 2016: Welcome new graduate students!  >>Details

July 2016: Check out our new publication about lignin deconstruction on Green Chemistry as back cover…>>Details

July 2016: Sandra Lee joined as visiting students from Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences.

July 2016: Xiao Chen and Siquan Xu joined as visiting students from Nanjing Forestry University and Henan Agricultural University.

June 2016: Ulalo Chirwa received a Kentucky NSF EPSCoR Research Scholars Award to investigate ways to produce biocontrol agents from cheap, renewable resources… >>Details

March 2016: Areej Saeed joined as undergraduate intern. She will work on hemp based biofuels.


© 2016-2023 Shi Research Group | Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering | University of Kentucky
169 C.E. Barnhart Building, Lexington, KY 40546 | Directions | Phone: 859-218-4321   Flag Counter