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Research Objectives

1. Create designer lignin through strategic inter-jurisdictional collaboration, the expansion of research capacity and mentoring early career faculty.
2. Establish links between designer lignin construction and depolymerization with the goal of directing deconstruction of natural lignin to desired chemical profiles.
3. Manipulate the interfacial surface properties using lignin bead chemistry to advance the science of lignin-based products for advanced material applications.
4. Develop and assess new curriculum for secondary agricultural education teachers in the context of Agribiotechnology/STEM in the context of Food, Water and Energy Systems; and Develop and conduct outreach activities to engage and train the future STEM workforce and inform the general public by interconnecting the science of plant building blocks and sustainability.


Research and Publications

Publishing the valuable research findings of our team members is a vital part of sharing innovations with others. Listed below are published articles and presentations sponsored by NSF EPSCoR R2 Track II, Award No. OIA1632854.

 

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles (Most recent listed first)

 

Darkwah, K., Nokes, S.E., Seay, J. R., Knutson, B. L. (2018, In press.). Mechanistic simulation of batch acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation with in situ gas stripping using Aspen Plus. Bioprocess Biosyst. Eng.

 

Das, L., Li, M., Stevens, J., Li, W., Pu, Y., Ragauskas, A. J., & Shi, J. (2018). Characterization and catalytic transfer hydrogenolysis of deep eutectic solvent extracted sorghum lignin to phenolic compounds. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 6(8), 10408-10420. DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.8b01763.

 

Belgodere, J. A., King, C. T., Bursavich, J. B., Burow, M. E., Martin, E. C. & Jung, J. P. (2018). Engineering breast cancer microenvironments and 3D bioprinting. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 6(66). DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2018.00066.

 

Asare, S. O., Kamali, P., Huang, F., & Lynn, B. C. (2018). Application of chloride adduct ionization tandem mass spectrometry for characterizing and sequencing synthetic lignin model compounds. Energy & Fuels, 32(5), 5990-5998. DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.8b00559.

 

Liu, E., Li, M., Das, L., Pu, Y., Frazier, T., Zhao, B., Crocker, M., Ragauskas, A. J., & Shi, J. (2018). Understanding lignin fractionation and characterization from engineered switchgrass treated by an aqueous ionic liquid. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 6(5), 6612-6623. DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.8b00384.

 

Ellison, C., McKeown, M. S., Trabelsi, S., Marculescu, C., & Boldor, B. (2018). Dielectric characterization of bentonite clay at various moisture contents and with mixtures of biomass in the microwave spectrum. Journal of Microwave Power and Electromagnetic Energy, 52(1), 3-15. DOI: 10.1080/08327823.2017.1421407.

 

Barekati-Goudarzi, M., Boldor, D., Marculescu, C., & Khachatryan, L. (2017). Peculiarities of pyrolysis of hydrolytic lignin in dispersed gas phase and in solid state. Energy & Fuels, 31(11), 12156-12167. DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.7b01842.

 

Zhou, S., Schlipf, D. M., Guilfoil, E. C., Rankin, S. E., & Knutson, B. L. (2017). Lipid pore-filled silica thin-film membranes for biomimetic recovery of dilute carbohydrates. Langmuir, 33(49), 14156-14166. DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b03844.

 

Liu, E., Das, L., Zhao, B., Crocker, M. & Shi, J. (2017). Impact of dilute sulfuric acid, ammonium hydroxide, and ionic liquid pretreatments on the fractionation and characterization of engineered switchgrass. Bioenergy Research, 10(4), 1079-1093. DOI: 10.1007/s12155-017-9868-x. 

 

Das, L., Liua, E., Saeeda, A., Williams, D. W., Hud, H., Lid,C. Rayd, A. E., & Shi, J. (2017). Industrial hemp as a potential bioenergy crop in comparison with kenaf, switchgrass and biomass sorghum. Bioresource Technology, 244(1), 641-649. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2017.08.008.

 

Das, L, Xu, S., & Shi, J. (2017). Catalytic oxidation and depolymerization of lignin in aqueous ionic liquid. Frontiers in Energy Research, 5(21), 1-12. DOI: 10.3389/fenrg.2017.00021.

 

Peer Reviewed Conference Proceeding

 

Shi, J., Pekarchik, K., Franke-Dvorak, T. C., & Nokes, S. E. (2017, March 6-8). Enhancing student engagement and learning outcomes via interactive maps for sustainability education. Paper presented at the 11th Annual International Technology, Education and Development (INTED) Conference, Valencia, Spain. DOI: 10.21125/inted.2017.1723.

 

Peer-Reviewed Conference Presentations (Most recent listed first)

 

Shi, J. (2018, July). Antimicrobial hydrogels derived from lignocellulosic compounds. Paper presented at the 2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Detroit, MI.

 

Ellison, C. & Boldor, D. (2018, June). Effect of microwave absorber and power level on microwave-assisted pyrolysis of pine sawdust . Paper presented at the 52nd International Microwave Power Institute (IMPI) Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA.

 

Muley, P. (2018, June). Rapid Microwave Assisted Delignification of Biomass Using Deep Eutectic Solvents. Paper presented at International Microwave and Power Institute 52nd Annual International Conference, Long Beach, CA.

 

Marculescu, C. & Boldor, D. (2018, March). Comparison of pyrolysis products yields derived from three different parts of poplar trees using a novel reactor. Paper presented at the 2018 American Chemical Society (ACS) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

 

Khachatryan, L. (2018, March). Homogeneous gas-phase pyrolysis of hydrolytic lignin under IR CO2 laser irradiation. Paper presented at the 2018 ACS National Meeting & Expo:  Nexus of Food, Energy & Water, New Orleans, LA.

 

Moldovan, D. (2018, March). Molecular dynamics simulation study of interaction of lignin monomers and dimers with lipid bilayers. Paper presented at the 2018 ACS National Meeting & Expo:  Nexus of Food, Energy & Water, New Orleans, LA.

 

Shi, J. (2017, November). Catalytic conversion of lignin in ionic liquids via catalysis and biocatalysis. Paper presented at the 2017 AIChE Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

 

Shi, J. (2017, November). Evaluation of industrial hemp varieties as potential biomass feedstock for biofuels and bioproducts. Paper presented at the 2017 AIChE Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

 

Marculescu, C., Tartea, R., Stanciulescu, I., Boldor, D. (2017, October). Pyrolysis of food waste:  Thermal deconstruction rates in a regular calcination oven vs. an induction heating reactor. Paper presented at the 2017 AIChE Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

 

Khachatryan, L. (2017, October). Lignin pyrolysis:  Challenges and future perspective. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference of Armenian Chemical Society, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia.

 

Knutson, B. (2017, August). Lipid pore-filled composite membranes for selective permeation. Paper presented at the 2017 International Congress on Membranes and Membrane Processes, San Francisco, CA.

 

Shi, J. (2017, July). Effects of structure and composition of lignin on the derived activated carbon materials for supercapacitor application. Paper presented at the 2017 Annual ASABE International Meeting, Spokane, WA.

 

Ellison, C., & Boldor, D. (2017, June). Numerical simulation of the electric field and temperature distribution within a low loss material in a travelling wave applicator. Paper presented at the 51st International Microwave Power Institute (IMPI) Annual Meeting, Miami, FL.

 

Khachatryan, L. (2017, June). Persistent free radicals from pyrolysis of lignin and lignin model compounds. Paper presented at the PIC 2017 - 15th International Congress on Combustion By-Products and Their Health Effects, Seoul, Korea.

 

Muley, P. (2017, June). Advances in biomass pretreatment and cellulosic bioethanol production using microwave heating. Paper presented at the SEEP2017:  10TH International Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environmental Protection, Bled, Slovenia.

 

Shi, J. (2017, May). Biofuels and bioproduct potentials of industrial hemp in comparison with kenaf, switchgrass and biomass sorghum. Paper presented at the 39th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, San Francisco, CA.

 

Shi, J. (2017, March). Catalytic oxidation and depolymerization of lignin in ionic liquids. Paper presented at the 39th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, San Francisco, CA.

 

Peer-Reviewed Poster Presentations (Most recent listed first)

 

Lynn, B. (2018, June). Lithium adduct electrospray mass spectrometry for structural studies and sequencing of B-O-4 lignin model compounds. Poster presented at the 66th American Society for Mass Spectrometry Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

 

Moradipour, M., Fetsko, A., Rankin, S. E., & Knutson, B. L. (2018, June). Interfacial interactions of lignin dimers with synthetic lipid bilayer. Poster presented at the 27th Annual Meeting of the North American Membrane Society, Lexington, KY.

 

Barekati-Gourdazi, M. (2018, March). Pyrolysis of hydrolytic lignin dispersed in gas phase under IR laser irradiation. Poster presented at the 2018 ACS National Meeting & Expo:  Nexus of Food, Energy & Water, New Orleans, LA.

 

Daniel, Dideolu. (2018, March). Distribution of products from kraft lignin ablation with IR CO2 laser. Poster presented at the 2018 ACS National Meeting & Expo:  Nexus of Food, Energy & Water, New Orleans, LA.

 

Byrne, E., King, C., Bunnell, B. A., Martin, E. C. (2017, November). Human adipose stem cell mediated matrix remodeling as a mechanism for cancer progression. Poster presented at the IFATS, Miami, FL.

 

Stevens, J. (2017, November). Exploring biocatalysis of laccase in ionic liquids for selective decomposition of lignin. Poster presented at the 25th NSF EPSCoR National Conference, Missoula, MT.

 

Belgodere, J., Zamin, S., & Jung, J. (2017, October). Modulating mechanical properties of extracellular matrix composites via lignin incorporation. Poster presented at the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ.

 

Ellison, C. (2017, July). Comparison of pyrolysis products derived from poplar tree and switchgrass. Poster presented at the 2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Spokane, WA.

 

Shi, J., (2017, May). Fractionation and characterization of lignin streams from engineered switchgrass pretreated by an aqueous ionic liquid. Poster presented at the 39th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, San Francisco, CA.

 

Stevens, J. (2017, May). Exploring biocatalysis of laccase in ionic liquids for selective decomposition of lignin. Poster presented at the 39th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, San Francisco, CA.

 

* Name in bold indicates poster presenter.

 

Conference Posters (Other) (Most recent listed first)

 

Zamin, S. (2018, April). Modulating mechanical properties of collagen-lignin composites:  Animal and plant extracellular matrices. Presented at the LSU Discover Day, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Asare, S. O., Kamali, P., & Lynn, B. C. (2018, March). Application of high-performance liquid chromatography/high-resolution accurate-mass mass spectrometry for analysis of lignin model compounds. Poster presented at the 2018 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Barekati-Gourdazi, M., Khachatryan, L., & Boldor, D. (2018, March). Breaking-down of lignin under CO2 IR laser irradiation. Poster presented at the 2018 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Belgodere, J., & Jung, J. P. (2018, March). Modulating mechanical properties of collagen-lignin composites:  Animal and plant extracellular matrices. Poster presented at the 2018 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Byrne, E., Martin, E., & Sabliov, C. (2018, March). Applications for lignin as a cancer therapy and to enhance drug delivery. Poster presented at the 2018 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Daniel, D., Barekati-Gourdazi, M., Khachatryan, L., & Boldor, D. (2018, March). Ablation of kraft lignin under laser irradiation at 10.6 um. Poster presented at the 2018 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Ellison, C., & Boldor, D. (2018, March). Characterization of products from microwave-assisted pyrolysis of pine biomass. Poster presented at the 2018 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Kamali, P., Asare, S., Lynn, B. (2018, March). Synthesis and characterization of β-O-4 trimer precursor and putative synthesis of a novel β-O-4/β-5 lignin trimer model compound. Poster presented at the 2018 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Khachatryan, L. (2018, March). Thermal and laser assisted pyrolysis of hydrolytic lignin in dispersed gas phase and in solid state. Poster presented at the Symposium in Honor of Dr. Barry Dellinger, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

 

Moradipour, M., Knutson, B., & Rankin, S. (2018, March). Interfacial interactions of lignin dimers with synthetic lipid bilayer. Poster presented at the 2018 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Muley, P., (2018, March). Delignification of biomass using deep eutectic solvents. Poster presented at the 2018 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Stevens, J., & Shi, J. (2018, March). Lignin valorization via biocatalysis in aqueous ionic liquids. Poster presented at the 2018 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Tong, X., Novak B., & Moldovan D. (2018, March). Molecular dynamics simulation study of interaction of lignin monomers and dimers with lipid bilayers. Poster presented at the 2018 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

 

Moradipour, M., Fetsko, A., Rankin, S. E., & Knutson, B. L. (2018, February). Interfacial interactions of lignin dimers with synthetic lipid bilayer. Poster presented at the KY EPSCoR 2018 Super Collider Conference, Lexington, KY.

 

Stevens, J. (2017, December). Directing product formation from lignin decomposition via biocatalysis in aqueous ionic liquids. Poster presented at the University of Kentucky’s 7th Annual Sustainability Forum, Lexington, KY.

 

Asare, S. O., Kamali, P., & Lynn, B. C. (2017, August). Synthesis and characterization of b-o-4 dimeric lignin model compounds using TANDEM mass spectrometry. Poster presented at the 2017 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Frankfort, KY.

 

Barekati-Goudarzi, M., Khachatryan, L., & Boldor, D. (2017, August). Thermal and laser assisted pyrolysis of hydrolytic lignin in dispersed gas phase. Poster presented at the 2017 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Frankfort, KY.

 

Belgodere, J., Zamin, S. A., Hamel, K. M., Rome, C. P. & Jung, J. P. (2017, August). Modulating mechanical properties of natural ECM composites via lignin incorporation. Poster presented at the 2017 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Frankfort, KY.

 

Byrne, E., Martin, E., & Sabliov, C. (2017, August). In vitro analysis of coniferyl alcohol, sinapyl alcohol, and HG dimer on ER+ and ER- cell lines. Poster presented at the 2017 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Frankfort, KY.

 

Das, L., Liu, E., Saeeda, A., Williams, D. W., Hu, H., Li,C. Ray, A. E., & Shi, J. (2017, August). Will hemp become the next big Kentucky crop? Poster presented at the 2017 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Frankfort, KY.

 

Das, L., Xu, S., & Shi, J. (2017, August). Catalytic oxidation and depolymerization of lignin in aqueous ionic liquid. Poster presented at the 2017 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Frankfort, KY.

 

Ellison, C., & Boldor, D. (2017, August). Microwave pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass in a waveguide applicator for the production of biofuel. Poster presented at the 2017 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Frankfort, KY.

 

Fetsko, A., (2017, August). Characterization of the interaction between lignin dimers and lipid bilayers. Poster presented at the University of Kentucky Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program Poster Competition, Lexington, KY.

 

Kamali, P., Asare, S. O., & Lynn, B. C. (2017, August). Identification of an unusual
by-product observed in lignin precursor synthesis. Poster presented at the 2017Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Frankfort, KY.

 

Moradipour, M., Fetsko, A., Khan, M. A., Knutson, B., & Rankin, S. (2017, August). Interfacial interactions of lignin dimer. Poster presented at the 2017 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Frankfort, KY.

 

Stevens, J., Liu, E., Das, L, & Shi, J. (2017, August). Exploring biocatalysis of laccase in ionic liquids for selective lignin decomposition. Poster presented at the 2017 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Frankfort, KY.

 

Tong, X., Novak, B., & Moldovan, D. (2017, August). Molecular dynamics simulation studies of interaction of lignols with lipid bilayers. Poster presented at the 2017 Annual Louisiana and Kentucky Interjurisdictional Conference, Frankfort, KY.

 

Stevens, J. (2017, May). Exploring biocatalysis of laccase in ionic liquids for selective decomposition of lignin. Poster presented at the 2017 Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Workshop, Louisville, KY.

 

* Name in bold indicates poster presenter.