Dr. Arthur J. Ragauskas Seminar: Biorefining – Making a Difference


Research Seminar presentation will be held on Thursday, November 8, 2012 from 10:15-11:15 am in the CHBE building – 2360 East Mall – Room 202

The Ragauskas group is involved in a number of research efforts that fall under the general heading of biorefining. Lignocellulosics comprise the main building block for these research efforts, which have the potential to impact the innovative production of biofuels, biopower, biobased materials and chemicals. Our biofuel efforts are directed at identifying and minimizing the recalcitrance of woody biomass and agroenergy crops, biological conversion of lignin to biodiesel and upgrading enhanced pyrolysis oils to green gasoline/diesel. Whereas our functional biobased materials studies are directed at designing engineered nanocellulosic composites films, foams, hydrogels and barrier coatings. These translational studies leverage our detailed understanding of the fundamental chemistry of isolating, characterizing and functionalizing lignin, cellulose and hemicelluloses. Although targeted to developing the fundamental chemistry and engineering principles of future biorefineries, there are numerous opportunities to improve and help aid the transition of today’s forest pulp mills into tomorrow’s biorefining operations. These research efforts leveraged our educational and outreach efforts which are all part of our vision “To be the world’s most dynamic research and educational center for the Forest Biorefinery, creating sustainable chemical solutions essential to converting Lignocellulosic Biomass resources to BioMaterials, BioFuels,
BioChemicals and BioPower for people everywhere.” This presentation will highlight these research efforts and examine future societal needs and opportunities.

Brief Biographical Sketch:
Arthur Ragauskas held the first Fulbright Chair in Alternative Energy and is a Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science and TAPPI. His research program at Georgia Institute of Technology is seeking to understand and exploit innovative sustainable bioresources. This multifaceted program is targeted to develop new and improved applications for nature’s premiere renewable biopolymers for biomaterials, biofuels, biopower, and bio-based chemicals. His research program has/is been sponsored by NSF, USDA, DOE, DARPA, DOD, GA Traditional Industry Program, a consortium of industry partners, and several fellowship programs. His Fulbright sponsored activities at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden were focused on the forest biorefinery and new biofuel conversion technologies for lignocellulosics. Currently, Dr. Ragauskas manages a research group of +27 graduate students, postdoctoral research fellows, a research scientist, and visiting scientists. He has collaborative research projects with several GA Tech faculty and is the GA Tech team leader for Biological Energy Science Center (BESC) research efforts and team leader for an industrial consortium program titled Black Liquor Hemicellulose Recovery and Utilization. His students have won several awards, including the ACS graduate research award. Ragauskas is an Associate Editor for Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Biofuels, BioEnergy
Research, Industrial Biotechnology, Taiwan Journal of Forest Service, TAPPI J., Industrial Biotechnology, Holzforschung, Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, Journal of Petroleum Technology and Alternative Fuels, The Open Biotechnology Journal, Current Biotechnology, and J. Wood Chemistry and Technology. He is an editorial board member of Sustainability and Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology. Ragauskas has served on several advisory boards and review panels including: Austrian Science Fund, European Commission Research Directorate, National Science Academy, J. Paul Getty Trust, NSF, USDA, DOE, ARAP-E, NSERC, BARD, FIRST, TAPPI Research Management Committee, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, Swedish VINN Excellence Center, Swedish Knowledge Foundation, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, ERA Chemistry, Swiss National Science Foundation, Finnish Academy of Science Norway Research Council, The Technology Foundation STW, Agence Nationale de la Recherche and Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research. Dr. Ragauskas has been an invited visiting professor at Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal; Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; Royal Institute of Technology/ STFi, Stockholm, Sweden; and South China University of Technology, China.