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J.Y. Zhu

J.Y. Zhu
Research General Engineer
Fiber and Chemical Sciences Research
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
United States
Current Research

Utilization of underutilied forest resources through chemical modification

Sustainable fractionation of lignocellulsoes for valorization of all components

Biorefinery process integration for drop in biofuel production

Production of cellulose nanomaterials

Past Research

Forest thinings for pulp production


Secondary fiber recycling

Research Interest
  • Chemical modification of wood for advanced applications
  • Sustainable chemical fractionation of lignocellulose biomass for bioconversion
  • Biorefinery process integration for efficient production of bioenergy and bioproducts
  • Biomass feedstock characterization
  • Fundamentals on cell wall deconstruction and interaction of cell wall components with cellulse enzymes
  • Fiber resources, properties, characterization, and modification
  • Production, characterization, and utilization of cellulose nanomaterials
  • Fiber Production through mechanical and chemical pulping
  • Secondary fiber recovery and utilization
Why This Research Is Important
For sustainable economical development in rural America
To reduce teh risk of catastrophic forest fires
For reduced reliance on fossoil fuels
  • University of California, Irvine, California, Ph.D., Engineering,
  • Beijing Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beijing, China, B.S., Thermal Power Engineering,
Professional Experience
  • Assistant and Associate Professor,  Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Now Georgia Inst of Technology, Atlanta, GA,  2003
Professional Organizations
  • Advisory Board,  ACS Sustainable Chem Eng,  2020 - Current
  • Editorial Board,  Cellulose,  2019 - Current
  • Fellow,  International Academy of Wood Science,  2012 - Current
  • Member,  American Chemical Society (ACS),  2011 - Current
    Organizing technical program
  • Editorial Board,  Bioenergy Research - Associate Editor/Editorial Board,  2011 - Current
    Editorial board
  • Editorial Board Member,  China Pulp and Paper - Editorial Board,  2010 - Current
    Editorial Board
  • Technical Editor,  TAPPI Journal - Technical Editor/Editorial Board,  2010 - Current
    Editorial Board
  • Fellow,  American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE),  1998 - Current
    Past chair, voce chair, secretary, organizing technical program, treasuer, secretary
  • Fellow,  Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI),  1994 - Current
    past chair of biorefinery committee, Organizing technical program, standard development,
Awards & Recognition
  • Nationwide USDA R&D , 2019
    US Forest Service Chief’s Award
  • Nationwide USDA R&D , 2019
    USDA Natural Resources and Environment Undersecretary’s Honor Award
  • International Research Association Award , 2019
    IUFRO Scientific Achievement Award
  • Nationawide Technical Association Award, 2016
    AIChE Andrew Chase Award for outstanding chemical engineering contributions to the renewable forest bio-products and related industries
  • William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship, 2015
    The J. William Fulbright-Aalto Univeristy Distinguished Chair Scholarship, 2015. Program period Jan. - Jul. 2016 at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
  • International Industry Technical Award , 2014
    TAPPI International R&D Technical Award and William H. Aiken Prize
  • Nationwide USDA R&D , 2013
    US Forest Service Deputy Chief for R&D’s Distinguished Science Award
  • Nationwide USDA R&D, 2011
    Examplary R&D Round Table in Agriculture, Food, Netrition, and Natural Resources, AAAS, Washington, DC
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Scientists discover rapid and near-complete dissolution of wood lignin by a recyclable acid hydrotrope

Year: 2017
A low-temperature (below water boiling point) wood fractionation process has the potential for developing disrupting technologies for sustainable and economic production of wood pulp, wood-based nanomaterials, and biochemicals.

Maleic Acid Hydrotropic Wood Fractionation at Atmospheric Pressure

Year: 2020
We have developed a process using maleic acid, a FDA approved indirect food additive (21CFR175-177), for sustainable fractionating lignocellulosic biomass at atmospheric pressure, which substantially facilitates the production of lignocellulosic nanofibrils (LCNFs) through mechanical fibrillation, s...

New SPORL Process Efficiently Converts Biomass to Sugars and Ferment

Year: 2012
Preliminary laboratory evaluation confirms the high performance of the SPORL process for pretreatment of Douglas fir

Improving the Hydrolysis and Fibrillation of Wood Into Cellulose Nanomaterials

Year: 2016
Cellulose nanomaterials have been receiving an increasing amount of interest from both the scientific and industrial communities because of their interesting properties, including good strength, absorbency, and optical properties, such as transparency when cast as a film. Cellulose nanofibrils tradi...