Head of the Group: Prof. Dr. FANG Zhen
MAJOR FIELD OF RESEARCH:
The group is mainly focusing on conversion of lignocellulosic biomass (such as wood, grass) to bio-fuels, chemicals and materials using both chemical and biological methods. In the chemical process, hydrothermal technique is used because hydrothermal water as a weak-polar solvent with a high value of ion product, is a good solvent that can dissolve and hydrolyze biomass for further refining. Fine metal/metal oxide particles are first synthesized using hydrothermal or co-precipitation method. These particles are subsequently used as catalysts for the hydrothermal conversion of biomass to sugars, phenolics, hydrogen, liquid fuel, materials (particles, dyes) and degraded products. Other thermochemical processes such as fast pyrolysis are also studied to obtain bio-oil and gas. As for the biological conversions, the pretreatment of biomass is studied with hydrothermal water, mechanical comminution, steam explosion, acid/alkaline hydrolysis, the degraded biomass is further converted to bio-fuels and bio-products via biological method. Bio-diesel upgrading is another research area for this group. Jatropha oil grown in XBTG is processed to bio-diesel via enzymatic or chemical esterification. The oilseed by-products are converted to animal feeds, fertilizers and bio-fuels.
2008-2012 “Xiangmu Bairen”, Chinese academy of Sciences, PI, Hydrothermal solubilization and conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels (3.5 million Yuan) .
2007-2011 PI, Distinguished Scientist Grant of Chinese academy of Sciences, Lignocellulosic Biomass Conversions and Transesterification of Jatropha oil to Biodiesel (ARP: O72L011001; O72L011002; 110307JX12; O001321001: Total Grants 2 million Yuan).
PATENTS: (*Corresponding inventor)
1. Xin Deng, Chaozhi Zhang, Zhen Fang*and Yunhu Liu, A Novel Process and
Equipment for the Extraction of Curcin from Jatropha Seeds.
2. Chinese patent application (in revision in accordance with attorneys comments).
3. Xin Deng, Chaozhi Zhang, Zhen Fang* and Yunhu Liu, An Environmental
4. Chinese patent application (in revision in accordance with attorney’s comments).
5. Xin Deng, Zhen Fang*, Hong-Yan Zeng and Yunhu Liu, A Continuous Reactor
for Bio-Diesel Production.
6. Chinese invention patent application #: 200820081793.4, application date: Oct. 21, 2008.
7. Xin Deng, Yunhu Liu and Zhen Fang*, A Microwave-Processing Method and
Equipment to Continuously Produce Bio-Diesel from Jatropha Oil.
8. Chinese invention patent application #: 200810058974.X, application date: Sep. 26, 2008.
9. Zhen Fang* and R. L. Smith, Jr., A Method and Equipment to Produce Dyes and
Nanoparticles Using Aqueous Glucose.
10. Chinese invention patent application #: 200810058222.3, application date: March 26, 2008; disclosure publication date: Sep. 17, 2008, publication#: CN101265367A.
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD:
1. The Open Fuel Cells Journal (http://www.bentham.org/open/tofcj/EBM.htm)
2. Science & Technology Group Publishers. http://stg-publisher.com/chemistry.htm
Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Journal of Hazardous Materials,
Energy & Fuels, Fuel Processing Technology, Environmental Science & Technology,
The Journal of Supercritical Fluids, Bioresource Technology, Chemistry of Materials,
Chemical Engineering Communications, Journal of the American Ceramic Society,
AIChE Journal, Biotechnology Progress, Environmental Chemistry Letters