Yonghao Ni

Prof. Yonghao Ni

Professor and J. Larcom Ober Chair

    • B.Eng. Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, 1985
    • M.Eng. McGill University, Canada, 1989
    • Ph.D. McGill University, Canada, 1992

Phone: 207-5812748

Research Interests

Pulp and paper manufacturing • lignocellulose materials• nanocellulose • value-added lignocellulosic products

Current Research

My current research aims towards excellence in discovery and innovations in pulp and paper manufacturing and value-added lignocellulosic products, covering both advances in the fundamental knowledge, and transferring of new technologies and novel process concepts to industrial practice.

  • Development of sustainable lignocellulose processing technologies

New research initiatives here include the development of enzymatic technologies, particularly, in combination with mechanical treatments, for the following targeted areas:1) nanocellulose preparation to decrease the energy consumption and to improve the properties of nanocellulose, 2) dissolving pulp processing to improve the pulp properties, including the reactivity, 3) softening of hardwood kraft fibers to improve the softness of tissue paper, 4) de-fibrillation of agricultural lignocellulose materials to produce low-cost fibers for the production of molded pulp products (MPP)

  • Value-added lignocellulose products

Lignocellulose plays an important role in alleviating the environmental impact from excessive use of fossil fuels, synthetic materials. In fact, lignocellulose products are already essential part of our daily life, and it has great potential to gain further importance in the future. My research in this area includes 1) specialty paper grades, such as electrostatic discharge (ESD) paper (to displace plastic or metallic ESD products), electrical insulating paper; 2) lignocellulose composite products, e.g., lignocellulose hydrogels and/or membrane for sensing applications (strain sensors, humidity sensors, etc.); 3) detecting devices using paper or cellulose derivatives as supporting membrane for environmental or biomedical monitoring.

  • Lignocellulose Nanomaterials and their applications

Lignocellulose nanomaterials have attracted much attention in recent years because of their unique properties. However, large-scale commercial applications are still in their infancy. My current research here includes: 1) nanocellulose in various paper products, e.g., packaging paper to improve the strength and/or barrier properties, as dispersant/carrier for functional materials to produce functional paper, 2) nanocellulose as additives in polymer systems, e.g., PVA coat/film to improve its strength and barrier properties, 3) lignin nanoparticles, lignin derived nanocarbons and their applications

Selected Publications

Publications of Prof. Yonghao Ni (PDF)