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Arthur J. Ragauskas

UT-ORNL Governor's Chair for Biorefining

Contact Information

  • 323-B Dougherty Engineering Building
  • Phone: (865) 974-2042
  • E-mail:


Arthur Ragauskas held the first Fulbright Chair in Alternative Energy and is a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Academy of Wood Science and TAPPI.

In 2014, he assumed a Governor’s Chair for Biorefining based in University of Tennessee’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, with a complementary appointment in the UT Institute of Agriculture’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries and serves in the US Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate, Biosciences Division, at ORNL. His research program is directed at understanding and exploiting innovative sustainable bioresources. This multifaceted program is targeted to develop new and improved applications for nature’s premiere renewable biopolymers for biofuels, biopower, and bio-based materials and chemicals. Recently, his research team has begun to examine the upcycling of waste plastics.

His research program has been sponsored by NSF, USDA, DOE, GA Traditional Industry Program, a consortium of industry partners, and several fellowship programs which is summarized in 488 publications. His Fulbright sponsored activities at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden were focused on the forest biorefinery and new biofuel conversion technologies for lignocellulosics. Currently, Ragauskas manages a research group of graduate students, postdoctoral research fellows, a research scientist, and visiting scientists. He is the recipient of the 2014 TAPPI Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award, the ACS Affordable Green Chemistry award, 2017 AIChE Green Processing Award, 2017 Academia Distinguished Service Award, and his students and postdocs have won several awards, including the ACS graduate research award, ORNL UT-Battelle Award, and Supplementary Performance Award (ORNL).

Ragauskas is an Associate Editor for Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Biofuels, BioEnergy Research, Industrial Biotechnology, Taiwan Journal of Forest Service, TAPPI J., 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, 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. 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 Southeast University, China, and South China University of Technology, China.

  • Biorefining
  • Nanolignocellulosics
  • Green Chemistry
  • BioFuels
  • Bio-Based Materials & Chemicals
  • BioComposites
  • BioPower
  • Fiber Modification
  • Pulping/Bleaching
  • Chemistry of Natural Biopolymers including Cellulose, Hemicellulose, and Lignin
  • Polysaccharides
  • Organic/Carbohydrate Chemistry

PhD, University of Western Ontario: Physical Organic Chemistry, Advanced NMR. 1985

BS, Honors, University of Western Ontario: Chemistry. 1980

  • 2019 Nominated to Sigma Xi
  • 2018 Clarivate Analytics, Publons: Ragauskas named one of the world's most highly cited researchers in his field
  • 2018 Fellow Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2017 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2017 Green Process Engineering American Institute of Chemical Engineers Award
  • 2017 University of California, Bourns College of Engineering – Center for Environmental Research and Technology, Distinguished Service Award
  • 2014 TAPPI Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award
  • 2014 ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry
  • 2012 Elected American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
  • 2012 Elected to Academy Board of  International Academy of Wood Science
  • 2008-2009 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy
  • 2008 Recipient of 2008 William H. Aiken Research Prize

Selected publications. View the full list on Google Scholar.

  • Li, Q.; Li, M.; Lin, H.S.; Hu, C.; Truong, P.; Zhang, T.; Sue, H.J.; Pu, Y.; Ragauskas, A.J.; Yuan, J.S., "Non-Solvent Fractionation of Lignin Enhances Carbon Fiber Performance." ChemSusChem. (2019), Ahead of Print.
  • Kim, K.H.; Eudes, A.; Jeong, K.; Yoo, C.G.; Kim, C.S.; Ragauskas, A., "Integration of renewable deep eutectic solvents with engineered biomass to achieve a closed-loop biorefinery." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. (2019), 116(28), 13816-13824.
  • Huang, C.; Fang, G.; Zhao, Y.; Bhagia, S.; Meng, X.; Yong, Q.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Bio-inspired nanocomposite by layer-by-layer coating of chitosan/hyaluronic acid multilayers on a hard nanocellulose-hydroxyapatite matrix." Carbohydrate Polymers. (2019), 222, 115036.
  • Hou, Q.; Wang, X.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Dynamic self-assembly of polyelectrolyte composite nanofiltration film." Polymer. Accepted.
  • Ding, J.; Yoo, C.G.; Pu, Y.; Meng, X.; Bhagia, S.; Yu, C.; Ragauskas, A., "Cellulolytic Enzyme-Aided Hemicellulose Extraction and Its Characteristics from Switchgrass." Green Chemistry. (2019), 21(14), 3902-3910.
  • Wang, J.; Jiang, J.; Zhong, Z.; Wang, K.; Wang, X.; Zhang, B.; Ruan, R.; Li, M.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Catalytic fast co-pyrolysis of bamboo sawdust and waste plastics for enhanced aromatic hydrocarbons production using synthesized CeO2/<gamma>-Al2O3 and HZSM-5." Energy Conversion and Management. (2019), 196, 759-767..
  • Lu, Kongyu; Hao, N; Meng, X.; Luo, Z.; Tuskan, G.A.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Investigating the correlation of biomass recalcitrance with pyrolysis oil using poplar as the feedstock." Bioresource Technology. (2019), 289, 121589.
  • Nie, K.; Song, Y.; Liu, S.; Han, G.; Ben, H.; Ragauskas, A.J.; Jiang, W., "Preparation and characterization of microcellulose and nanocellulose fibers from Artemisia vulgaris bast." Polymers. (2019), 11(5), 907.
  • Liu, S.; Han, J.; Wu, Q.; Bian, B.; Li, L.; Yu, S.; Song, J.; Zhang, C.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Hydrogenation of Phenol to Cyclohexanone over Bifunctional Pd/C-Heteropoly Acid Catalyst in the Liquid Phase." Catalysis Letters. (2019), 149(9), 2383-2389.
  • Liu, Z.H.; Shinde, S.D.; Xie, S.; Hao, N.; Lin, F.; Li, M.; Yoo, C.G.; Ragauskas, A.; Yuan, J.S., "Cooperative Valorization of Lignin and Residual Sugar to Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) for Enhanced Yield and Carbon Utilization in Biorefineries." Sustainable Energy & Fuels. (2019), Ahead of Print.
  • Wang, Y.Y.; Wyman, C.E.; Cai, C.M.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Lignin-based Polyurethanes from Unmodified Kraft Lignin Fractionated by Sequential Precipitation." ACS Applied Polymer Materials. (2019), 1(7), 1672-1679.
  • Hao, N.; Alper, K.; Tekin, K.; Karagoz, S.; Ragauskas, A.J., "One-pot transformation of lignocellulosic biomass into crude bio-oil with metal chlorides via hydrothermal and supercritical ethanol processing." Bioresource Technology. (2019), 288, 121500
  • "In-situ evaluation for upgrading of biomass model compounds over noble metal catalysts by isotopic tracing and NMR monitoring." Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis. (2019), Ahead of Print.
  • Meng, X.; Crestini, C.; Ben, H.; Hao, N.; Pu, Y.; Ragauskasa, A.J.; Argyropoulos, D.S., "Determination of hydroxyl groups in biorefinery resources via quantitative 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy." Nature Protocols. (2019), Accepted
  • Xie, S.; Sun, S.; Lin, F.; Li, M.; Pu, Y.; Cheng, Y.; Xu, B.; Liu, Z.; Sousa, L.C.; Dale, B.E.; Ragauskas, A.J.; Dai, S.Y.; Yuan, J.S., "Mechanism-guided design of highly efficient protein secretion and lipid conversion for biomanufacturing and biorefining." Advanced Science. (2019),
  • Xie, H.; Engle, N.L.; Venketachalam, S.; Yoo, C.G.; Barros, J.; Lecoultre, M.; Howard, N. N.; Li, G.; Sun, L.; Srivastava, A.C.; Pattathil, S.; Pu, Y.; Hahn, M.G.; Ragauskas, A.J.; Nelson, R.S.; Dixon, R.A.; Tschaplinski, T.J.; Blancaflor, E.B.;Tang, Y., "Combining loss of function of FOLYLPOLYGLUTAMATE SYNTHETASE1 and CAFFEOYL-COA 3-O-METHYLTRANSFERASE1 for lignin reduction and improved saccharification efficiency in Arabidopsis thaliana." Biotechnology for Biofuels. (2019) 12,108.
  • Wu, Q.; Gao, M.; Cao, S.; Hu, J.; Huang, L.; Yu, S.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Chitosan-based layered carbon materials prepared via ionic-liquid-assisted hydrothermal carbonization and their performance study." Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers. (2019), 101, 231-243.
  • Kothari, N.; Bhagia, S.; Zaher, M.; Pu, Y.; Mittal, A.; Yoo, C.G.; Himmel, M.E.; Ragauskas, A.J.; Kumar, R.; Wyman, C.E., "Cellulose hydrolysis by Clostridium thermocellum is agnostic to substrate structural properties in contrast to fungal cellulases." Green Chemistry. (2019), 21(10), 2810-2822.
  • Hou, Q.; Wang, X.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Preparation and characterization of nanocellulose-polyvinyl alcohol multilayer film by layer-by-layer method." Cellulose. (2019), 26(8), 4787-4798.
  • Dong, C.; Meng, X.; Yeung, C.S.; Tse, H.Y.; Ragauskas, A.; Leu, S.Y., "Diol pretreatment to fractionate a reactive lignin in lignocellulosic biomass biorefinery." Green Chemistry. (2019), 21(10), 2810-2822.
  • Tuskan, G.A.; Muchero, W.; Tschaplinski, T.J.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Population-level approaches reveal novel aspects of lignin biosynthesis, content, composition and structure." Current Opinion in Biotechnology. (2019), 56, 250-257.
  • Wang, X.; Bozell, J.J.; Feng, X.; Huang, J.; Chen, H.; Bozell, J.J; Li, Qian; Ragauskas, A.; Wang, S.; Mei, C., "Effect of solvent fractionation pretreatment on energy consumption of cellulose nanofabrication from switchgrass." Journal of Materials Science. (2019) 54(10), 8010-8022.
  • Liang, L.; Huang, C.; Hao, N.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Cross-linked poly(methyl vinyl ether-co-maleic acid)/poly(ethylene glycol)/nanocellulosics foams via directional freezing." Carbohydrate Polymers. (2019), 213, 346-351.
  • Ben, H.; Wu, Z.; Han, G.; Jiang, W.; Ragauskas, A., "Pyrolytic behavior of major biomass components in waste biomass." Polymers. (2019), 11(2), 324/1-324/16.
  • Evans, B.R.; Foston, M.; O'Neill, H.M.; Reeves, D.; Rempe, C.; McGrath, K.; Ragauskas, A.J.; Davison, B.H., "Production of deuterated biomass by cultivation of Lemna minor (duckweed) in D2O." Planta. (2019), 249(5), 1465-1475.
  • Giummarella, N.; Pu, Y.; Ragauskas, A.; Lawoko, M., "A critical review on the analysis of lignin carbohydrate bonds in plants." Green Chemistry. (2019) 20, 1573 - 1595.
  • Liu, Z.-H.; Le, R. K.; Kosa, M.; Yang, B.; Yuan, J.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Identifying and creating pathways to improve biological lignin valorization." Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews. (2019), 105, 349-362.
  • Huang, C.; Bhagia, S.; Hao, N.; Meng, X.; Liang, L.; Yong, Q.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Biomimetic composite scaffold from an in situ hydroxyapatite coating on cellulose nanocrystals." RSC Advances. (2019), 9(10), 5786-5793.
  • Wu, Q.; Zhang, G.; Gao, M.; Cao, S.; Li, Lu; Liu, S.; Xie, C.; Huang, L.; Yu, S.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Clean production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural from cellulose using a hydrothermal/biomass-based carbon catalyst." Journal of Cleaner Production. (2019), 213, 1096-1102.
  • Cao, X.; Li, L.; Shitao, Y.; Liu, S.; Hailong, Y.; Qiong, W.; Ragauskas, A.J., "Catalytic conversion of waste cooking oils for the production of liquid hydrocarbon biofuels using in-situ coating metal oxide on SBA-15 as heterogeneous catalyst." Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis. (2019), 138, 137-144.
  • Liu, Z.H.; Hao, N.; Shinde, S.; Olson, M.L.; Bhagia, S.; Dunlap, J.R.; Kao, K.C.; Kang, X.; Ragauskas, A.J.; Yuan, J.S., "Co-design of combinatorial organosolv pretreatment (COP) and lignin nanoparticles (LNPs) in biorefineries." ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. (2019), 7(2), 2634-2647.
  • Das, P.; Stoffel, R.B.; Area, M. C.; Ragauskas, A.J.,"Effects of one-step alkaline and two-step alkaline/dilute acid and alkaline/steam explosion pretreatments on the structure of isolated pine lignin." Biomass and Bioenergy. (2019), 120, 350-358.
  • Ben, H.; Wu, Z.; Han, G.; Jiang, W.; Ragauskas, A., "In-situ evaluation for upgrading of biomass over noble metal catalysts by isotopic tracing and NMR monitoring." Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis. (2019), 137, 253-258.

Selected Patents

  • Sannigrahi, P.; Ragauskas, A.J.; Miller, S. J. Chlorine dioxide treatment of biomass feedstock useful in production of biofuel ethanol. U.S. Pat. Appl. Publ. (2012), US 20120040413 A1 20120216; PCT Int. Appl. (2012), WO 2012021725 A1 20120216.
  • Ziemer, C.J.; Arcidiacono, S.; Ragauskas, A.; Morrison, M., Novel fibro-biotic bacterium isolate. U.S. Pat. Appl. Publ. (2011), US 20110076356 A1 Application: US 2009-569572 20090929. Priority: US 2009-569572 20090929.
  • Deng, Y.; Yoon, S.Y.; Ragauskas, A.; White, D., Methods and Compositions for Papermaking. U.S. Pat. 7,964,063 B2 (2011).
  • Ragauskas, Arthur J.; Kim, Dong Ho., Metal Substituted Xerogels for Improved Peroxide Bleaching of Kraft Pulps. U.S. Pat. Appl. Publ. (2003), CODEN: USXXCO US 2003019596 A1 20030130 CAN 138:108518 AN 2003:77170.
  • Chakar, F.S; Ragauskas, A.J., Methods for Reducing Fluorescence in Paper-Containing Samples. Patent # 6,294,047 B1 & 6,387,211 B1 (2001).