BPI Seminar by Prof. Hiroshi Kamitakahara

August 9, 2024, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Etherification-triggered Fractionation of Lignocellulosic Biomass

Location: CHBE #202, 2360 East Mall Vancouver BC V6T 1Z4


  • 12:00pm Intro by Prof. Feng Jiang
  • 12:05pm Presentation by Prof. Hiroshi Kamitakahara, Forest and Biomaterials Science, Kyoto University
  • 12:45pm Q&A


Utilization of biomass is paid attention to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The most common method to prepare cellulose from woody biomass is Kraft pulping process. Cellulose is now of particular interests as cellulosic nano materials such as cellulose nanofibers and cellulose nanocrystals. In contrast, lignin and hemicellulose is burnt in the Kraft process to collect energy. Lignin-first approach is also of academic and industrial importance to develop natural aromatic compounds. However, Hemicellulose is rarely isolated as a polymeric compound from woody biomass. We have therefore developed a new methodology to produce cellulose-, lignin-, and hemicellulose-based materials separately from woody biomass via 1 step reaction. This method will contribute to explore novel biomass-based functional materials. 

About the Speaker

Hiroshi Kamitakahara is a professor of Chemistry of Composite Materials in Division of Forest and Biomaterials Science, Graduate School of Agriculture, at Kyoto University. His work focuses specifically on cellulose-based block copolymers. His current interest is centered on fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass via etherification. Ultimate goal of his research is to replace petroleum-based materials with biomass-based materials.

His BS, MS, and PhD degrees were earned at Kyoto University. Title of his Ph.D thesis is ‚ÄúSynthetic Studies of Stereoregular Polysaccharides -Influence of Substituent Group on Ring-Opening Polymerization‚ÄĚ, supervised by Prof. Fumiaki Nakatsubo. He spent 10 months at RIKEN, Japan, supervised Prof. Chi-Huey Wong (Scripps Research Institute) in 1996. He started his academic carrier as an Assistant Professor in 1997 at Kyoto University. He was awarded Humboldt Research Fellowship, and conducted research at Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena, supervised by Prof. Dieter Klemm. In 2018, he was promoted to full Professor at Kyoto University. His recent recognition includes Cellulose Society of Japan Award in 2022.

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