Research Interests

Research in support of commercialization of cellulosic biofuels and bioproducts

Cellulosic biomass is a promising feedstock for the production of advanced biofuels mandated by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. Cellulose, a structural component in energy crop, agricultural residues and municipal solid wastes is highly abundant and shown to reduce net carbon dioxide emission from fuel production by more than 50 % as compared to the production of gasoline. Commercial-scale production of cellulosic biofuels, however, is limited, with a projected global production of up to 85 million gallons/year by the end of 2014, meeting less than 1% of the Renewable Fuels Standard goal of 36 billion gallons in 2022. The bottleneck for commercialization of cellulosic biofuels is still the high cost of saccharifying cellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars, a process that requires thermal chemical pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. Dr. Jeoh’s research is motivated by the unaswered questions hindering commercialization of the bioconversion of cellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals.

Current Research Projects

  • Understanding the mechanism of cellulose hydrolysis by cellulase enzymes
  • Understanding and predicting how biomass pretreatment affects cellulase accessibility to cellulose in lignocellulosic biomass
  • Understanding the role of the rheology of saccharification reactions on hydrolysis kinetics

Ion-Mediated Cross-Linked Spray-Dry Microencapsulation

Encapsulation of bioactive compounds in cross-linked matrices such as alginate matrices cross-linked by calcium ions is a common and effective means to confer long term protection of the compounds and control targeted delivery of the compounds in the gastrointestinal tract.  Current encapsulation methods, however, are multi-step processes that are expensive to scale-up. Dr. Jeoh and members of her lab have developed a new technology to allow direct cross-linking of alginates during spray-drying, thus allowing industrial-scale encapsulation of bioproducts (proteins, cells, probiotics, neutraceuticals etc).

Current Research Projects

  • Investigating a new strategy for effective and inexpensive delivery of lipophilic bioactives in foods

Recent Publications from the Jeoh Lab

Jeoh Laboratory


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