Doctoral Dissertation

12.12.2018: Non-wood materials as starting materials of the biorefinery (Ullah)


12.12.2018 12:00 — 16:00

Location: Ylistonrinne , KEM4
Release: 12.12.2018: Non-wood materials as starting materials of the biorefinery (Ullah)
The primary aim of modern biorefinery studies is to develop more selective and environmentally friendly processes for the efficient conversion of lignocellosic materials into value-added products for industrial chemicals.

M.Sc. Saleem Ullah’s doctoral thesis in the field of applied chemistry deals with the utilization of popular Asian and European non-wood materials, such as wheat straw (Triticum aestivum), okra stalk (Abelmoschus esculentus), and giant miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus, a hybrid of M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus) to assess their suitability for integrated lignocellulosic biorefining.

Using agricultural waste

The studied concept comprised was a two-stage process. The first stage was hot-water extraction of raw materials when it was leading acidic hydrolysates. Acidic hydrolysates processed by soda-AQ delignification of the pre-treated raw material. This was leading to alkaline black liquors. The chemical composition and possible utilization of all the potential by-streams generated during the both process stages were taken into consideration. The results showed that the pre-treatment step characteristically affected the subsequent soda-AQ pulping. This kind of biorefining approach offered attractive possibilities for boosting the utilization of agricultural residues by producing a broad spectrum of organic compounds for example carbohydrates, aliphatic carboxylic acids, and lignin as feedstocks for industrial chemicals.

- Thus, for example, carbohydrates could be readily recovered from the hot-water-extraction hydrolysates from the all feedstocks, whereas aliphatic acids and lignin could be primarily found in the okra and wheat soda black liquors, respectively, says Ullah.

M.Sc. Saleem Ullah defends his doctoral dissertation in Applied Chemistry "Advanced Biorefinery Concepts Related to Non-wood Feedstocks" on 12.12.2018 at 12:00 in the lecture hall KEM4 at Ylistönrinne. Opponent Professor Timo Repo (University of Helsinki) and Custos Professor Raimo Alén (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.

Saleem Ullah obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Textile Engineering in 2007 from the National Textile University, Faisalabad, Pakistan and in 2011 completed his Master’s degree in Applied Chemistry at the University of Jyväskylä. After working for a while as a research trainee in the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), he started doctoral studies in Applied Chemistry in 2014 at the University of Jyväskylä including during 2016 three-month research mobility to the State University of New York, USA.

More information:

  • Saleem Ullah,, +358 44 9353957
  • Communication officer Elina Leskinen,, +358 50 581 8351

The dissertation is published in the Department of Chemistry, University of Jyväskylä, Research Report No. 211, 57 p., Jyväskylä 2018, ISBN 978-951-39-7579-1(print); ISBN 978-951-39-7580-7 (online), ISSN 0357-346X. Link to thesis:

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Saleem Ullah

Doctoral Student