Kecheng Li   2011 University Research Scholar Award Recipient

Since joining UNB, Dr. Li has quickly established the “Advanced Surface Analysis for Pulp Fibres and Paper Initiative” program which is supported by CFI-New Opportunity Fund in collaboration with NBIF and Irving Paper. The research lab houses more than one million dollars worth of equipment and established solid research infrastructure in the area which is unique in Atlantic Canada.

With his strong background in wood chemistry and pulp and paper, Dr. Li has formed a strategic research program tackling technical issues facing the mechanical pulping industry. The program focuses on reducing process energy consumption while improving the quality of mechanical pulp. This project has been strongly funded by several key industrial players such as Tembec, Irving, NewPage and the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, and also by the world leader in mechanical pulping technologies, Novozymes North America (USA), in collaboration with NSERC and AIF.

With his expertise in advanced surface techniques and enzymatic processing of wood, Dr. Li has initiated another research program which develops novel technologies for producing second-generation bioethanol from wood and agriculture biomass.

Dr. Li proposes to develop new biomechanical technologies for the pre-treatment of woody biomass for biofuel production – an approach which promises lower energy consumption and less reliance on other chemicals in the processing. Based upon a solid theoretical foundation, the research would make an important contribution to the scientific and engineering communities in Canada, have significant commercialization potential, and would employ up to 5 highly qualified people.

Greg Kealey
Vice-President (Research) and Provost