Associate Prof.


Areas of Interest


Research Interests

My research interests focus on the application of physical, chemical and biological principles for the production of biofuels and valuable bio-based chemicals from agri-/forest residues and other low cost feedstocks.

I am exploring the applications of ultrasound technology in biorenewables, particularly cellulosic biomass, corn and cassava pretreatment to enhance enzymatic hydrolysis for higher ethanol yield. The ultrasound pretreatment could reduce the enzyme loading, enhance the sugar release rate and thus reduce the overall processing time and cost for biofuel production.

I am evaluating fungal process for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol. We have successfully demonstrated that the use of white-rot - Phanerochaete chrysosporium and brown-rot - Gloeophyllum trabeum molds could convert cornstover/switchgrass into fermentable sugars during solid-state fermentation. This research has significant potential in reducing the pretreatment and the enzyme costs for cellulosic ethanol production without generation of inhibitory compounds.

I am also investigating bioenergy production potential of residues from cellulosic ethanol plants. The organic-rich stream has a potential to produce biomethane to meet the energy need of the plant. In another industrial-funded research, I am evaluating the fungal process for converting the co-products from corn-based ethanol plants into high value fungal biomass. The concept can also be applied to co-products from other biofuel and food processing industries. The protein-rich fungal biomass can be used as an animal feed due to high lysine and protein content. The fungal biomass also serves as an ideal source of chitin/chitosan. We are exploring the potential of on-site fungal enzyme production for cellulosic-ethanol plant. This will add new paradigm that could lead to consolidated bioprocessing efforts, which features cellulase production, cellulose hydrolysis, and ethanol fermentation in a single step.

I am exploring the use of innovative reactor design to enhance gas solubility during syngas fermentation. Other research arenas that I have considerable interest and experience are nisin production from soywhey, ultrasound application in food processing, biohydrogen and butanol production from agri-residues and high-rate anaerobic system for bioenergy generation.

Teaching Interests

Fundamentals of Bioprocess Engineering; Biorenewable Resources Engineering; Biomass Conversion for Energy and Chemicals; Anaerobic Biotechnology for Bioenergy Production; Renewable Energy Systems; Biobased Products and Bioprocessing.

Professional Positions and Academic Experiences

Professional Societies and Services


New Release/Press Clippings:



Book Chapters

This report provides complete guide towards bioenergy/biofuel production in Hawaii.

Khanal, S. K., Turn S. and Kinoshita, C. 2009. Conversion technology. In Hawaii Bioenergy Master Plan Report.

Refereed Journals
(A) Published, In-press and Accepted Papers
Year 2010

Year 2009

Year 2008

 Year 2007

Year 2006

Year 2005

Year 2004

Year 2003

(B) Submitted Papers

Technical Presentations (Without Proceedings)

Invited/ Guest Speaker