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Dr. Chang Geun Yoo

Dr. Chang Geun Yoo Honored with Exemplary Researcher Award

Syracuse, N.Y. – The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), one of the nation’s premier colleges focused exclusively on the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable future, named Dr. Chang Geun Yoo Exemplary Researcher for 2023-2024.

ESF’s Exemplary Researcher Award recognizes successful, currently active researchers with exemplary research activity, publication record, and a graduate/undergraduate student mentorship program.

“Dr. Yoo’s dedication to advancing scientific knowledge and pushing the boundaries of innovation is truly inspiring,” said Joanie Mahoney, ESF President. “His contributions to the field of biofuels and sustainable energy will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on future generations of engineers especially those he is educating at ESF.”

Yoo joined ESF's Department of Chemical Engineering in 2018. His Biorefinery Engineering Laboratory focuses on the development of biomass utilization strategies for sustainable, renewable, and eco-friendly products including fuels, chemicals, and materials. His research contributions to the field of sustainable chemical engineering are extraordinary. He has contributed to 120-plus peer-reviewed journal articles and nine book chapters

Yoo’s work has appeared in several of the best journals in his field including ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, ACS Catalysis, ACS Energy Letters, Green Chemistry, ChemSusChem, and Chemical Engineering Journal.

His research achievements have been acknowledged with several research awards: National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory UT-Battelle Award & Supplementary Performance Award (ORNL), and Research Excellence Award (Iowa State University). His recent papers were awarded the 2020 Best Paper Award (Applied Sciences) and Article Award 2020 (Bioresource Technology). He has served as an associate editor in Frontiers in Chemical Engineering journal and also participated as a guest editor in several special issues in Frontiers in Energy Research, Energies, Applied Sciences, and Frontiers in Chemical Engineering.

Yoo is a leading researcher in the sustainable biorefinery research field. His lignin-derived deep eutectic solvents are promising in future eco-manufacturing applications by replacing petroleum-based solvents and valorizing an underutilized biomass component (i.e., lignin) in the current biorefinery industry. This solvent system can significantly contribute to the sustainability and carbon neutrality of our society.

His research is not just about finding a new solvent system for higher yield and better performance. Yoo has investigated the fundamental understanding of the formation and characteristics of deep eutectic solvents with various combinations of hydrogen bond acceptors and donors. He believes that this deep and fundamental knowledge can allow researchers to design and customize future industrial solvents based on specific needs. These research achievements have been highlighted in his papers in Green Chemistry and ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering as a journal cover.

Yoo has been awarded several grants from NSF, the Department of Energy (DOE), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and others in total approximately $2.5M. His major research funders are NSF CAREER (2023), NSF CBET (two awards, 2021, 2023), DOE ARPA-E (2022), DOE EERE (2023), USDA McIntire Stennis (2021, 2022), USDA STTR (2023), Clarkson/SUNY ESF Healthy Water Solution (2021, 2022, 2023), and Inha University Research and Business Foundation (2022).

Yoo actively contributes to the chemical engineering professional societies such as the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) as a division director (AIChE 2022-2025), a session chair (AIChE 2021, ACS 2021, AIChE 2019 annual meetings), a junior mentor for AIChE Future Faculty Mentoring Program (2020-2022), a poster competition judge (AIChE 2017), and ACS ENFL Programming Committee (2021-Present). He also provided several invited talks, including ACS Energy and Fuels Division Monthly Invited Talk Series in 2021.


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is dedicated to the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable and resilient future through design, policy, and management of the environment and natural resources. Members of the College community share a passion for protecting the health of the planet and a deep commitment to the rigorous application of science to improve the way humans interact with the world. The College offers academic programs ranging from the associate of applied science to the Doctor of Philosophy. ESF students live, study and do research on the main campus in Syracuse, N.Y., and on 25,000 acres of field stations in a variety of ecosystems across the state.