Skip to main content

Lucian Lucia


Biltmore Hall (Robertson Wing) 3108


– Professor, NCSU (USA)
– Distinguished Professor of Green Chemistry, Qilu University of  Technology (PR China)
– Foreign Talent Professor, Jiangnan University (PR China)
– Fulbright Scholar (Brazil)

Twitter | @WolfPackBark
Research Group |,
Open Access Publication Site |
BioResources |

Dr. Lucian A. Lucia currently serves as Professor in the Departments of Forest Biomaterials (Wood & Paper Science) and Chemistry and as a faculty in the programs of Fiber & Polymer Science and Environmental Sciences at North Carolina State University. His laboratory, The Laboratory of Soft Materials & Green Chemistry, probes fundamental materials science topics focused on the green chemistry of renewable polymers. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Florida for modeling photoinduced charge separation states of novel Rhenium (I)-based organometallic ensembles as a first order approximation of photosynthesis.

He began his professional career as an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology examining the mechanism of singlet oxygen’s chemistry with lignin & cellulose.

A large part of his recent work has been focused on the chemical modification of cellulosics for biomedical applications.

He teaches Forest Biomaterials Chemistry (WPS 723), From Papyrus to Plasma Screens: Paper & Society (PSE 220), Green Chemistry (PSE/CH 335), and the FB Graduate Student Seminar Series (WPS 590/790) at NCSU while teaching Wood Chemistry and Green Chemistry at Qilu University of Technology in PR China.

He has co-founded and co-edits an open-access international research journal, BioResources, that is dedicated to original research articles, reviews, and editorials on the fundamental science & engineering and advanced applications of lignocellulosic materials.

Area(s) of Expertise

Green chemistry, fiber and polymer science, environmental sciences, materials science, renewable polymers, chemical modification of cellulosics for biomedical applications


View all publications 


Date: 02/06/19 - 2/05/29
Amount: $15,960.00
Funding Agencies: International Corrugated Packing Foundation (ICPF)

Our proposal will address all three ICPF priority areas. We will ensure that students learn and perform structural design, prototyping, and techno-economic analysis to understand how design, material types/additives, and processes (analog vs. digital) affects product performances, economics, and sustainability aspect. We will also encourage students to take elective courses in sales and marketing.

Date: 01/01/22 - 12/31/24
Amount: $649,257.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

The overarching objective of this proposal is to systematically assess the potential of industrial hemp diversification in multi-scale bioproducts and biochemicals. We will assess several high-value uses, which are essential oils extraction and multi-scale lignocellulosic fibers, nanocellulose, coatings, and composites for bioproducts such as food packaging products.

Date: 06/30/20 - 12/31/24
Amount: $27,222.00
Funding Agencies: VentureWell (formerly know as National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance)

Abstract: With the inevitable coming of the Green Economy, biomass valorization, use of renewable and bio-based materials and development of high-performance, recyclable, biodegradable and biocompatible products are nowadays’ challenges and opportunities to welcome a more sustainable society. Yet, to hasten its arrival, we must answer the daunting question of how we transform these challenges to opportunities? By educating new generations of students to the multiplicity of opportunities or “multiverse” of biomass, from a scientific and engineering perspective to an entrepreneurial vision. The Department of Forest Biomaterials has decades of expertise in conversion and valorization of biomass into new fuels/energies and high-performance biomaterials that offer solutions to greenhouse gas emissions, environmental and aquatic pollution and waste accumulation.We propose to leverage our graduate curriculum by adding an entrepreneurial and business competency to its strong scientific and engineering core. Our envisioned integrated program aims at educating Master and PhD students from NC State University, and others (via an online version) by training them in the principles, practices and methodologies of biomass valorization, conversion, and usage.

Date: 07/15/21 - 12/14/23
Amount: $358,048.00
Funding Agencies: Eastman Chemical Company

We will perform an investigative review of the abrasion phenomenon in Tritan polymers as part of providing a potential solution. Based on the mechanistic information obtained, we will circumvent surface (abrasion) damage by adopting an innovative surface chemistry approach: we will incorporate friction-dissipating macromolecular dendron assemblies (we will refer to them as “tribophores”) either on the surface or within the bulk of the polyester backbone.

Date: 11/15/18 - 11/14/23
Amount: $238,500.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

Led by the Department of Forest Biomaterials in collaboration with the Departments of Forestry, Business Management and Science Education at NC State University; this proposal will develop an educational program for a new generation of technology-to-commercialization researchers who will graduate with the expertise to perform risk analysis and develop risk management strategies across the value chain of biomass supply, biobased materials, and biofuels manufacturing to meet current and future national needs that will ultimately advance the nascent bioeconomy of the United States. Previous studies indicate that a limited number of companies in the forest product industry perform risk analysis for their decision-making process. We do believe that this small adoption rate is due to lack of awareness of the importance of risk analysis and risk management for effective/efficient R&D planning and investment and lack of expertise (people trained) to perform risk analysis across the whole supply chain. This proposal supports TESA in “Agricultural Management and Economics”, in the discipline of Environmental Sciences/Management. Three Ph.D. students will be trained to analyze and propose mitigation strategies for current and future risks inherent to the bioeconomy. To considerably amplify the effect of this proposal, prospective fellows and project directors will deliver educational workshops in risk analysis and management targeting the biobased community across the U.S., while the proposal is expected to be completed in three years, project director expects to keep the program as a permanent teaching/research program. This proposed program supports USDA-NIFA Goal “Catalyze exemplary and relevant research, education and extension programs”.

Date: 10/01/21 - 9/30/23
Amount: $1,001,531.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Energy (DOE) - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

This project will focus on rapid/real-time analysis of domestic heterogeneous municipal biomass waste utilizing AI-Enabled Hyperspectral Imaging for developing conversion ready feedstock into cost effective and sustainable biofuel for selling price under $2.50 per gallon gasoline equivalent (GGE) by 2030. Municipal solid waste (MSW) is considered as an abundant potential source for biomass. This biomass, if used as a feedstock for fuel conversion operation will promote the sustainable fuel production and lower the prices. The heterogeneity of the MSW based on locations and time period can affect the biofuels or bioproducts. Therefore, the characterization of the MSW feedstock at macro and microlevel in terms of chemical and physical composition, at different speeds of conveyor system, at different times and collection sites will be studied.

Date: 06/01/21 - 5/31/23
Amount: $243,960.00
Funding Agencies: Pepsico, Inc.

In year 1 of our project, we will explore the nature of cholesteric phases incellulose crystal tactoids by controlling a series of ambient parameters to allow us to probe how the chiral nematic pitch changes over time, as a function of aspect ratio relative to Debye-Huckel lengths (ionic strength modulation), and DNA templating.

Date: 07/01/21 - 12/31/22
Amount: $28,778.00
Funding Agencies: Pepsico, Inc.

This research collaboration aims to develop a bio-based moisture barrier layer for multilayer packaging. More especially, two bio-sourced components of hydrophobic characteristic and chemical compatibility will be combined as a coating formulation for metal-based and polyester-based substrates. The barrier properties of this layer will be fully characterized. The NCSU team will elaborate the formulation and test it on model substrates; some provided by the sensor Pepsico. Pepsico will test the formulation in their facility and schedule pilot-scale trials to test the lab-made formulation under required conditions.

Date: 10/22/18 - 12/31/22
Amount: $220,000.00
Funding Agencies: Kemira Chemicals

This project will innovate fiber products by engineered chemical and mechanical modification of eucalyptus hardwood pulp furnish. Through appropriate manipulation of chemistry and mechanical refinement, the following objectives will be targeted: 1) The surface of tissue fibers will be endowed with a bulkier and softer hand feel; 2) Concurrently, the chemistry and/or mechanical refinement will lead to minimal strength loss; 3) Bound water removal will also be enhanced to expedite drainage and machine efficiency.

Date: 07/01/20 - 10/31/22
Amount: $59,970.00
Funding Agencies: Ohio State University

Here, we propose a new sustainable packaging solution as a recyclable alternative to plastic substrates that exploits and combines the intrinsic properties of renewable materials for the development of barrier and transparent plastic-like films. We will focus in particular on two types of cheap, abundant, and renewable materials: (i) bacterial cellulose, synthesized by bacteria or algae, which can be easily grown and bioengineered, and (ii) alginate, a polymer extracted from brown algae; both of which are GRAS approved substances. This project will study the effect of weight ratios, salt addition, pH, and possible need of green plasticizers (e.g., glycerol) on the properties of the composite films under varying conditions by mimicking refrigerator, ambient, and microwave conditions, with a direct comparison to commercial plastic food films. The potential release of any of the used polymeric materials and plasticizers to solid and liquid food will be investigated. As a first step towards the design of green aseptic packaging substrates, the film stability against different aseptic technologies (e.g., U.V. radiation, hydrogen peroxide and hot air) will be studied. To this end, a third low-cost, renewable GRAS protein, namely (iii) zein, will also be considered in the last part of this project as a possible way to make up for any lack in the performance of the bacterial cellulose/alginate films with respect to water resistance, thermal stability, and heat-sealing properties

View all grants