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College of Natural Resources

Sunkyu Park

Assistant Professor

Department of Forest Biomaterials

Biltmore Hall (Robertson Wing) 3103


  • 2016 Visiting Professor, KAIST
  • 2015~ present, Associate Professor, North Carolina State University
  • 2011 ~ present, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Seoul National University
  • 2009 ~ present, Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University
  • 2007 ~ 2008, Postdoctoral Researcher, Bioenergy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • 2006 ~ 2007, Postdoctoral Researcher, Bioenergy, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • 2006, Ph.D., Pulp and Paper, North Carolina State University
  • 2001, M.S., Pulp and Paper, Seoul National University, Korea
  • 1997, B.S., Forest Products, Seoul National University, Korea


  • PSE 355 Pulp and Paper Unit Processes I
  • PSE 425 Bioenergy and Biomaterials Engineering
  • WPS 760 Engineering Unit Operations for Biomass Conversion

Research Interests

His research is focused on the fundamental understanding of lignocellulosic biomass reactivity (changes in biomass chemistry/structure and their effects on conversion process) for both biochemical and thermochemical conversion processes into biofuels.

  • Thermal pretreatment and its effect on fast pyrolysis. Thermal pretreatment of biomass such as torrefaction has a potential to be integrated with fast pyrolysis and gasification operation. His research is focused on the characterization of biomass chemistry/structure changes during thermal pretreatment and the evaluation of bio-oil quality when torrefied biomass is used.
  • Cellulose crystalline structure and its allomorphs. Fundamental understanding of cellulose crystalline structure is critical for many applications such as paper, textiles, chemicals, and bioenergy. Recently we have applied new technology (sum-frequency-generation vibration spectroscopy) together with x-ray diffraction and solid-state NMR to elucidate its structure. SFG spectroscopy can selectively detect cellulose crystalline structure without interference from hemicellulose and lignin.
  • Biomass post-treatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. Inefficient enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass is largely due to the recalcitrant nature of lignocellulosic biomass. This study focuses on identifying the physico-chemical properties of biomass responsible for low conversion efficiency and developing post-treatment operations to overcome recalcitrant issues.


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