Welcome to Tze’s Laboratory Webpage

What we do:

Our laboratory is generally interested in the utilization of biomass solid wastes for adhesive and materials applications.  We advance biomass utilization by using nanotechnology and simplified treatments.  One recent endeavor is converting, without pre-purification, the lignin-rich residues of cellulosic biofuels production into a fully biobased, heat-curable wood adhesive.  We also chemically modify and mechanically fibrillate wood biomass to obtain micron- and nano-sized fibers for use as functional or/and reinforcing materials. Throughout these research efforts, we examine the structure-performance relationship of the products pertaining to their processing parameters and service conditions.

Recent News:

Sep 5, 2023 – Tze's research group welcomes the joining of BBE undergraduate student Kyle Wist. Kyle is funded by the UMN Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) to work on lignin-based adhesive for wood bonding. 

Mar 26, 2023 – Nihar presented (virtually) a poster on a nano-filled, compatibilizer-enabled biodegradable polymer [poly(butylene succinate)] at the American Chemical Society Spring Conference.

Sep 8, 2022 – Nihar Sakhadeo joined Tze's Lab as a PhD student working on lignin-based nanocomposites. Nihar came from the Nordic Master's Program in Polymer Technology jointly offered by KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) and Alto University (Finland). Welcome, Nihar!

Feb 24, 2022 – The Tze group welcomes undergraduate chemistry student Suna Jo. Suna's research will be on biobased heat storage materials.

Jan 18, 2022 – BBE undergraduate student Lauren Mecum joined the Tze group to work on lignin-toughened polymeric nanocomposites. She is funded by the UMN Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Welcome, Lauren!

Aug 18, 2021 – The Tze group published a paper on making "binderless films from lignin-rich residues of enzymatic saccharification", with contributions from university colleagues and a researcher from Seoul National University.

May 17, 2021 – The Tze group welcomes undergraduate research assistant Claire Mikkelson. Clare will be researching micro-nanofiber boards and other related products.

Apr 5, 2021 – Hsin-Chen presented (virtually) a poster on resin-free nano-fiberboard at the American Chemical Society Spring Conference.

Dec 2, 2020 – Dr. Tze presented (virtually) an invited talk about wood solid waste utilization to the Wood Science and Engineering Graduate Seminar, Oregon State University.

Sep 16, 2020 – The Tze group welcomes the joining of Hsin-Chen Chen, who brings with her the experience of nanocellulose composite research from National Taiwan University. She will work on resin-free bonding of wood microfiber. Welcome aboard, Hsin-Chen!

Apr 30, 2020 – Dr. Tze co-authored a paper with researchers from the Laboratory of Biocomposite Materials Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, on using nanocellulose to enhance properties of a polymeric material used in artwork conservation.

Jul 9, 2019 – Dr. Tze presented a poster in the 6th Global Conference on Polymer and Composite Materials, Bangkok about enhancing wet strength property of water-soluble polymer using microfibrillated wood.

Jun 4, 2019 – Dr. Tze presented his research on "crosslinking and carbonization of electrospun lignosulfonate fiber" in the 2019 International Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials in Chiba, Japan. This research was in collaboration with National Taiwan University's Laboratory of Biocomposite Materials Science and Technology.

Mar 23, 2019 – The Tze lab published an article on the morphological and rheological behaviors of micro-nanofibrillated wood in Cellulose

Oct 18, 2018 – Dr. Tze presented a talk in Taiwan's 107th Forest Resource Sustainability Development on the subject of utilizing saccharification waste for wood adhesive. 

Feb 6, 2018 – Hafez successfully defended his dissertaion on the conversion and utilization of the hardwood solid waste stream of  bio-alcohol (fermentable sugars) production for wood adhesive applications. Congratulations, Dr. Hafez!

Oct 30 & Nov 2, 2017 – Hafez presented a poster on conductive polymer composites and a talk on biobased adhesives in the 2017 AIChE Annual Meeting.

Jun 12, 2017 – Research of Dr. Tze's group was highlighted on the front cover page of the Journal of Applied Polymer Science, volume 134, issue 35 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/app.v134.35/issuetoc).

All News

Photos of nanomaterials.