Ning Yanmain-2

Ph.D., P.Eng., Professor
Endowed Value-Added Wood and Composite Chair

Room: ES3037
Tel: (416) 946 8070, Fax: (416) 978 3834


Research Interests:

Professor Yan specializes in forest-based biomaterials science and composites, bio-based adhesives and adhesion, digital printing, and surface sciences of paper.  Currently, her research group is focused on developing novel environmentally-friendly green bio-based composites, producing green chemicals using renewable forestry biomass as feedstock, and engineering the next generation high valued paper based products.

Professor Yan is cross-appointed to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and is a founding member of the Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing in the Faculty of Forestry. She is also an Associate Director of the Pulp and Paper Centre at the University of Toronto.

Areas of study:

  • Green chemicals and adhesives from forestry biomass conversion,
  • Green bio-based composites and products from renewable forestry resources,
  • Development of novel nanocellulose crystal based composite films,
  • Development of light weight sandwich panels for construction and automotive applications,
  • Paper-based inexpensive sensors and devices,
  • Bark Biorefinery project.

Please feel free to contact Prof. Yan if you are interested in joining her research group.


Green Chemicals and Adhesives from Forestry Biomass Conversion

With increasing global concern over depletion of non-renewable fossil fuel and rising price for petroleum and petroleum derived products, there is a strong interest worldwide in developing suitable technologies that can derive fuel and chemicals from renewable biomass resources, i.e. using forestry biomass as a feed stock for “bio-refinery”. Currently we are working on converting forest biomass waste residue, such as bark, as feed stock to produce bio-based green chemicals and novel adhesives for applications in building products. Meanwhile, work is also underway to develop bark based novel panel products.

Green Bio-Based Composites and Products from Renewable Forestry Resources

Wood and other bio-fibers have the advantages of having relatively high stiffness, low density, moderate cost over other glass and inorganic fibers. More importantly, they are renewable and nearly carbon neutral. Bio-fiber composites can be used to replace conventional glass fiber reinforced composites in some building and automotives applications. However, there are a number of technical challenges related to this type of composites limiting their usage in more demanding higher end structural applications. Key issues include interface incompatibility, high moisture absorption, poor dimensional stability, and other processing related problems. Over the years, we have done a number of studies to understand the relationship between composite structure and performance and to enhance the interfacial adhesion. Currently we are working on using nano-clay to improve dimensional stability and thermal stability of the bio-fiber composites and investigating the effect of composite processing conditions on fiber characteristics. Work is also underway to combine biofibers with biopolymer to develop novel green biodegradable composites.

Development of Novel Nanocellulose Crystal Based Composite Films

Recently there is a strong interest in utilizing nanocellulosic crystal materials to develop novel films and composites. The nanocellulose crystal has a very high stiffness and good aspect ratio and some unique optical characteristics. In addition, they are derived from the renewable biomass. Our group is currently working on developing novel nanocellulosic fiber based composite films with unique functionalities. 

Development of Light Weight Sandwich Panels for Construction and Automotive Applications

The panel industry and secondary furniture industries that use panel products in Canada are currently facing an intensive competitive pressure from overseas. With proper engineering design and unique light weight structural features, wood fiber resources in these novel sandwich panels can be more effectively used and the performance of each component can be maximized. We are currently working on developing FEM models, which can help us identify optimum structural parameters of this type of sandwich panels for furniture and shelving applications and on developing novel prototype light weight panels for automotive applications.

Paper-based Inexpensive Sensors and Devices

Bioactive papers are high value-added fiber-based products incorporating an advanced biological functionality capable of identifying, capturing and/or inactivating a specific target analyte. We are currently working on the efficacy of using inkjet technology for developing bioactive papers and to better understand the performance of paper as bioagent immobilization support.



Graduate Students

6Heyu Chen (Ph.D)
Production of value-added green chemical products from tree barks

Heyu Chen joined Professor Yan’s group in September 2014 as a Ph.D. student. He received his Bachelor and Master’s degree in Beijing Forestry University. Now his research focuses on the production of value-added green chemical products from tree barks. The use of natural renewable resources has attracted increasing worldwide attention as the environmental crisis and its associated socio-ecological burden are becoming a great concern. Bark, a nonfood-related biomass material available in large quantities, is a promising raw material. In addition to conducting the scientific works, Heyu likes playing badminton, go hiking, and reading in his spare time.

khanMariam Khan (M.Sc.F)

Organic-Inorganic Hybrid composites for construction applications

Mariam joined Prof. Yan’s research group in September 2014 as a Masters student with interests in novel composite systems as sustainable alternatives in the construction industry. Hybridizing organic and inorganic materials is a new approach being explored to achieve required material properties with less material cost. With background in Materials Engineering, Mariam will focus her research on studying the material properties and behaviours of mineral wool hybrid composites.

lanYongqiang Lan (Ph.D) 

Preparation of Cellulose Composite/PDMS Composite Membranes for Recovering Ethanol by Pervaporation

Yongqiang Lan joined Professor Yan’s group in September 2014 as a visiting student. He received Bachelor (2008) and Master (2013) degrees from Northeast Forestry University. His project focuses on the composite pervaporation membrane for recovering ethanol. Yongqiang’s interests include research, reading and basketball.


Paper-Based Sensors for Detecting Food Spoilage

Nicolas joined Professor Ning Yan’s group in January 2012 as a research assistant and first focused on the synthesis of bark-modified phenol-formaldehyde resins, which represent a cost effective and more sustainable alternative to conventional adhesives for wood products. Nicolas started his Ph.D in January 2014 and shifted his focus to the development of novel battery-free wireless sensors for the detection of biogenic amines, a marker for food spoilage. Nicolas’ hobbies include playing soccer and table tennis, enjoying music festival and going out with his friends.

Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Associates and Assistants

prashantDr. Prashant Chahuan

Nanocellulose derivatives for advanced applications

Prashant received his Bachelor (2008) and Master (2010) degrees in Organic Chemistry from University of Delhi, India. He completed his PhD degree (2013) from Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padua, Italy. In 2014, he joined Prof Yan’s group and his present research focuses on nanocellulose derivatives for advanced applications. Prashant’s hobbies include cooking, travelling, music and adventurous sports.

people_0clip_image016Dr. Pei-Yu Kuo

Nanocellulose Crystal Based Super-capacitor

Pei-Yu received her B.A.Sc. (2006) and M.A.Sc. (2008) from the National Taiwan University and completed her Ph.D. (2015) at the University of Toronto where she studied bark-derived epoxy resins and the application of cellulose nanofibers. Her publications cover several fields: wood-plastic composites, plastic molding technology, bio-derived epoxy resins and cellulose nanofibers. Her current research interest is fabricating paper-based electrical elements for energy storage application. One of her projects is to develop a novel cellulose nanofiber-based super-capacitor with high mechanical performance and great sustainability.

nairDr. Sandeep Sudhakaran Nair

Bio-based advanced nanostructures

Nair completed his PhD in Advanced Materials Research from the University of Tennessee, USA in 2012. He worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow for two years at School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia. During this time, he also worked as a visiting scientist in USDA Forest Products Lab, Fiber and Chemical Sciences Research unit, Madison, Wisconsin. His current research focusses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of biomass derived polymers for high performance applications.

Dr. Nikhil Patil

Lignin-based Green Chemistry



Refereed journal publications (last five years, # is the cumulative total)

98. Thierry Koumbi Mounanga, Paul A. Cooper, Ning Yan, Kevin Groves, Brigitte Leblon, and Tony Ung, “Prediction of Boron content in wood pellet products by near infrared spectroscopy’, Forest Products Journal, 66(1-2): 37-43, 2016

97. Nikhil D. Patil, Ning Yan,”Investigate cleavage of β-O-4 linkage in lignin model compounds by aerobic oxidation of Cα and Cγ hydroxyl groups”, Tetrahedron Letters, 57(27-28): 3024–3028. 2016

96. Nikhil D. Patil, Ning Yan,”Study of the nitroxyl radical catalyst in aerobic oxidative cleavage and functionalization of lignin model compounds”, Catalysis Communication, DOI:, 2016

95. Prashant Chauhan, Kenneth Chu, Ning Yan and Zhifeng Ding, “ Comparison study of electrochemiluminescence of boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY) dyes in aprotic and aqueous solutions. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry”, DOI:, 2016

94. Yan Song, Zhixin Wang, Ning Yan, Rong Zhang and Jinchun Li, “Demethylation of Wheat Straw Alkali Lignin for Application in Phenol Formaldehyde Adhesives”, Polymer. 8(6): 209, 2016

93. Yongqiang Lan, Ning Yan, Weihong Wang, “Application of PDMS pervaporation membranes filled with tree bark biochar for ethanol/water separation”, RSC Advances, DOI: 10.1039/C6RA06794H, 2016

92. Prashant Chauhan, Ning Yan, “Novel bodipy—cellulose nanohybrids for the production of singlet oxygen”, RSC Advances, 6(38) 32070-32073. 2016.

91. Leila Asadollahi, Hossein Salehizadeh, Ning Yan, “Investigation of biosurfactant activity and asphaltene biodegradation by Bacillus cereus”, Journal of Polymers and the Environment, 2016.

90. Pei-Yu Kuo, Luizmar de Assis Barros, Mohini Sain, Jimi S.Y. Tjong, Ning Yan, “Effects of Reaction Parameters on the Glycidy Etherification of Bark Extractives during Bio-epoxy Resin Synthesis”, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng, 4 (3)1016–1024, 2016

89. Jason D’Souza, Song Zhi Wong, Rafael Camargo, and Ning Yan, “Solvolytic Liquefaction of Bark: Understanding the Role of Polyhydric Alcohols and Organic Solvents on PolyolCharacteristics”, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng, 4 (3) 851–861, 2016.

88. Pei-Yu Kuo, Luizmar de Assis Barros, Yuung-Ching Sheen, Mohini Sain, Jimi S.Y. Tjong, Ning Yan, “Thermal degradation of extractive-based bio-epoxy monomer and network: Kinetics and mechanism”, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 117, 199–213, 2016

87. Yong Zhao, Ning Yan, and Martin Feng, “Synthesis and characterization of bio-based phenol-formaldehyde resol resins from bark autoclave extractives”, Forest Products Journal, 66(1-2), 2016.

86. Xiang-Ming Wang, Haixia Fang, Martin Feng, Yaolin Zhang, Ning Yan, “Manufacturing Medium-Density Particleboards from Wood–Bark Mixture and Different Adhesive Systems”, Forest Products Journal, 65(1-2) 20-25, 2015.

85. Muhammad Ferhan, Ning Yan, Mohini Sain,“Bark depolymerization during submerged fermentation using monofloral honey, a natural mediator substitute, and integration between laccases vs. bark biopoly-mers, characterized by Py-GC-MS. RSC Adv. 5,14937–14952, 2015.

84. Tongfei Wu, Yicheng Du, Ning Yan, Ramin Farnood, “Cellulose fiber networks reinforced with glutaraldehyde–chitosan complexes”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 132(33) 42375, 2015.

83. S.M. Mirabedini, I. Dutil, L. Gauquelin, N. Yan, R.R. Farnood, “Preparation of self-healing acrylic latex coatings using novel oil-filled ethyl cellulose microcapsules”. Progress in Organic Coatings, 85, 168-177, 2015.

82. Nicolas R. Tanguy, Lindsey K. Fiddes, Ning Yan, “Enhanced Radio Frequency Biosensor for Food Quality Detection Using Functionalized Carbon Nanofillers”, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 7(22) 11939-11947, 2015.

81. Jason D’Souza, Ben George, Rafael Camargo, Ning Yan, “Synthesis and characterization of bio-polyols through the oxypropylation of bark and alkaline extracts of bark”, Ind. Crops Prod. 76, 1–11, 2015.

80. Prashant Chauhan, Ning Yan, “Nanocrystalline cellulose grafted phthalocyanine: a heterogeneous catalyst for selective aerobic oxidation of alcohols and alkyl arenes at room temperature in a green solvent”, RSC Adv., 5, 37517-37520, 2015.

79. Sandeep Sudhakaran Nair, Ning Yan, “Bark derived submicron-sized and nano-sized cellulose fibers: From industrial waste to high performance materials”. Carbohydrate Polymers, 134, 258-266, 2015.

78. Sandeep Sudhakaran Nair, Ning Yan, “Effect of high residual lignin on the thermal stability of nanofibrils and its enhanced mechanical performance in aqueous environments”. Cellulose, 22(5) 3137-3150, 2015.

77. Sankar Govindarajan, Ning Yan “Synthesis and deblocking studies of low temperature heat-curable blocked polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanates”, Journal of Macromolecular Science Part A Pure Applied Chemistry, 52(1) 47-55, 2015.

76. Kate E. Semple, Solace Sam-Brew, James Deng, Francine Cote, Ning Yan, Zheng Chen , and Greg Smith, “Properties of commercial Kraft paper honeycomb furniture stock panels conditioned under 65% and 95% relative humidity”, Forests Products Journal, 65(3-4) 106-122, 2015

75. Hossein Salehizadeh, Ning Yan, “Recent advances in extracellular biopolymer flocculants”, Biotechnology Advances, 32(8), 1506-1522, 2014.

74. Yong Zhao, Ning Yan “Recent development in forest biomass derived phenol formaldehyde (PF) resol resin for wood adhesives application”, Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, 8(5) 465-480, 2014.

73. Sankar Govindarajan, Ning Yan, “Bio-based Two Component (2K) Polyurethane Adhesive Derived from Infested Lodgepole Pine Barks”, Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, 8, 457-464. 2014

72. Yubo Chai, Yong Zhao, Ning Yan, “Synthesis and characterization of bio-based melamine formaldehyde resin from bark extractives”, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 53(28) 11228-11238, 2014.

71. Lindsey K. Fiddes, Ning Yan, “Electrochemical Detection of Biogenic Amines During Food Spoilage Using an Integrated Sensing RFID Tag”, Sensors and Actuators, B: Chemical, 202, 1298-1304, 2014.

70. Carlos Quijano-Solis, Ning Yan, “Characterization of biofiber breakage in composite processing using a capillary rheometer”, Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites, 33(16) 1463-1473, 2014.

69. Pei Yu Kuo, Mohini Sain, Ning Yan, “Synthesis and Characterization of an Extractive-based Bio-epoxy Resin from Beetle Infested Pinus Contorta Bark” Green Chemistry, 16(7) 3484-3493, 2014.

68. Jason D’Souza, Rafael Camargo, Ning Yan, “Polyurethane foams made from liquefied bark-based polyols”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, DOI: 10.1002/app.40599, 2014.

67. Yicheng Du, Ning Yan, Mark Kortschot, “A simplified fabrication process for biofiber-reinforced polymer composites for automotive interior trim applications”, Journal of Materials Science, 49(6), 2630-2639, 2014.

66. Yicheng Du, Ning Yan, Mark Kortschot, “Novel lightweight sandwich-structured bio-fiber-reinforced poly(lactic acid) composites”, Journal of Materials Science, 49(5), 2018-2026, 2014.

65. Zheng Chen, Ning Yan, Solace Sam-Brew, Greg Smith, James Deng, “Investigation of mechanical properties of sandwich panels made of paper honeycomb core and wood composite skins by experimental testing and finite element (FE) modelling methods”, European Journal of Wood and Wood Products, DOI: 10.1007/s00107-014-0782-z, 2014.

64. Mohammad Ferhan, Nicolas Tanguy, Ning Yan and Mohini Sain, “Comparison of enzymatic, alkaline and UV/H2O2 treatments for extraction of beetle infested lodgepole pine (BILP) and aspen bark polyphenolic extractives”, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 2(2), 165-172, 2014.

63. Zeen Huang, “Characterization of Major Components in Bark from Five Common Canadian Species”, Wood and Fiber Science, 46(2), 167-174, 2014.

62. Yicheng Du, Tongfei Wu, Ning Yan, Mark Kortschot, Ramin Farnood, “Fabrication and Characterization of Fully Biodegradable Natural Fiber-reinforced Poly(lactic acid) Composites”, Composite Part B: Engineering, 56(2014), 717-723, 2014.

61. Pei-Yu Kuo, Ning Yan, Mohini Sain, “Influence of cellulose nanofibers on the curing behavior of epoxy/amine systems”, European Polymer Journal, 49(12), 3778-3787, 2013.

60. Yong Zhao, Boya Zhang, Ning Yan, Ramin Farnood, “Synthesis and Characterization of Phenol Formaldehyde Novolac Resin Derived from Liquefied Mountain Pine Beetle Infested Lodgepole Pine Barks”, Macromolecular Reaction Engineering, 7(11), 646-660, 2013. Highlighted in journal cover page.

59. Lindsey K. Fiddes, Ning Yan, “RFID Tags for Wireless Electrochemical Detection of Volatile Chemicals”, Sensors and Actuators, B: Chemical, 186(2013), 817-823, 2013.

58. Yicheng Du, Ning Yan, Mark Kortschot, “An Experimental Study of Creep Behavior of Lightweight Natural Fiber-reinforced Polymer Composite Skin Honeycomb Core Sandwich Panels”, Composite Structures,106, 160-166,  2013.

57. Muhammad Ferhan, Ning Yan, Mohini Sain, “A New Method for Demethylation of Lignin from Woody Biomass by using Biophysical Methods”, Journal of Chemical Engineering and Process Technology, 4 (5), 160-166, 2013.

56. Yong Zhao, Ning Yan, Martin Feng, “Phenol Liquefaction of the Beetle Infested Pine Bark and the Liquefied Products Characterization”, Current Organic Chemistry, 17(15), 1604-1616, 2013.

55. Jason D’Souza, Ning Yan, “Producing Bark-based Polyols through Liquefaction: Effect of Liquefaction Temperature”, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 1(5), 534-540, DOI: 10.1021/sc400013e, 2013. Highlighted in journal cover page.

54. Jieming Chen, Ning Yan, “Crystallization Behavior of Organo-nanoclay Treated and Untreated Kraft Fiber-HDPE Composites”, Composites Part B: Engineering, 54, 180-187, 2013.

53. Yong Zhao, Ning Yan, Martin Feng, “Bio-based Phenol Formaldehyde (PF) Resins Derived from Beetle Infested Pine Barks – Structure and Composition”, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 1(1), 91-101, 2013. Highlighted in journal cover page.

52. Yong Zhao, Ning Yan, Martin Feng, “Thermal Degradation Characteristics of Phenol-formaldehyde Resins Derived from Beetle Infested Pine Barks”, Thermochimica Acta, 555, 46-52, 2013.

51. Jieming Chen, Ning Yan, “Mechanical Properties and Dimensional Stability of Organo-nanoclay Modified Biofiber Polymer Composites”, Composites Part B: Engineering, 47, 248-254, 2013.

50. Yicheng Du, Tongfei Wu, Ning Yan, Mark Kortschot, Ramin Farnood, “Pulp Fiber-reinforced Thermoset Polymer Composites: Effects of the Pulp Fibers and Polymer”, Composites Part B: Engineering, 48, 10-17, 2013.

49. Yong Zhao, Ning Yan, Martin Feng, “Bark Extractives-based Phenol-Formaldehyde Resins from Beetle-infested Lodgepole Pine”, Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, 27(18-19), 2112-2126, 2013.

48. Muhammad Ferhan, Alcides Leao, Itamar S de Melo, Ning Yan, Mohini Sain, “Ligninases Production and Partial Purification of MnP from Brazilian Fungal Isolate in Submerged Fermentation”, Fermentation Biotechnology, 1:106, DOI:10.4172/2167-7972.1000106, 2012.

47. Siying Chen, Ramin Farnood, Ning Yan, Sabina Di Risio, Jay Song, “Paper and Printer Effects on Xerographic Print Quality”, Nordic Pulp and Paper Research Journal, 27(4), 729-738, 2012.

46. Zheng Chen, Ning Yan, Greg Smith, James Deng, “Investigation of Flexural Creep of Kraft Paper Honeycomb Core Sandwich Panels Using the Finite Element Method (FEM)”, Wood and Fiber Science, 44(4), 1-10, 2012.

45. Yicheng Du, Ning Yan, Mark Kortschot, “Light-weight Honeycomb Core Sandwich Panels Containing Biofiber-reinforced Thermoset Polymer Composite Skins: Fabrication and Evaluation”, Composites Part B. Engineering, 43(7), 2875-2882, 2012.

44. Zheng Chen, Ning Yan, “Investigation of Elastic Moduli of Kraft Paper Honeycomb Core Sandwich Panels”, Composites Part B: Engineering, 43(5), 2107-2114, 2012.

43. Jieming Chen, Ning Yan, “Hydrophobization of Bleached Softwood Kraft Fibers via Adsorption of Organo-nanoclay,” BioResources, 7(3), 4132-4149, 2012.

42. Chong Liang, Ning Yan, Xuejun Zou, David Vidal, “Effects of Coating Formulations on Thermal Properties of Coating Layers”, Nordic Pulp and Paper Journal, 27(2), 451-458, 2012.

41. Yong Zhao, Ning Yan, Martin Feng, “Polyurethane Foams Derived from Liquefied Mountain Pine Beetle-Infested Barks”, Journal of Applied Polymer Sciences, 123(5), 2849-2858, 2012.

Conferences (last five years, # is the cumulative total)

60. Chaoyang Feng, Yaldal Azimi, Azad Kavoosi, Ning Yan and Ramin Farnood, “Surface Modified Cellulosic Membrane and Its Application in Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) System”,  Wastewater and Biosolids Treatment and Reuse: Bridging Modeling and Experimental Studies, Engineering Conferences International (ECI) Symposium Series,  June 8-13, Otranto (Lecce), Italy, 2014.

59. Pei-Yu Kuo, Nils Cuinat-Guerraz, Mohini Sain, Ning Yan, Pascal Hubert, Marie-Josée Dumont, “Development of Bio-composites from Flax and Bio-Epoxy Monomers”, Network for Innovative Plastic Material and Manufacturing Processes (NIPMMP), Poster, June 17-18, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2014.

58. Mohammad Ferhan, “Kinetic parameter studies during SF of laccase enzyme from white-rot fungi Pleurotus species and bio-depolymerization of bark to characterize aromatic compounds by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)”, Poster, 13th International Symposium on Bioplastics, Biocomposites & Biorefining (ISBBB), May 19-24, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2014.

57. Sankar Govindarajan, “Novel Polyurethane Adhesives from Beetle Infested Lodge-pole Pine Barks: Synthesis, Characterization, and Properties”, Poster, International Conference on Wood Adhesives, October 9-11, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2013.

56. Yong Zhao, “Effect of Synthesis Conditions on the Properties of Bark Extractive-phenol-formaldehyde Resins”, International Conference on Wood Adhesives, October 9-11, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2013.

55. Yong Zhao, “Characterization of Phenol Formaldehyde Novolac Resins from Liquefied Lodgepole Pine Barks”, International Conference on Wood Adhesives, October 9-11, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2013.

54. Pei-Yu Kuo, Mohini Sain, Ning Yan, “Synthesis and Characterization of a Novel Bio-based Epoxy Resin from Bark Extractive”, BIOPOL2013 Conference, October 1-3, Rome, Italy, 2013.

53. Steven Phillips, Pei-Yu Kuo, Cristian Demaria, Larry Lessarda, Ning Yan, Pascal Hubert, Mohini Sain, “Development of Multi-Scale Biocomposites from Flax, Nanocellulose and Epoxy by Resin Infusion”, NIPMMP Conference, June 11-12, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2013.

52. Yong Zhao, Boya Zhang, Ning Yan, Ramin Farnood, “Characterization of Phenol Formaldehyde Novolac Resins from Liquefied Lodgepole Pine Barks”, 96th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, May 26-30, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, 2013.

51. Muhammad Ferhan, Ning Yan, Mohini Sain, “Enzymatic Delignification and Demethylation for the Synthesis of Bio-based Polyurethane Foam (PUF)”, RSC-ACS Sustainable Polymers Conference, May 20-23, Safety Harbor, Florida, USA, 2013.

50. Jason D’Souza, Ning Yan, “Bark-Based Polyurethane Foams through Solvent Liquefaction”, 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting, October 28-November 2, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, 2012.

49. Yong Zhao, Ning Yan, Martin Feng, “Thermal Degradation of Phenol-formaldehyde Resins Derived from Lodgepole Pine Bark”, Forest Products Society 66th International Convention, June 3-5, Washington D.C., USA, 2012.

48. Yicheng Du, Tongfei Wu, Ning Yan, Mark Kortschot, Ramin Farnood, “Pulp Fiber-reinforced Thermoset Polymer Composites”, 12th International Conference on Biocomposites, May 6-8, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, 2012.

47. Muhammad Ferhan, Ning Yan, Mohini Sain, “Physicochemical Characterization of Lignin based Polyols”, 12th International Conference on Biocomposites, May 6-8, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, 2012.

46. Steven Phillips, PeiYu Kuo, Larry Lessard, Pascal Hubert, Mohini Sain, Ning Yan, “Characterization of Flax Fabrics and Nanocellulose Modified Epoxy for the Development of Multi-scale Biocomposites by Resin Infusion”, 12th International Conference on Biocomposites, May 6-8, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, 2012.

45. Mandana Fazl, Jieming Chen, Ning Yan, “Development and Characterization of Natural Fibre-reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites”, 12th International Conference on Biocomposites, May 6-8, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, 2012.

Recent awards

2014       Endowed Value Added Wood and Composite Chair, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto

2012    NSERC-Discovery Accelerator Supplementary Award (DAS), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Canada

2011       Connaught Innovation Award, Inauguration Round, Connaught Foundation, University of Toronto

2007       Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation


Faculty of Forestry






An overview of the current issues facing forest conservation, management and research is presented in guest seminars and student presentations. Students will improve their writing and presentation skills as well as broaden their appreciation of forest science through written assignments and presentations. Weekly attendance at seminars during the first fall and annual participation thereafter in a one-day seminar workshop throughout a student’s funded program is required. During the first fall session, the course includes select assignments in conjunction with students from the professional forest conservation program (MFC).




Forest Products in Sustainable Forestry

Traditional and non-traditional forest products; wood structure; properties and material attributes; functional characteristics and logistics of wood product industry. Contribution of innovative product development to conservation; adding value; residue use; biorefinery; under-utilized species; wood protection. Forest product certification; eco-labelling; life cycle analysis. Recommended Preparation: FOR200H1FOR201H1. Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Science course. Breadth Requirement: The Physical and Mathematical Universes (5).




A key course for graduate students to gain fundamental knowledge focused on forest biomaterial sciences, to have an overview of the utilization of these renewable materials for industrial applications, and to be exposed to leading-edge sciences and technologies in fields relevant to the application of forest biomaterials. Topics will cover materials science, mechanics, wood chemistry, surface sciences, adhesives, nanotechnology and relevant advanced analytical characterizations methods. The course format will be a combination of seminars and student projects and presentations according to specific topics that are selected based on students’ interests or thesis projects.





Major approaches and challenges facing effective conservation of the world’s forests are addressed through critical analysis of Canadian and international forest management and practices, including global land use conflicts within inhabited and pristine landscapes, aboriginal communities and the forest industry. Guest lectures and professionally-based assignments are used to investigate ENGO and governmental perspectives in topical areas including climate change, carbon sequestration, endangered species legislation, value-added wood product technology, and biomolecular advances.


Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry


Mechanical Properties of Bio-Composites and Biomaterials

(Specialized, Technical)This course provides an overview on mechanical properties of biological materials, biomaterials for biomedical applications, and bio-fibre reinforced composites based on renewable resources with a focus on their viscoelastic and dynamic behaviours. General principles related to elasticity, linear viscoelasticity, and composite reinforcement theory will be introduced. Some testing and measurement techniques for these properties will be also discussed.