Umakanta Jena

Affiliate Assistant Research Professor
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Renewable energy, biomass, biofuels, fuel processing, hydrothermal liquefaction, pyrolysis, bio-oil, catalytic upgrading, algae based biofuels, pelletization

Professional Interests

Dr. Jena got his doctoral degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Georgia in 2011. His research interests include, generation of alternative fuels and value added co-products from microalgae and lignocellulosic biomass via thermochemical conversion routes. Dr. Jena has been working on hydrothermal conversion (liquefaction and carbonization) of biomass that involves pressure cooking of algae/ lignocellulose biomass into a higher energy content liquid and/or solid fuel. In his doctoral research, he investigated the production of bio-oil (biocrude) from algae via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and pyrolysis, compared their process mass distribution and energy efficiency, and developed the concept of algae biorefinery around HTL process. Earlier, Dr. Jena investigated on downdraft gasification of woody biomass and crop residues for thermal and engine applications, syngas cleaning and conditioning, and catalytic upgrading of bio-oil generated from HTL and pyrolysis processes. At DRI, he is investigating on the HTC process for converting biomass into hydrochar (a solid fuel that has similar fuel characteristics to that of the naturally occurring coal) along with water soluble high value chemicals in the aqueous phase.

Research Areas

  • Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of algae into bio-oil

  • Hydrothermal carbonization of biomass into hydrochar

  • Pelletization of hydrochar

  • Catalytic upgrading of bio-oil from HTL and pyrolysis processes

  • Biomass pretreatments and pyrolysis

  • Process development and evaluation

 Education

DegreeYearInstitutionArea
Ph.D. 2011 University of Georgia, Athens, GA Biological and Agricultural Engineering
M.Tech 2003 Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India Agricultural Engineering
B.Tech 2001 Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar, India Agricultural Engineering

Publications & Presentations

2017

Jena, U., Hoekman, S.K. (2017). Editorial: Recent Advancements in Algae-to-Biofuels Research: Novel Growth Technologies, Conversion Methods, and Assessments of Economic and Environmental Impacts, Frontiers in Energy Research, 5, (Article 2), 1-2, doi: 10.3389/fenrg.2017.0002

2015

Diaz-Vazquez, L. M., Rojas-Perez, A., Fuentes-Caraballo, M., Robles-Ramos, I. V., Jena, U., Das, K. C. (2015). Demineralization of Sargassum spp. Macroalgae Biomass: Selective Thermochemical Liquefaction Process for Bio-oil Production, Front. Energy Res., 3, (6), 1-11, doi: 10.3389/fenrg.2015.00006
Hoekman, S.K., Broch, A. L., Jena, U. (2015). Hydrothermal Carbonization of Algal Feedstocks and Fuels Produced Thereby, U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2015/0361371 A1; Appl. No. 14/738/559: Pub. Date: Dec. 17. 2015
Hoekman, S.K., Broch, A. L., Jena, U., Felix, L. (2015). Hydrochar Mixture and Method for Producing Same, Provisional Patent Application No. 62/273,324: Filed December 30, 2015
Jena, U., Costanzo, W., Kastner, J. R., Das, K. C., Hoekman, S.K. (2015). Multi-step Hydrothermal Processing of Algae for Biocrude Production and Aqueous co-Products Recycling, Presentation at the Algal Biomass Summit: Washington, D.C., September 29, 2015-October 2, 2015
Jena, U., Das, P., Thaher, M. I., Hoekman, S.K. (2015). Evaluation of Growth and Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algae from Raceway Systems Using Seawater, Poster presentation at the Algal Biomass Summit: Washington, D.C., September 29, 2015-October 2, 2015
Jena, U., Ekefre, D., Mahapatra, A. K., Hoekman, S.K. (2015). Recovery of Energy-dense Hydrochar and Sugars from Sweet Sorghum Bagasse, Presentation at the American Institute of Chemical Engineering’s Annual Meeting: Salt Lake City, UT, November 8, 2015
Jena, U., McCurdy, A. T., Warren, A., Summers, H., Ledbetter, R. N., Hoekman, S.K., Seefeldt, L., Quinn, J. C. (2015). Oleaginous Yeast Platform for Producing Biofuels via Co-Solvent Hydrothermal Liquefaction., Biotechnol. Biofuels, 8, 167, doi: 10.1186/s13068-015-0345-5
Jena, U., McCurdy, A. P., Warren, A., Seefeldt, L., Hoekman, S.K., Quinn, J. (2015). Oleaginous Yeast Platform for Producing Biofuels via Co-Solvent Hydrothermal Liquefaction, Presentation, 2015 National Biodiesel Conference: Dallas, TX, January 19, 2015
Seshadri, B., Bolan, N. S., Jena, U., Thangarajan, R., Das, K. C., Wang, H., Naidu, R. (2015). Biomass energy from revegetation of landfill sites, In Bioremediation and Bioeconomy, Chapter 5, pp: 99-109, M.N. Prasad (Ed.): Elsevier
Summers, H. M., Ledbetter, R. N., McCurdy, A. T., Morgan, M. R., Seefeldt, L. C., Jena, U., Hoekman, S.K., Quinn, J. C. (2015). Techno-economic feasibility and life cycle assessment of dairy effluent to renewable diesel via hydrothermal liquefaction, Bior. Tech., 196, 431-440, doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2015.07.077
Summers, H. R., Ledbetter, A., Seefeldt, L., McCurdy, A. T., Jena, U., Hoekman, S.K. (2015). Technoeconomic and life cycle analyses: waste lactose to biofuel, Presentation, 2015 National Biodiesel Conference: Dallas, TX, January 19, 2015

2014

Broch, A. L., Jena, U., Hoekman, S.K., Langford, J. (2014). Analysis of Solid and Aqueous Phase Products from Hydrothermal Carbonization of Whole and Lipid-Extracted Algae, Energies, 7, (1), 62-79, doi: 10.3390/en7010062
Hoekman, S.K., Broch, A. L., Jena, U., Robbins, C. M., Felix, L. (2014). Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC) treatment of agricultural residues and other biomass, Presentation at the 247th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting: Dallas, TX, March 16, 2014
Hoekman, S.K., Jena, U., Broch, A. L. (2014). Two-Step HTC Treatment of Lignocellulosic Feedstock for Conversion into Sugars and High Energy Density Hydrochar, 20 pp., Final Report: American Process Inc. (API), July 23, 2014
Jena, U. (2014). Advanced Thermochemical Methods of Algal Biomass Conversion into Liquid Fuel, 4th Pan-American Congress on Plants and Bioenergy: Guelph, Canada, June 4, 2014
Jena, U. (2014). Assessment of Co-solvent Hydrothermal Liquefaction of a Microbial Yeast Biomass, Algal Biomass Organization (ABO) Algae Biomass Summit: San Diego, CA, September 29, 2014-October 2, 2014
Jena, U., Hoekman, S.K. (2014). Development of commodity bio-oil from algae biomass via low temperature hydrothermal conversion process, 34 pp., Final report to Univ. Georgia Research Foundation: DOE Contract DOE-DE-EE006201, October 30, 2014
Jena, U., Kastner, J. R., Hilten, R. N., Mani, S., Das, K. C. (2014). Upgrading fast pyrolysis bio-oil by catalytic hydroprocessing, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering: Montreal, Canada, July 15, 2014
Jena, U., Kastner, J. R., Hilten, R. N., Mani, S., Das, K. C. (2014). Catalytic conversion of fast pyrolysis bio-oil into synthetic fuel, TCS 2014: Denver, CO, September 2, 2014
Jena, U., Kastner, J. R., Hoekman, S.K. (2014). Conversion of Algal Feedstocks in Hot, Compressed Water, Open Forum of the DOE Spring Workshop: Charleston, SC, March 26, 2014
Jena, U., McCurdy, A. P., Warren, A., Hoekman, S.K., Quinn, J., Seefeldt, L. (2014). Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Oleaginous Microbial Biomass in Binary Solvents, Poster presentation at the 4th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts: Santa Fe, NM, June 15, 2014
Jena, U., McCurdy, A. P., Warren, A., Hoekman, S.K., Quinn, J., Seefeldt, L. (2014). Assessment of Hydrothermal Processing Methods for Conversion of Microorganisms, Algal Biomass Organization (ABO) Algae Biomass Summit: San Diego, CA, September 29, 2014-October 2, 2014

2013

Bolan, N. S., Thangarajan, R., Seshadri, B., Jena, U., Das, K. C., Wang, H., Naidu, R. (2013). Landfills as a bio refinery to produce biomass and capture biogas, Bioresour. Technol., 135, 578-587
Jena, U. (2013). Evaluation of downdraft biomass gasification systems, Invited Lecture. Presented at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: University of Nevada, Reno, NV, May 15, 2013
Jena, U. (2013). Conversion of Microalgae into Biofuels and Bio-products, Invited Seminar. Presented at the Department of Chemical Engineering, SRM University: Chennai, India, June 27, 2013
Jena, U. (2013). Novel Method for Processing of Algae into Biofuels, Invited seminar. Presented at the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology: Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar, India, July 1, 2013
Jena, U., Broch, A. L., Hoekman, S.K., Das, K. C. (2013). Aqueous Processing of Algal feedstocks into biofuels in sub-/supercritical water, Presented at the 1st International Conference on Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Bioengineering: Tirupati, India, June 28, 2013
Jena, U., Broch, A. L., Warren, A., Hoekman, S.K. (2013). Hydrothermal carbonization of delipidized algal feedstocks into coal-like solid fuels, Presented at the 3rd Algal Biomass, Biofuels, and Bioproducts Conference: Toronto, Canada, June 16, 2013
Jena, U., Das, K. C., Hoekman, S.K. (2013). Evaluation of yield, properties, and catalytic upgrading of algal biocrude produced by co-solvent liquefaction, . Presentation at the Algae Biomass Summit: Orlando, FL, September 30, 2013-October 3, 2013
Jena, U., Das, K. C., Hoekman, S.K. (2013). Novel hydrothermal processing of algal feedstocks into liquid fuel precursor, . Presented at the World Congress on Petrochemistry and Chemical Engineering: San Antonio, TX, October 3, 2013
Jena, U., Hoekman, S.K., Broch, A. L., Rios, R. D., Felix, L., Coble, G. (2013). Hydrothermal carbonization of woody and herbaceous biomass into energy-dense solid fuel, Web poster session on the Earth Day: Atlanta, GA, April 22, 2013
Jena, U., Hoekman, S.K., Broch, A. L., Robbins, C. M. (2013). Hydrothermal Conversion of Biomass into Pelletizable Coal-Like Biofuel: DRI's Experience, Presentation at the Southeast Bioenergy Conference: Atlanta, GA, February 10, 2013
Kastner, J., Hilton, R., Jena, U., Mani, S., Bunting, B. (2013). Synthetic fuels and platform chemicals from fast pyrolysis bio-oil, Southeast Bioengery Conference: Atlanta, GA, February 10, 2013

2012

Bolan, N. S., Thangarajan, R., Seshadri, B., Jena, U., Das, K. C., Wang, H., Naidu, R. (2012). Landfills as a bio refinery to produce biomass and capture biogas, Bioresour. Technol., 135, 578-587
Jena, U., Das, K. C., Kastner, J. R. (2012). Comparison of the effects of Na2C03, Ca3(P04)2, and NiO catalysts on the thermochemical liquefaction of microalga Spirulina platensis, Applied Energy, 98, 368-375
Jena, U., Das, K. (2012). Production of biocrude and high value aqueous co-products from algae in a biorefinery process, Institute of Biological Engineering Annual Meeting: Indianapolis, IN, March 1, 2012
Jena, U., Hilten, R., Miller, J., Kastner, J., Mani, S., Das, K., Bunting, B. (2012). Catalytic hydrogenation of fast pyrolysis bio-oil, Bioenergy Systems Research Initiative Annual Retreat: Athens, GA, April 9, 2012
Jena, U., Hoekman, S.K., Broch, A. L., Robbins, C. M. (2012). Hydrothermal Conversion of Biomass into Pelletizable Coal-Like Biofuel: DRI's Experience, Bioenergy Fuels & Products Conference & Expo: Atlanta, GA, February 28, 2012

Authors

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