zhaoxbXuebing ZHAO, Ph.D, Associate Professor


Institute of Applied Chemistry,

Department of Chemical Engineering,

Tsinghua University,

Haidian District, Beijing 100084, China.

Email: zhaoxb@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn;


Phone: +86-10-62772130 ext. 111




2004.09-2009.07       Ph.D, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University

2000.09-2004.07       B.E, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University


Working experience

2011.07 to now Assistant Professor and Associate Professor in Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University.

2014.02-2015.03  Post-doctoral research fellow at University of Wisconsin-Madison

2009.07-2011.06  Post-doctoral research fellow at Tsinghua University

2008.05-2008.07  Research Assistant in Shell Global Solutions International BV in Amsterdam, the Netherlands


Awards and Honors

n  2017  Hou De-bang Chemical Science and Technology Award-Youth Award; Excellent paper of 2016 Chinese Journal of Biotechnology

n  2016  First Award of the S&T Progress of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF); Excellent paper at the 5th International Conference on Biomass Energy & Exhibition (ICBE 2016)

n  2012, 2013  Excellent undergraduate thesis in Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University (as supervisor)

n  2012, 2014  Experimental Technology Achievement Award of Tsinghua University (Class II)


Academic Service

n  Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Enzyme Research Editor-in-Chief(2012-2016)

n  Guest Editor of BioEnergy Research (2011)

n  Guest Editor of International Journal of Polymer Science (2017)

n  Editorial board member ofInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Research

n  Reviewer for more than 80 international academic Journals

n  External reviewer for proposals of the 2011 and 2013 Chilean Regular Research Funding Competition


Research work

Chemical and Biological conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels, chemical and electricity


Biorefining of lignocellulosic biomass to produce biofuels and chemicals via chemical and biological ways, especially on the process development and fundamentals of biomass fractionation, enzymatic saccharification of cellulosic substrates and process simulation, including:

n   Clean fractionating pretreatment: technology and engineering;

n   Biomass recalcitrance and its molecular mechanisms;

n   Intensification of enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulose;

n   Microbial oil production from lignocellulosic hydrolyzate;

n   Characterization and application of lignin products;

n   Process simulation and optimization for biomass conversion;

n   Conversion of biomass to electricity using fuel cell technologies.

   Based on the above research, more than 80 peer-reviewed journal papers have been published with over 3000 total cites and an H-index of 27 (Google Scholar). 20 patent applications have been filed, 10 of which have been granted in China.



Selected publications published in recent 5 years

Google Scholar Publication List:



Monograph and book chapters

n  Chenyu Du, Xuebing Zhao, Dehua Liu, Carol Sze Ki Lin, Karen Wilson, Rafa Luque, James Clark. Introduction: an overview of biofuels and production technologies. In: R. Luque, CSK Lin, K Wilson and J. Clark (Eds), Handbook of Biofuels Production (2nd edition), Elsevier B.V, 2016.

n  Xuebing Zhao, Wei Liu, Yulin Deng, J.Y. Zhu*. Lignocellulosic Biomass-Energized Fuel Cells. Momentum Press, 2015.

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Feng Qi, Dehua Liu. Hierarchy Nano-and Ultrastructure of Lignocellulose and Its Impact on the Bioconversion of Cellulose. In: Mahendra Rai and Silvio Silvério da Silva (Eds), Nanotechnology for Bioenergy and Biofuel Production, Springer International Publishing, 2017, pp 117-151 (Invited book chapter)


Peer-reviewed papers

Google Scholar Publication List:



n  Junyang Wang, Xuebing Zhao*, Dehua Liu. Preparation of epoxidized fatty acid methyl ester with in situ auto-catalyzed generation of performic acid and the influence of impurities on epoxidation. Waste and Biomass Valorization, 2017 doi:10.1007/s12649-017-9945-6.

n  Tian Li, Qi Fang, Hongmei Chen, Feng Qi, Xianjin Ou, Xuebing Zhao*, Dehua Liu. Solvent-based delignification and decrystallization of wheat straw for efficient enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose and ethanol production with low cellulase loadings. RSC Advances, 2017, 7, 10609-0617.

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Siming Li, Ruchun Wu, Dehua Liu. Organosolv fractionating pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for efficient enzymatic saccharification: chemistry, kinetics and substrate structures. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. DOI: 10.1002/bbb.1768

n  Yi Ding, Bo Du, Xuebing Zhao*, J.Y. Zhu, Dehua Liu. Phosphomolybdic acid and ferric iron as efficient electron mediators for coupling biomass pretreatment to produce bioethanol and electricity generation from wheat straw. Bioresource Technology, 2017, 228:279–289 (Cover paper).

n  Xuebing Zhao, Wei Liu, Yulin Deng*, J.Y. Zhu*. Low-temperature Microbial and Direct Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Electricity: Advances and Challenges. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2017, 71: 268-282. DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2016.12.055.

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Yi Ding, Bo Du, J.Y. Zhu, Dehua Liu. Polyoxometalate- mediated lignin oxidation for efficient enzymatic production of sugars and generation of electricity from lignocellulosic biomass. Energy Technology, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/ente.201600662.


n  Hongmei Chen, Xuebing Zhao*, Dehua Liu. Relative significance of the negative impacts of hemicelluloses on enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis is dependent on lignin content: evidences from substrate structural features and protein adsorption ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2016, 4 (12): 6668–6679

n  Ardak Akimkulova, Yan Zhou, Xuebing Zhao*, Dehua Liu. Improving the enzymatic hydrolysis of dilute acid pretreated wheat straw by metal ion blocking of non-productive cellulase adsorption on lignin. Bioresource Technology, 2016, 208:110-116.

n  Ruchun Wu, Xuebing Zhao*, Dehua Liu. Structural features of Formiline pretreated sugarcane bagasse and their impacts on the enzymatic digestibility of cellulose. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2016, 4 (3):1255–1261

n  Xuebing Zhao, J.Y. Zhu*, Efficient Conversion of Lignin to Electricity Using A Novel Direct Biomass Fuel Cell Mediated by Polyoxometalates at Low Temperatures. ChemSusChem 2016, 9(2): 197–207.


n  Zhou Yan, Zhao Xuebing*, Liu Dehua. Effects of Non-ionic Surfactants on the Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Lignocellulose and Corresponding Mechanism. Progress in Chemistry 2015, 27(11): 1555-1565.

n  Yuanman Zhang, Ji’an Luo, Xuebing Zhao*, Dehua Liu**. A novel strategy for 1, 3-propanediol recovery from fermentation broth and colority control using scraped thin-film evaporation for desalination. RSC Advances 2015, 5:48269 - 48274

n  Hongmei Chen, Tianhang Hu, Jia Zhao, Xuebing Zhao*, Dehua Liu. A comparison of several organosolv pretreatments for increasing the enzymatic hydrolysis of wheat straw: substrate digestibility, fermentability and structural features. Applied Energy, 2015,150:224-232

n  Yan Zhou, Hongmei Chen, Feng Qi, Xuebing Zhao*, Dehua Liu. Non-ionic surfactants do not consistently improve the enzymatic hydrolysis of pure cellulose. Bioresource Technology, 2015, 182:136-143

n  Lei Dong, Xuebing Zhao *, Dehua Liu. Kinetic modeling of atmospheric formic acid pretreatment of wheat straw with “potential degree of reaction” models. RSC Advances 2015, 5:20992 – 21000, DOI: 10.1039/C4RA14634D

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Feng Qi, Chongli Yuan, Wei Du, Dehua Liu**. Lipase-catalyzed Process for Biodiesel Production: Enzyme Immobilization, Process Simulation and Optimization. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2015, 44: 182-197.


n  Yuichi Morikawa, Xuebing Zhao*, Dehua Liu. Biological co-production of biodiesel and ethanol from wheat straw: A case of dilute acid pretreatment. RSC Advance, 2014, 4:37878-37888, DOI: 10.1039/c4ra07251k.

n  Qianqian Wang, Xuebing Zhao*, J.Y. Zhu**. Kinetics of Strong Acid Hydrolysis of A Bleached Kraft Pulp for Producing Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNC). Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2014, 53 (27): 11007–11014 DOI: 10.1021/ie501672m

n  Xingkai Cui, Xuebing Zhao*, Jing Zeng, Soh Kheang Loh, Yuen May Choo, Dehua Liu. Robust enzymatic hydrolysis of Formiline-pretreated oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) for efficient conversion of polysaccharide to sugars and ethanol. Bioresource Technology, 2014, 166: 584–591. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2014.05.102

n  Feng Qi, Yuki Kitahara, Zitian Wang, Xuebing Zhao, Wei Du, Dehua Liu. Novel mutant strains of Rhodosporidium toruloides by plasma mutagenesis approach and their tolerance for inhibitors in lignocellulosic hydrolyzate. Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, 2014, 89(5): 735-742.

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Yuichi Morikawa, Feng Qi, Jing Zeng, Dehua Liu. A novel kinetic model for polysaccharide dissolution during atmospheric acetic acid pretreatment of sugarcane bagasse. Bioresource Technology 2014, 151: 128–136.

n  Hyun Tae Hwang, Feng Qi, Chongli Yuan, Xuebing Zhao*, Doraiswami Ramkrishna1, Dehua Liu and Arvind Varma*. Lipase-Catalyzed Process for Biodiesel Production: Protein engineering and lipase production. Biotechnology & Bioengineering, 2014, 111(4):639-653.


n  Xuebing Zhao*, Ming Fan, Jing Zeng, Wei Du, Canming Liu, Dehua Liu. Kinetics of lipase recovery from the aqueous phase of biodiesel production by macroporous resin adsorption and reuse of the adsorbed lipase for biodiesel preparation. Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 2013, 52(4-5): 226-233.

n  Lu He, Xuebing Zhao*, Keke Cheng, Yan Sun, Dehua Liu**. Kinetic modeling of fermentative production of 1, 3-propanediol by Klebsiella pneumoniae HR526 with consideration of multiple product inhibitions. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 2013, 169(1): 312-326.

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Dehua Liu. Kinetic modeling and mechanisms of acid-catalyzed delignification of sugarcane bagasse by aqueous acetic acid. BioEnergy Research, 2013, 6(2): 436-447.

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Lei Dong, Liang Chen, Dehua Liu. Batch and multi-step fed-batch enzymatic saccharification of Formiline-pretreated sugarcane bagasse at high solid loadings for high sugar and ethanol titers. Bioresource Technology, 2013, 135:350-356


n  Yuanquang Song, Qiang Li, Xuebing Zhao*, Yan Sun, Dehua Liu**. Production of 2,3-butanediol by Klebsiella pneumoniae from enzymatic hydrolyzate of sugarcane bagasse. BioResources, 2012, 7(4), 4517-4530.

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Dehua Liu. Fractionating pretreatment of sugarcane bagasse by aqueous formic acid with direct recycle of spent liquor to increase cellulose digestibility-the Formiline process. Bioresource Technology, 2012, 117: 25-32.

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Lihua Zhang, Dehua Liu. Biomass recalcitrance, Part II: fundamentals of different pretreatments to increase the enzymatic digestibility of lignocellulose. Biofuels, Biorproducts and Biorefinery, 2012, 6(5): 561-579.

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Lihua Zhang, Dehua Liu. Biomass recalcitrance, Part I: the chemical compositions and physical structures affecting the enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulose. Biofuels, Biorproducts and Biorefinery, 2012, 6(4): 465-482.

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Yujie Zhou, Dehua Liu. Kinetic model for glycan hydrolysis and formation of monosaccharides during dilute acid hydrolysis of sugarcane bagasse. Bioresource Technology, 2012, 105: 160-168.

n  Xuebing Zhao*, Feng Peng, Wei Du, Canming Liu, Dehua Liu. Effects of some inhibitors on the growth and lipid accumulation of oleaginous yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides and preparation of biodiesel by enzymatic transesterification of the lipid. Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, 2012, 35(6): 993-1004.

(* and ** indicate that the author(s) is (are) corresponding author)