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Photo of Achinivu, Ezinne C.

Ezinne C. Achinivu

Assistant Professor

Department of Chemical Engineering


Building & Room:

174 EIB


929 W. Taylor St, MC 110, Chicago, IL 60607

Office Phone:


Office Phone:

(312) 996-3469


Research Interests

  • Sustainable Energy Development
  • Green Chemistry and White Biotechnology
  • Transformation of Waste into Bioproducts (Biofuel, Bioplastics, Bioactives)
    • Biorefining of Waste Biomass (Lignin Isolation and Degradation)
    • Molecular Design for Performance Advantaged Biopolymers


  • CHE 230 Molecular Systems in Chemical Engineering
  • CHE 330 Polymer Science

Selected Publications

  1. Ezinne C Achinivu, Brian W Blankenship, Nawa Raj Baral, Hemant Choudhary, Ramu Kakumanu, Mood Mohan, Edward EK Baidoo, Corinne D Scown, Anthe George, Blake A Simmons, John Gladden. Biomass pretreatment with distillable ionic liquids for an effective recycling and recovery approach, Chemical Engineering Journal, 2023, 479, 147824;
  2. Paul Wolski, Brian W Blankenship, Athiyya Umar, Mica Cabrera, Blake A Simmons, Kenneth L Sale, Ezinne C Achinivu. Factors that influence the activity of biomass-degrading enzymes in the presence of ionic liquids—a review, Front. Energy Res., 2023, 11, 1212719;
  3. Ezinne C Achinivu, Mica Cabrera, Athiyya Umar, Minliang Yang, Nawa Raj Baral, Corinne D Scown, Blake A Simmons, John M Gladden.
    In Situ Synthesis of Protic Ionic Liquids for Biomass Pretreatment, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2022, 10, 37, 12090–12098;
  4. Ezinne C. Achinivu, Julia L. Shamshina, Robin D. Rogers. Chitin extracted from various biomass sources: It’s not the same, Fluid Phase Equilibria, 2022, 552;
  5. Ezinne C. Achinivu, Skye Frank, Nawa Raj Baral, Lalitendu Das, Mood Mohan, Peter Otoupal, Emara Shabir, Sean Utan, Corinne D. Scown, Blake A. Simmons and John Gladden. Alkanolamines as Dual Functional Solvents for Biomass Deconstruction and Bioenergy Production. Green Chem., 2021, 23, 8611-8631;
  6. Ezinne C. Achinivu, Mood Mohan, Hemant Choudhary, Lalitendu Das, Kaixuan Huang, Harsha D. Magurudeniya, Venkataramana R. Pidatala, Anthe George, Blake A. Simmons, and John M. Gladden, A predictive toolset for the identification of effective lignocellulosic pretreatment solvents: a case study of solvents tailored for lignin extraction. Green Chemistry, 2021, 23, 7269-7289;
  7. Lalitendu Das, Ezinne C. Achinivu, Carolina Araujo Barcelos, Eric Sundstrom, Bashar Amer, Edward E. K. Baidoo, Blake A. Simmons, Ning Sun and John M. Gladden. Deconstruction of Woody Biomass via Protic and Aprotic Ionic Liquid Pretreatment for Ethanol Production. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2021, 9, 4422–4432.
  8. Carolina A. Barcelos, Asun M. Oka, Jipeng Yan, Lalitendu Das, Ezinne C. Achinivu, Harsha Magurudeniya, Jie Dong, Simay Akdemir, Nawa Raj Baral, Chunsheng Yan, Corinne D. Scown, Deepti Tanjore, Ning Sun, Blake A. Simmons, John Gladden, and Eric Sundstrom, High-Efficiency Conversion of Ionic Liquid-Pretreated Woody Biomass to Ethanol at the Pilot Scale, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2021, 9, 4042–4053;
  9. Ezinne C. Achinivu, Amandine L. Flourat, Fanny Brunissen, Florent Allais. Valorization of waste biomass from oleaginous “oil-bearing” seeds through the biocatalytic production of sinapic acid from mustard bran. Biomass and Bioenergy, 2021, 145;
  10. Ezinne C. Achinivu, Protic Ionic Liquids for Lignin Extraction—A Lignin Characterization Study. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 201819, 428;
  11. Ezinne Achinivu, Biomass storage: small solutions for a big problem. PreScouter Journal: Advanced Energy and Feedstocks [Online], 2016 (accessed July 18th 2016)
  12. Ezinne C. Achinivu, Reagan M. Howard, Guoqing Li, Hanna Gracz and Wesley A. Henderson, Lignin extraction from biomass with protic ionic liquids. Green Chemistry, 2014, 16, 1114-1119;


AAAS Science Technolgy Policy Fellowship, US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Sandia National Labs - Joint Bioenergy Institue

Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship, Chaire ABI - AgroParisTech

Ph.D. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2014

M.S. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2012

B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Maryland, 2010

Professional Memberships

  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)

Intellectual Property

  • Provisional; US 62/978,771; Feb 19, 2020; Use of distillable volatile salt for the pretreatment of biomass.
  • Provisional; US 63/023,770; May 12, 2020; Use of alkanolamines for lignin extraction in the pretreatment of biomass.
  • Provisional; US 63/035,508; Jun 5, 2020; Use of "in-situ" ionic liquid (IL) and deep eutectic solvent (DES) synthesis using chemically synthesized or biomass-derived ions in the pretreatment of biomass.
  • US Appl 17/547,134; Dec 9, 2021; Use of polyamines in the pretreatment of biomass.