Nurun Nahar

Why I joined the ECS Ph.D. Program

I was attracted to the interdisciplinary nature of the ECS Ph.D. Program.

My research

  • Biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass
  • Biomass pretreatment and fermentation for biofuel or other value added chemical production
  • Interaction of biomass densification and pretreatment on enzymatic hydrolysis
  • Relationship between pretreatment severity and enzyme loadings for densified biomass
  • Life cycle analysis of densified (pelleted) biomass for examining greenhouse gas reduction

Biofuel and bioenergy is a fast growing area with tremendous potential for research with new and innovative approaches. Fossil fuel resources are not unlimited and their processing also contributes to climate change potential. Densification of biomass into pellets could be beneficial for both supply systems and the biorefinery itself. Pelleting increases biomass density and may improve the economics of cellulosic ethanol production by facilitating improvements for storage, transportation and handling systems. There is a research gap to understand the interaction between densification and pretreatment efficacy for biochemical conversion. My research objectives are: 1) to quantify reductions in alkaline and acid pretreatment severity parameters (time, temperature, and pH) and enzyme loadings while achieving greater than 90% of theoretical hydrolysis yields from pelleted corn stover, and 2) to quantify carbon-emission benefits by life cycle analysis (LCA) methods using pelleted biomass and low-severity pretreatments for cellulosic biofuel production.

Peer reviewed publications

  • Nahar, N., Rorick, R.E., and Pryor, S.W. (2014) Effects of Enzyme and Solid Loading on Sugar Beet Pulp Hydrolysis. Biological Engineering Transactions. Accepted, in press.
  • Nahar, N. and Pryor, S.W. (2014) Reduced Pretreatment Severity and Enzyme Loading Enabled through Switchgrass Pelleting. Biomass and Bioenergy, 67, pp. 46-52.
  • Nahar, N. and Pryor, S.W. (2013) Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Fermentation of Crushed Whole Sugar Beets. Biomass and Bioenergy, 59, pp. 512-519.
  • Pryor, S.W., Karki, B., and Nahar, N. (2012) Effect of Hemicellulase Addition during Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Switchgrass Pretreated by Soaking in Aqueous Ammonia. Bioresource Technology, 123, pp. 620-626.
  • Rorick, R.E., Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2011) Ethanol Production from Sugar Beet Pulp using Escherichia coli KO11 and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biological Engineering Transactions 3(4), pp. 199-209.
  • Aitkenhead‐Peterson J.A., Nahar, N., Harclerode C. and Stanley N. (2011) Chemistry of Urban and Rural Watersheds in Central Texas. Urban Ecosystems, 14, pp. 195‐210.
  • Karki, B., Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2010) Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Switchgrass and Tall Wheatgrass Mixtures using Aqueous Ammonia Pretreatment, Biological Engineering, 3(3), pp. 163-171.
  • Pryor, S.W., and Nahar, N. (2010) Deficiency of Cellulase Activity Measurements for Enzyme Evaluation, Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology - Part A Enzyme Engineering and Biotechnology, 162, pp. 1737–1750.
  • Aitkenhead-Peterson J A, Steele MK, Nahar, N and Santhy K. (2009) Dissolved Organic Carbon and Nitrogen in Urban and Rural Watersheds of South-Central Texas: Land Use and Land Management Influences. Biogeochemistry, 96, pp. 119-129.
  • Islam, A.K.M.N., Nahar, N., Ahmed, A. And Khan, M.R. (2009) Regulation of Stomatal Aperture in Ficus religiosa L. J. Environ. Sci. & Natural Resources, 2(2), pp. 1- 4.
  • Farenhorst, A., Londry, K., Nahar, N. and Gaultier, J. (2008) In-Field Variation in 2,4-D Mineralization in relation to Sorption and Soil Microbial Communities. J. Environ. Sci. Health, Part B., 43(2), pp. 1-7.

Conference publications

  • Nahar, N., and Pryor, S. (2012) Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Fermentation of Whole Sugar Beets for Ethanol Production. Paper No: 121338125. ASABE Meeting Presentation, ASABE Annual International Meeting, Dallas, Texas July 29 – August 1, 2012.
  • Pryor, S., and Nahar, N. (2009) Impact of Dilute Acid Pretreatment Conditions and Enzyme System on Switchgrass. Paper No: 096026 ASAE Meeting Presentation, ASABE Annual International Meeting, Reno, Nevada June 21 – June 24, 2009.
  • Rorick, R., Nahar, N., and Pryor, S. (2009) Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Fermentation of Sugar Beet Pulp. Paper No: 096193 ASAE Meeting Presentation, ASABE Annual International Meeting, Reno, Nevada June 21 – June 24, 2009.
  • Nahar, N., and Farenhorst, A. (2004) Effects of Landscape Variability on 2,4-D Fate Processes. Proc. Manitoba Society of Soil Science, Winnipeg, Manitoba. 47th Annual General Meeting Proceedings.

Presentations

  • Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2014) Effect of pH, Temperature, and Enzyme Loading on Hydrolysis of Soaking Aqueous Ammonia Pretreated Corn Stover. Presented at ASABE Annual International Meeting, Montreal, QC, Canada, July 13-16, 2014. (Presented by N. Nahar)
  • Samaratunga, A., Nahar, N., Voronov, A., Minko, S., and Pryor, S.W. (2014) Modeling the effect of pH and Temperature for Cellulases Immobilized on Polymer Brushes. Presented at ASABE Annual International Meeting, Montreal, QC, Canada, July 13-16, 2014. (Presented by N. Nahar)
  • Pryor, S.W, and Nahar, N. (2014) Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Corn Cob with Reduced Cellobiase Loadings. Presented at ASABE Intersectional Meeting, Brookings, SD, March 28-29, 2014. (Presented by S.W. Pryor)
  • Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2013) Effects of Pretreatment Conditions for Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Pelleted Switchgrass. Presented at ASABE Annual International Meeting, Kansas City, Missouri, July 21-24, 2013. (Presented by N. Nahar)
  • Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2012) Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Fermentation of Whole Sugar Beets for Ethanol Production. Presented at ASABE Annual International Meeting, Dallas, TX, July 29 - August 1, 2012. (Presented by S.W. Pryor)
  • Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2012) Fermentation of Whole Sugar Beets with E. coli KO11: Impact of Buffer Strength and Hydrolyzate Composition. Presented at ASABE /CSBE North Central Intersectional Conference, Fargo, ND, March 30 - March 31, 2012. (Presented by N. Nahar)
  • Samaratunga A., Kudina, O., Nahar, N., Minko, S., Voronov, A., and Pryor, S.W. (2012) Detecting and Quantifying Cellulases Immobilized on Polymer Brushes Grafted on Magnetizable Particles. Presented at ASABE /CSBE North Central Intersectional Conference, Fargo, ND, March 30 - March 31, 2012. (Presented by A. Samaratunga)
  • Karki, B., Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2011) Investigation of Lignin Distribution during Dilute Acid Pretratment of Corn Stalks, Corn Cobs and Their Mixtures. Presented at ASABE International Meeting, Louisville, KY, August 7-10, 2011. (Presented by B. Karki)
  • Pryor, S.W., Nahar, N., and Karki, B. (2010) Enzymatic Saccharification of Switchgrass and Tall Wheatgrass Mixtures using Dilute Acid and Aqueous Ammonia Pretreatments. Presented at ASABE International Meeting. Pittsburgh, PA, June 19-23, 2010.( Presented by S.W. Pryor)
  • Sietsema, C., Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2009) Comparison of Switchgrass Hydrolysis using different Enzyme Systems following Soaking in Aqueous Ammonia Pretreatment. Presented at CSBE/ASABE North Central Intersectional Conference, Brookings, SD, September 18-19, 2009. (Presented by C. Sietsema)
  • Rorick, R., Sietsema, C., Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2009) Strategies for Increasing Ethanol Yields and Titers following Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Fermentation of Sugar Beet Pulp. Presented at CSBE/ASABE North Central Intersectional Conference, Brookings, SD, September 18-19, 2009. (Presented by R. Rorick)
  • Rorick, R., Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2009) Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Fermentation of Sugar Beet Pulp. Presented at ASABE International Meeting. Reno, NV, June 21-24, 2009. (Presented by R. Rorick)
  • Pryor, S.W., and Nahar, N. (2009) Impact of Dilute Acid Pretreatment Conditions and Enzyme System on Switchgrass Hydrolysis. Presented at ASABE International Meeting. Reno, NV, June 21-24, 2009. (Presented by S.W. Pryor)
  • Rorick, R., Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2008) Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Pectin and Hemicellulose in Sugar Beet Pulp. Presented at CSBE/ASABE North Central Intersectional Conference, Winnipeg, Canada, Sept 19-20, 2008. (Presented by R. Rorick)
  • Nahar, N., and Farenhorst, A. (2004) Effects of Soil-Landscape Variability on 2,4-D Sorption and Mineralization in Agricultural Fields. Presented at ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings with the Canadian Society of Soil Science, Seattle, WA, October 31 - November 4, 2004. (Presented by N. Nahar).
  • Nahar, N., and Farenhorst, A. (2004) Effects of Landscape Variability on 2,4-D Fate Processes. Presented at 47th Manitoba Soil Science Society, Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Presented by N. Nahar)
  • Nahar, N., and Nazrul-Islam, A. (1997) Phytochemical Analysis of Medicinal Plant (Cassia sophera).Presented at Annual Bangladesh Botanical Society Meeting, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Presented by N. Nahar)

Posters

  • Samaratunga, A., Kudina, O., Nahar, N., Minko, S., and Voronov, A., and Pryor, S.W. (2013) Impact of Enzyme Loading on Activity and Recovery of Cellulases Immobilized on Polymer Brushes. ASABE Annual International Meeting, Kansas City, Missouri. July 21-24, 2013.
  • Samaratunga, A., Kudina, O., Nahar, N., Minko, S., and Voronov, A., and Pryor, S.W. (2012) Recovery and Efficacy of Cellulases Immobilized on Magnetic Core Polymer Brushes. ASABE Annual International Meeting, Dallas, Texas July 29 – August 1, 2012.
  • Kudina, O., Samaratunga, A., Karki, B., Nahar, N., Kohut, A., Ionov, L., Pryor, S.W., Minko, S., and Voronov, A. (2011) Grafted Polymer Brush-Decorated Silica Particles for Enzymatic Recovery in Biomass Processing. ND-SD 2011 Joint EPSCoR Conference, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, October4, 2011.
  • Monono, E., Karki, B., Nahar, N., and Pryor, S.W. (2010) Compositional Analysis of Perennial Grass Species to Evaluate Potential as Individual or Conglomerate Bioenergy Crops. ASABE International Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, June 20-23, 2010.
  • Nahar, N., and Peterson, J. A. (2008) Effect of urbanization on surface water chemistry in SE Texas, USA. ASA, Houston.
  • Nahar, N., and Farenhorst, A. (2004) Herbicide Fate in Soils as Influenced by Soil Microbial Biomass and Landscape Position. ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings with the Canadian Society of Soil Science, Seattle, WA, October 31 - November 4, 2004.
  • Nahar, N., and Farenhorst, A. (2004) Spatial Variability of Soil Organic Carbon Content and 2,4-D Sorption within an Agricultural Field. Proc.47th Manitoba Soil Science Society, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  • Shymko, J. L., Nahar, N., and Farenhorst, A. (2004) Effect of Landscape Position and Soil Moisture on Maximum Rate of 2,4-D Mineralization. Proc. 47th Manitoba Soil Science Society, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  • Nahar, N., Shymko, J. L. and Farenhorst, A. (2003) Effects of Landscape Variability on the Rate and Maximum 2,4-D Mineralization. 4th International Conference on Mycorrhizae, Canadian Soil Science Society, Montreal, Canada.
  • Nahar, N., Shymko, J. L. and Farenhorst, A. (2003) Spatial Variability of 2,4-D Mineralization in an Agricultural Field. Canadian Soil Science Society, Montreal, Canada.

Awards and Honors

  • NDSU Staff Senate Scholarship, 2014, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.
  • Manitoba Soil Science Society Student Competition award (Oral), 2004. 2nd prize, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences Endowment Fund Graduate Studies Award, 2003, University of Manitoba, Canada.
  • National Science and Technology Scholarship, 1997-1998, Ministry of Science and Technology, Bangladesh.