Canada Excellence Research Chair in Bioproducts | Scientific Director, Bioproducts Institute
CHBE 259

Research Summary

Biobased Colloids and Materials, Renewable Nanomaterials, Bioproducts


Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden, 2003, Postdoctoral Associate
Auburn University, USA, 1998, Ph.D.
Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela, 1993, M.Sc.
Universitat Politecnica Catalunya (UPC), Spain, 1986, M.Sc.
Universidad de Los Andes (ULA), Venezuela, 1985, B.Sc.

Research interests + projects

Prof. Orlando Rojas works toward supporting global sustainable development through research on the fundamental and utilization aspects of renewable resources, including lignocellulose, proteins and other biopolymers. His research aims to discover competitive alternatives for fossil materials. Specific research interests include:

  • Nanopolysaccharides (based on cellulose, chitin, starches and others)
  • Bacterial nanocelluloses
  • Cellulose derivatives
  • Lignins, colloidal lignins, nanolignins and their uses
  • Renewable biopolymers (hemicelluloses, proteins, chitin and chitosan, alginates and others)
  • Multiphase systems (emulsions, foams, dispersed systems), gels, aerogels
  • Films, filaments and hybrid materials
  • Nanocomposites
  • Bioactive systems
  • Fiber processing
  • Pulp and paper

Awards and honours

Anselme Payen Award , 2018
Recipient of the Act of the Year , 2018
EU Commission ERC Advanced grant recipient , 2018
FinnCERES Finnish Bioeconomy Flagship , 2018
Chair, Materials Platform, Aalto University , 2017
Weaver Distinguished Lecturer of Auburn University , 2017
Invited Visiting Faculty, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica , 2017
Top ten author during the last 5 years in ACS’ journal Biomacromolecules , 2017
Fibrenamics Award, University on Minho, Portugal , 2016

Selected publications + presentations

Li T., Chen C., Brozena A.H., Zhu J.Y., Xu L., Driemeier C., Dai J., Rojas O.J., Isogai A., Wågberg L., Hu L., Developing fibrillated cellulose as a sustainable technological material, Nature, 590, 47–56 (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-03167-7

Beaumont M., Jusner P., Gierlinger N., King A.W.T., Potthast A., Rojas O.J., Rosenau T., Unique Reactivity of Nanoporous Cellulosic Materials Mediated by Surface-Confined Water, Nature Communications, 12, 2513 (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22682-3

Grillo R., Mattos B.D., Antunes D.R., Forini M.M.L., Monikh F.A., Rojas O.J., Foliage adhesion and interactions with particulate delivery systems for plant nanobionics and intelligent agriculture, Nano Today 37, 101078 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.nantod.2021.101078

Zhao B., Borghei M., Zou T., Wang L., Johansson L-S., Majoinen J., Sipponen M.H., Österberg M., Mattos B.D., Rojas O.J., Lignin-Based Porous Supraparticles for Carbon Capture, ACS Nano, 15, 6774–6786 (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.0c10307

Ge W., Cao S., Yang Y., Rojas O.J., Wang X., Nanocellulose/LiCl Systems Enable Conductive and Stretchable Electrolyte Hydrogels with Tolerance to Dehydration and Extreme Cold Conditions, Chemical Engineering Journal, 408, 127306 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2020.127306

Guo T., Wan Z., Li D., Song J., Rojas O.J., Jin Y., Intermolecular self-assembly of dopamineconjugated carboxymethylcellulose and carbon nanotubes toward supertough filaments and multifunctional wearables, Chemical Engineering Journal, 128981 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2021.128981

Huan S., Zhu Y., Xu W., McClements D.J., Bai L., Rojas O.J., Pickering Emulsions via Interfacial Nanoparticle Complexation of Oppositely Charged Nanopolysaccharides, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 13, 12581–12593 (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c22560

Yazdani, M.R., Ajdary R., Kankkunen A., Rojas O.J., Seppälä A., Cellulose nanofibrils endow phase change polyethylene glycol with form control and solid-to-gel transition for thermal energy storage, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 13, 6188–6200 (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c18623

Chu G., Chen F., Zhao B., Zhang X., Zussman E., Rojas O.J., Self-Assembled Nanorods and Microspheres for Functional Photonics: Retroreflector Meets Microlens Array, Advanced Optical Materials, 2002258 (2021). DOI: 10.1002/adom.202002258

Niu X., Huan S.Q., Li H.M., Pan H., Rojas O.J., Transparent films by ionic liquid welding of cellulose nanofibers and polylactide: Enhanced biodegradability in marine environments, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 402, 124073 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124073

Zwilling J., Jiang X., Venditti R.A., Jameel H., Velev O.D., Rojas O.J., Gonzalez R., Understanding lignin micro- and nanoparticle nucleation and growth in aqueous suspensions by solvent fractionation, Green Chemistry, 23, 1001-1012, (2021). DOI: 10.1039/D0GC03632C

Bai L., Huan S., Zhu Y., Chu G., McClements D.J., Rojas O.J., Recent Advances in Food Emulsions and Engineering Foodstuffs Using Plant-Based Nanocelluloses, Annual Review of Food Science and Technology, 12, 383-406 (2021). DOI: 10.1146/annurev-food-061920-123242

Balakshin M.Y., Capanema E.A.,  Sulaeva I., Schlee P., Huang Z., Feng M., Borghei M., Rojas O.J., Potthast A., Rosenau T. New opportunities in the valorization of technical lignins, ChemSusChem, 14, 1016 (2021). DOI: 10.1002/cssc.202002553

Nugroho R.W.N., Outinen M., Toikkanen O., Heino A., Sawada D., Rojas O.J., Effect of water activity on the functional, colloidal, physical, and microstructural properties of infant formula powder, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 586, 56-66 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2020.10.069

Jin S.-A., Facchine E.G., Rojas O.J., Khan S.A., Spontak R.J, Mesophase Characteristics of Cellulose Nanocrystal Films Prepared from Electrolyte Suspensions, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 599, 207-218 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2021.04.071

Jin S.-A., Facchine E.G., Rojas O.J., Khan S.A., Spontak R.J., Cellulose Nanofibers and the Film-Formation Dilemma: Drying Temperature and Tunable Optical, Mechanical and Wetting Properties of Nanocomposite Films Composed of Waterborne Sulfopolyesters, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 598, 369-378 (2021). DOI:

Facchine E.G., Bai L., Rojas O.J., Khan S.A., Associative structures formed from cellulose nanofibrils and nanochitins are pH-responsive and exhibit tunable rheology, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 588, 232-241 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2020.12.041

Ajdary R., Kretzschmar N., Baniasadi H., Trifol J., Seppälä J.V., Partanen J., Rojas O.J., Selective Laser Sintering of Lignin-based Composites, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 9, 7, 2727–2735 (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c07996

Borrero-López A.M., Wang W., Valencia C., Franco J.M., Rojas O.J., Lignin effects in castor oil-based elastomers and new limits in their rheological and cushioning behavior, Composites Science and Technology, 203, 108602.(2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.compscitech.2020.108602

Hong G., Cheng H., Zhang S., Rojas, O.J. Mussel-inspired reinforcement of a biodegradable aliphatic polyester with bamboo fibers, Journal of Cleaner Production, 296, 126587 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.126587

Zambrano F., Wang Y., Zwilling J.D., Venditti R.A., Jameel H., Rojas O.J., Gonzalez R., Micro- and nanofibrillated cellulose from virgin and recycled fibers: A comparative study of its effects on the properties of hygiene tissue paper, Carbohydrate Polymers, 254, 117430 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.117430

Baniasadi H., Ajdary R., Trifol J., Rojas O.J., Seppälä J., Direct ink writing of aloe vera/cellulose nanofibrils bio-hydrogels, Carbohydrate Polymers, 266, 118114 (2021). DOI:  10.1016/j.carbpol.2021.118114

Shi X., Yazdani M.R., Ajdary R., Rojas O.J., Leakage-proof microencapsulation of phase change materials by emulsification with acetylated cellulose nanofibrils, Carbohydrate Polymers, 254, 117430 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.117279

Guo S., Li X., Kuang Y., Liao J., Li J., Mo L., He S., Zhu W., Song J., Song T., Rojas O.J., Residual Lignin in Cellulose Nanofibrils Enhances the Interfacial Stabilization of Pickering Emulsions, Carbohydrate Polymers, 253, 117223 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.117223

Berto G.L., Mattos B.D., Rojas O.J., Arantes V., Single-step fiber pre-treatment with monocomponent endoglucanases: defibrillation energy and cellulose nanofibril quality, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 9, 2260–2270 (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c08162

Bast L.K., Klockars K.W., Greca L.G., Rojas O.J., Tardy B.L., Bruns N., Infiltration of Proteins in Cholesteric Cellulose Structures, Biomacromolecules (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.1c00183

Pasquier E., Mattos B.D., Belgacem N., Bras J., Rojas O.J., Lignin nanoparticle nucleation and growth on cellulose and chitin nanofibers, Biomacromolecules, 22, 880–889 (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.0c01596

Gonzalez-Vogel A., Carrasco F.F., Rojas O.J., 3D Printed manifolds for improved flow management in electrodialysis operation for desalination, Desalination, 505, 114996 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2021.114996

Lehtonen J., Chen X., Beaumont M., Hassinen J., Orelma H., Dumée L.F., Tardy B.L., Rojas O.J., Impact of incubation conditions and post-treatment on the properties of bacterial cellulose membranes for pressure-driven filtration, Cellulose, 251, 117073 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.117073

Väisänen S., Ajdary R., Altgen M., Nieminen K., Kesari K.K., Ruokolainen J., Rojas O.J., Vuorinen T., Cellulose dissolution in aqueous NaOH-ZnO: Cellulose reactivity and the role of ZnO, Cellulose, 28,–1281 (2021). DOI: 10.1007/s10570-020-03621-9

Lv S., Zhou H., Bai L., Rojas O.J., McClements D.J., Development of food-grade Pickering emulsions stabilized by a mixture of cellulose nanofibrils and nanochitin, Food Hydrocolloids, 113, 106451 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2020.106451

Zhou H., Dai T., Liu J., Tan Y., Bai L., Rojas O.J., McClements D.J., Chitin Nanocrystals Reduce Lipid Digestion and β-Carotene Bioaccessibility: An In-Vitro INFOGEST Gastrointestinal Study, Food Hydrocolloids, 113, 106494 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2020.106494

Tyagi P., Gutierrez J.N., Nathani V., Lucia L.A., Rojas O.J., Hubbe M.H., Pal L., Hydrothermal and mechanically generated hemp hurd nanofibers for sustainable barrier coatings/films, Industrial Crops & Products (2021). DOI:  10.1016/j.indcrop.2021.113582

Kaschuk J.J., Borghei M., Solin K., Tripathi A., Khakalo A., Leite F.A.S., Branco A., de Sousa M.C.A., Frollini E., Rojas O.J., Cross-linked and surface-modified cellulose acetate as a cover layer for paperbased electrochromic devices, ACS Applied Polymer Materials, (2021). DOI:  10.1021/acsapm.0c01252

Bai L., Huan S., Rojas O.J., McClements D.J., Recent Innovations in Emulsion Science and Technology for Food Applications, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c01877

Hokkanen S.P., Partanen R., Jukkola A., Frey A.D., Rojas O.J., Partitioning of the milk fat globule membrane between buttermilk and butter serum is determined by the thermal behaviour of the fat globules, International Dairy Journal, 112, 104863 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.idairyj.2020.104863

Ma Q., Lu X., Wang W., Hubbe M.A., Liu Y., Mu J., Wang J., Sun J., Rojas O.J., Recent developments in colorimetric and optical indicators stimulated by volatile base nitrogen to monitor seafood freshness, Food Packaging and Shelf Life, 28, 100634 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.fpsl.2021.100634.

Sulbarán-Rangel B., Hernández Díaz J.A., Guzmán González C.A., Rojas O.J., Partially acetylated cellulose nanofibrils from Agave tequilana bagasse and Pickering stabilization, Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology, Accepted (2021). DOI: 10.1080/01932691.2020.1858855

Gonzalez-Vogel A., Moltedo J.J., Quezada R., Schwarz A., Rojas O.J., Pilot treatment of bleaching acidic filtrate in Kraft pulping with high frequency pulsed electrodialysis, Journal of Environmental Management, 282, 111891 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111891