Jian Yu


Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
School of Ocean And Earth Science And Technology
University of Hawaii at Manoa

(808) 956-5873
(808) 956-2336

Ocean and Resources Engineering 620: Marine Bioprocess Engineering

Bioengineering 431: Environmental Biotechnology

Bioengineering 634: Biological treatment

Bioengineering 413: Transport Phenomena


Biopolymers and bioplastics … bioethanol and biofuels … microbial metabolism and fermentation … enzymatic catalysis and enzyme-polymer conjugation … bioreactor engineering and bioprocessing, process simulation and life-cycle assessement

Green technology to produce biodegradable thermoplastics and elastomers from organic wastes (Patent Cooperation Treaty Patent Application PCT/US03/01202, 1/15/2003, International Publication No. WO 03/062439, 7/31/2003; US Patent Application No. 10/501,502, 7/9/2004; Japan Patent Application No. 2003-562306, 7/14/2004; China Patent Application No. 3802258.3, 7/15/2004)

Recovery and purification of polyhydroxyalkanoates from PHA-containing cell mass (US Provisional Patent Application, 5/24/2005).

Graduate assistantships are availabel to students with background and interest in applied microbiology, biochemistry, process engineering,and chemical engineering. Please send inquiry emails to jianyu@hawaii.edu.

Advanced water and waste management in biomass refining for sustainable cellulosic ethaol production

Green production of PHA bioplastics from renewable feedstocks: feedstock pretreatment, novel bioreactor, non-solvent polymer recovery, process simulation, scale-up economics

Proteomics and metabolic engineering of microbial biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates

University of Hawaii Information: 

Associate Professor, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, Aug. 2002 - Present
Associate Professor, Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering, Sept. 2001 - July 2002
Graduate Faculty, Department of Molecular Bioscience and Bioengineering, Oct. 2001- Present

Other Professional: 

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Sept. 1994 - Aug. 2001
Research Associate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Windsor (Canada), Apr. 1993 - Aug. 1994
Postdoctoral Fellow, Science Council of British Columbia/Pacific Fermentation Industries Ltd. Sept. 1991- Feb. 1993.


Ph.D., Biochemical Engineering, University of British Columbia, 1991
M.S., Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University, 1985
B.Eng., Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, 1982

Selected Publications: 

Book chapters

Jian Yu (2012). Generation and utilization of microbial biomass hydrolysates in recovery and production of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate). In: M.D. Matovic (editor), Biomass/Book 2, ISBN 980-953-307-506-3, INTECH (in print). 

Jian Yu (2010). Biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates from 4-ketovaleric acid in bacterial cells. In: H N Cheng & Richard A Gross (editors), Green Polymer Chemistry: Biocatalysis and Biomaterials, ACS Symposium 1043, Pp161-173. 

Jian Yu 2009). Production of green bioplastics from agri-food chain residues and co-products. In: Keith Waldron (editor), Handbook of Waste Management and Co-product Recovery in Food Processing, Vol 2. Pp 515-531, Woodhead Publishing Ltd. Cambridge, UK.   

Jian Yu and Pat Takahashi (2007). Biophotolysis-based hydrogen production by cyanobacteria and green microalgae. In: A. Mendes-Vilas (editor), Communicating Current Research and Educational Topics and Trends in Applied Microbiology. Microbiology Series No.1 Vol. 1, Pp 79-89, Formatex, Badajoz, Spain. 


Peer-reviewed research articles

Nuttapol Tanadchangsaeng, Jian Yu (2013). Miscibility of natural polyhydroxyalkanoate blend with controllable material properties. Journal of Applied Polymer Science DOI:10.1002/APP.38906.

Nuttapol Tanadchangsaeng, Jian Yu (2012). Microbial synthesis of polyhydroxybutyrate from glycerol: gluconeogenesis, molecular weight and material properties of biopolyester. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 109: 2808-2818.

Jian Yu (2012). Artificial photosynthetic system for high efficiency capture and conversion of solar energy and carbon dioxide. IERI Lecture Notes in Information Technology: Power and Energy Systems Vol 13: 64-69.

Matt Jaremko, Jian Yu (2011). The initial metabolic conversion of levulinic acid in Cupriavidus necator. Journal of Biotechnology 155:293-298.

Michael Porter, Jian Yu (2011). Crystallization kinetics of poly(3-hdyroxybutyrate) granules in different environmental conditions. Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology 2:301-310.

Michael Porter, Jian Yu (2011). Monitoring in situ crystallization of biopolyester granules in Ralstonia eutropha via infrared spectroscopy. Journal of Microbiological Methods 87:49-55.

Jian Yu, Lilian X L Chen, Shun Sato (2009). Biopolyester synthesis and protein regulations in Ralstonia eutropha on levulinic acid and its derivatives from biomass refining. Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy 3:113-122.

Sung-Eun Lee, Qing X Li, Jian Yu (2009). Diverse protein regulations on PHA formation in Ralstonia eutropha on short chain organic acids. International Journal of Biological Sciences 5(3):215-225.

Jian Yu and Lilian Chen (2008). The greenhouse gas emissions and fossil energy requirement of bioplastics from cradle to gate of a biomass refinery. Environmental Science & Technology 42(18): 6961-6966. 

Jian Yu and Heiko Stahl (2008). Microbial utilization and biopolyester synthesis of bagasse hydrolysates. Bioresource Technology 99:8042-8046.

Zhe Xu and Jian Yu (2008). Hydrodynamics and mass transfer in a novel multiple airlifting membrane bioreactor. Chemical Engineering Science 63:1941-1949.

Jian Yu and Pat Takahashi (2007). Biophotolysis-based hydrogen production by cyanobacteria and green microalgae. In: A. Mendes-Vilas (editor), Communicating Current Research and Educational Topics and Trends in Applied Microbiology. Microbiology Series No.1 Vol. 1, Pp 79-89, Formatex, Badajoz, Spain.

Jian Yu and Lilian Chen (2006). Cost effective recovery and purification of polyhydroxyalkanoates by selective dissolution of cell mass. Biotechnology Progress 22, 547-553.

Sun-En Lee, Qing X. Li and Jian Yu (2006). Proteomic examination of Ralstonia eutropha in cellular response to formic acid inhibition. Proteomics 6(15):4259-4268.

Jian Yu, David Piklet, Lilian X L Chen (2005). Mechanism and kinetics of the monomeric products from abiotic hydrolysis of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) under acidic and alkaline conditions. Polymer Degradation and Stability 89:289-299.

Lilian X. L. Chen and Jian Yu (2005). Abiotic hydrolysis of biopolyester poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] in acidic and alkaline media. Macromolecular Symposium 224:35-46.

Gary Delanoy, Qingxiao Li and Jian Yu (2005). Activity and stability of laccase in Conjugation with Chitosan. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 35:89-95.

Jian Yu and Yingtao Si (2004). Metabolic carbon fluxes and biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates by Ralstonia eutropha on short chain fatty acids. Biotechnology Progress 20(4):1015-1024.

Guochen Du, Lilian Chen and Jian Yu (2004). High efficiency production of bioplastics form biodegradable organic solids. Journal of Polymers and the Environment, 12:89-94

Jian Yu and Shuwah Tse (2003). Adsorptive immobilization of a Pseudomonas strain and its effective population for augmented dye decomposition in a continuous flow activated sludge reactor. Biofouling, 19(4): 223-233.

Jian Yu (2003). Biodegradation-based polymer surface erosion and surface renewal for foul release at low ship speeds. Biofouling, 19(suppl.): 83-90.

Tommy W. Lo and Jian Yu (2003). The environmental factors and microbial degradation kinetics of poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) in aqueous medium. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 87(2):205-213.

Guocheng Du and Jian Yu (2002). Metabolic analysis on fatty acids utilization by Pseudomonas oleovorans: mcl-poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) synthesis versus b-oxidation. Process Biochemistry, 38:325-332.

Guocheng Du and J. Yu (2002). Green technology for conversion of food scraps to biodegradable thermoplastics polyhydroxyalkanoates. Environmental Science & Technology, 36(24):5511-5516.

J. Yu, Y. Si and W.K. Wang (2002). Kinetics modeling on inhibition and utilization of mixed volatile fatty acids in formation of polyhydroxyalkanoates by Ralstonia eutropha, Process Biochemistry, 37(7):731-738.

W. Lo and J. Yu (2002). Effects of energy dissipation rate and surface erosion on biodegradation of poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) and its blends with synthetic polymers in aqueous medium. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 83, 1036-1045.

G. Du, Y. Si and J. Yu (2001). Inhibition by medium-chain-length fatty acids of formation of polyhydroxyalkanoates from volatile fatty acids by Ralstonia eutropha. Biotechnology Letters, 23(19):1613-1617.

G. Du, J. Chen, J. Yu and S. Lun (2001). Kinetic studies on poly-3-hydroxybutyrate formation by Ralstonia eutropha in a two-stage continuous culture system. Process Biochemistry 37(3):219-227.

M. Ji, J. Yu, H. Chen and P.L. Yue (2001). Removal of slowly biodegradable COD in combined thermophilic UASB and moving bed biofilm reactors. Environmental Technology, 22(9): 1069-1080.

J. Yu and Y. Si (2001). Dynamic study and modeling on formation of polyhydroxyalkanoates coupled with treatment of high strength wastewater, Environmental Science & Technology, 35:3584-3588.

G. Du, J. Chen, J. Yu and S. Lun (2001). Feeding strategy of propionic acid for production of poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) with Ralstonia eutropha. Biochemical Engineering Journal, 8:103-110.

J. Yu, X. Wang and P.L. Yue (2001). Optimal decolorization and kinetic modeling of synthetic dyes by Pseudomonas strains. Water Research, 35(15):3579-3586.

G. Du, J. Chen, J. Yu and S. Lun (2001). Continuous production of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate by Ralstonia eutropha in a two-stage culture system. Journal of Biotechnology, 88:59-65.

J. Yu and J. Wang (2001). Metabolic flux modeling of detoxification of acetic acid by Ralstonia eutropha at slightly alkaline pH levels. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 73(6):458-464.

J. Wang and J. Yu (2001). Kinetic analysis of formation of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) from acetic acid by Ralstonia eutropha under chemically defined conditions. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 26:121-126.

J. Yu (2001). Production of PHA from starchy wastes via organic acids. Journal of Biotechnology. 86:105-112.

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