Ph.D. - Bio-organic Chemistry, University of Washington. 1976.
Areas of Interest
Simo Sarkanen has over 25 years of experience as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota conducting and supervising research in lignin chemistry and biochemistry. His on-going interests embrace the physicochemical properties of macromolecular lignin components, formulations for new polymeric materials with the highest attainable lignin contents, the enzymatic basis of the inaugural steps in lignin biodegradation, and the replication of macromolecular primary structures through a template polymerization mechanism during lignin biosynthesis. With his coworkers, he has sought to: create the first thermoplastics in which simple lignin derivatives are the sole active components; isolate the first enzyme that may qualify as a true lignin depolymerase; develop the first comprehensive working hypothesis for a mechanism through which lignin macromolecules could undergo replication as they are biosynthesized.
ESPM 4607/5607: Industrial Biotechnology and the Environment
BBE 8001 and 8002: Graduate Student Seminars
Chen, Y.-r.; Sarkanen, S.; Wang, Y.-Y.: Lignin-Degrading Enzyme Activities. In Methods in Molecular Biology: Biomass Conversion; Himmel, M.E., Ed.; Humana Press. 2012, pp. 251-268.
Chen, Y.-r.; Sarkanen, S.: From the macromolecular behavior of lignin components to the mechanical properties of lignin-based plastics. Cellulose Chem. Technol. 2006, 40(3-4), 149-163.
Li, Y.; Sarkanen, S.: Miscible blends of kraft lignin derivatives with low-Tg polymers. Macromolecules 2005, 38, 2296-2306.
Li, Y.; Mlynár, J.; Sarkanen, S.: The first 85% kraft lignin-based thermoplastics. J. Polym. Sci. B: Polym. Phys. 1997, 35, 1899-1910.
Compositions Including Lignin: Chen, Y.-r.; Sarkanen, S.; Wang, Y.-Y. 2015, International Patent Application No. PCT/US2015/020599, filed March 13.
Lignin Degrading Methods: Chen, Y.-r.; Sarkanen, S.; Wang, Y.-Y. International Patent Application No. PCT/US12/69243 filed December 12, 2012. National Stage Application for U.S. (No. 14/364,448) filed June 11, 2014; corresponding National Stage Application for Canada filed June 18, 2014.
Compositions Based on Lignin Derivatives: Sarkanen, S.; Li, Y. U.S. Patent 2001, No. 6,172,204 issued January 9 (licensed to cycleWood Solutions, LLC, September 27, 2011).