UIUC Algae Biofuels

Members - Prof Yuanhui Zhang
Contact - Background - Research - Awards

Ph.D., P.E.
Professor and Associate Department Head of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Agricultural Engineering Sciences Building
332C AESB, MC-644
1304 W. Pennsylvania Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Ph: (217) 333-2693
Fax: (217) 244-0323
E-mail: yzhang@illinois.edu


Professor Zhang is a faculty member in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department here at the University of Illinois. His past education and professional experiences include:


  • Ph.D., Agricultural Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, 1989
  • M.S., Agricultural Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, 1985
  • B.S., Agricultural Engineering, Shandong Institute of Technology, China, 1978

Professional Experience

  • Professor, 2003-date, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, University of Illinois. Affiliate, Bioengineering Dept, Mechanical Science and Engineering Dept and Civil & Environmental Engineering Dept, University of Illinois
  • Associate Professor, 1996-2003, Agricultural Engineering Department, University of Illinois
  • Research Scientist - Engineering and Adjunct Professor, 1992-1996, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Research Associate, 1990-1992, Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Illinois
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, 1989-1990, Agricultural and Bioresources Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Canada


Professor Zhang's research is to enhance the quality of living by focusing on the immediate environment of living things, people, animal and plants. One of his research areas is indoor air quality engineering. His team has developed and continued research on aerodynamic filter-less air cleaning; and three-dimensional, near-real-time volumetric particle tracking velocimetry (VPTV) for room air flow measurement and modeling. His book, Indoor Air Quality Engineering, has been used as textbook in several universities.
Professor Zhang has pioneered the research in Environment-Enhancing Energy (E2-Energy), in which he combines waste treatment, water cleaning, carbon dioxide sequestration and biofuel conversion into one process. He has successfully converted biowaste including animal and human waste, food processing waste and algae into crude oil using thermochemical conversion (TCC) much similar to mother-nature's petroleum-formation, but in a few minutes rather than geological years.


Awards and Fellowships
Professor Zhang's past awards and fellowhships include the following:

  • Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, U of I College of Engineering, 1997
  • General Electric Scholar, U of I College of Engineering, 1997
  • Blue Ribbon Award, American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 1998
  • Teaching Excellence Award, U of I Department of Agricultural Engineering, 1999
  • Bliss Faculty Scholar Award, College of Engineering, University of Illinois, 2005
  • Henry Giese Award, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2008
  • Fellow, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers, 2008