Photo of Ashutosh Mittal

Ashutosh Mittal

Researcher IV-Chemistry


Research Interests

Ashutosh Mittal received an M.S. in 2004 and a Ph.D. in 2007 in environmental resource engineering, both from the Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering at the State University College of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). His dissertation work was focused on studying the kinetics of hemicellulose (sugars) extraction from hardwoods (sugar maple and aspen) during hot water extraction (autohydrolysis). At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), he is actively involved in research on biomass pretreatment and conversion of biomass-derived sugars to fuels and chemicals.

  • Investigating/developing alternative pretreatment technologies such as alkaline peroxide and ammonia pretreatment for efficient fractionation of biomass components

  • Base-catalyzed depolymerization of lignin

  • Conversion of xylose (biomass derived 5-carbon sugar) to furfural for the production of green chemicals

Areas of Expertise

  • Pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass

  • Chemical kinetics and reaction mechanisms in biomass processing

  • Biomass structural analysis and processing

  • Analytical chemistry (HPLC)


  • Ph.D., Environmental Resource Engineering, SUNY, ESF, Syracuse

  • M.S., Environmental Resource Engineering, SUNY, ESF, Syracuse

Professional Experience

  • Research Scientist IV, NREL, Golden, CO, USA, Sep 2014–present

  • Research Scientist III, NREL, Golden, CO, USA, Jan 2008Aug 2014

  • Staff Scientist, Logen Corporation, Ottawa, ON, Canada, May 2007Jan 2008

Featured Publications

  1. "Alkaline peroxide delignification of corn stover," ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. (2017)

  2. "Production of Furfural from Process-relevant Biomass-derived Pentoses in a Biphasic Reaction System," ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. (2017)

  3. Ammonia pretreatment of corn stover enables facile lignin extraction,” ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. (2017)

  4. "Base-catalyzed depolymerization of biorefinery lignins," ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. (2016)

  5. "Influence of Crystal Allomorph and Crystallinity on the Products and Behavior of Cellulose during Fast Pyrolysis," ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. (2016) 

  6. "New perspective on glycoside hydrolase binding to lignin from pretreated corn stover," Biotechnology for biofuels (2015)
  7. "Parameter determination and validation for a mechanistic model of the enzymatic saccharification of cellulose-Iβ," Biotechnology Progress (2015)

  8. "Alkaline pretreatment of switchgrass," ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2015)

  9. "A thermodynamic investigation of the cellulose allomorphs: cellulose(am), cellulose Iβ(cr), cellulose II(cr), and cellulose III(cr)," The Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics (2015)

  10. "Investigation of the role of lignin in biphasic xylan hydrolysis during dilute acid and organosolv pretreatment of corn stover," Green Chemistry (2015)

  11. "Agave proves to be a low recalcitrant lignocellulosic feedstock for biofuels production on semi-arid lands," Biotechnology for Biofuels (2014)

  12. "Alkaline Pretreatment of Corn Stover: Bench-Scale Fractionation and Stream Characterization," ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2014)

  13. "Evaluation of Clean Fractionation Pretreatment for the Production of Renewable Fuels and Chemicals from Corn Stover," ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2014)

  14. "Clean Fractionation Pretreatment Reduces Enzyme Loadings for Biomass Saccharification and Reveals the Mechanism of Free and Cellulosomal Enzyme Synergy," ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2014)

  15. "Vibrational sum-frequency-generation (SFG) spectroscopy study of the structural assembly of cellulose microfibrils in reaction woods,"Cellulose (2014)

  16. "Investigation of xylose reversion reactions in dilute acid pretreatment," Energy & Fuels (2013)

  17. "Special Issue: Application of Biotechnology for Biofuels: Transforming Biomass to Biofuels," 3 Biotech (2013)

  18. "Cellulose Polymorphism Study with Sum-Frequency-Generation (SFG) Vibration Spectroscopy: Identification of Exocyclic CH2OH Conformation and Chain Orientation," Cellulose (2013)

  19. "The hydration and saccharification of cellulose Iβ, II and IIII at high solids loadings," Biotechnology Letters (2013)

  20. "Effects of alkaline or liquid-ammonia treatment on crystalline cellulose: Changes in morphology, crystallinity index, and enzymatic digestibility," Biotechnology for Biofuels (2011)

  21. "Glucose Reversion Reaction Kinetics," Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2010)

  22. "Quantitative analysis of sugars in wood hydrolyzates with 1H NMR during the autohydrolysis of hardwoods," Bioresource Technology (2009)

View all NREL Publications for Ashutosh Mittal.