On Sept 26, 2009, the Acceptance Meeting of Basic Study on the Critical Process of Adding High Values to Straw Resources Project under National 973 Program (Project) was held in the main building of IPE. The meeting was presided over by Professor Hongzhang Chen, the chief scientist of the Project. The expert panel of acceptance consisted of 13 members from consultants for the 973 Program, peers and experts in process management outside the project. Professor Suojiang Zhang, Executive Deputy Director of IPE made a speech on the meeting.
The Project was initiated in 2004, the first project under 973 Program commissioned to IPE. Taking the main straw resources in China as the object, the project focused on 3 key issues: separation mechanism of straw components and their reactivity; breaking of cellulose hydrogen-bonded complex and formation of short fiber; and the basic engineering theory for straw multilevel conversion. In the research, the project group adopted microcosmic ways in macromolecular chemistry, molecular biology and cellulose enzymology to solve the problems at the level of mechanism with thoughts of large biochemical and chemical projects and recycling biological economy. Through the project, the academic achievements in straw component separation, multilevel ecological conversion and optimization of conversion process were applied to the whole industrial chain of high-valued straw ecology and a new model had been established for the high quality straw industry. After 5-year’s hard works, the Project group not only had over fulfilled their mission planned, but also had done a great deal of works in industrialization of the research results. Several demo pilot plants were set up. In the end, the group had 274 papers published, in which 46 papers included by SCI, filed 138 patent applications and had 32 patent grants; and published more than 10 monographs. One team member is awarded by National Grants for Distinguished Young Scholar Fund and one is listed in CAS 100 Talents Program.
After hearing out the comprehensive reports from each team leaders and reviewing the conclusion report of tasks, the expert panel made their comments in terms of completion status, the position and novelty of the research achievements, each team’s capacity for innovation, team building and data sharing and collection and project dossier. The expert panel of acceptance thought that, the project covered extended areas and many were the hot spots currently pursued by the international academics. Under the leadership of Professor HongZhang Chen, the chief scientist of the project, every task in the project were successfully completed with multiple innovative achievements, which provided the theoretical bases for the high value applications of straw. Furthermore, the experts hoped that further studies on newly emerging technology would be continued and the new formed ecological industrial chain could be industrialization soonest.