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Using Biomass Waste to Create Low-Cost, Sustainable Fertilizer

Imagine being able to develop a low-cost and sustainable fertilizer that improves the production of crops and plant growth by repurposing the massive amounts of biomass waste that exist worldwide. This is the goal of Benjamin S. Hsiao, distinguished professor of chemistry at Stony Brook University. He and colleagues at Stony Brook and University of Queensland in Australia (led by Darren Martin, professor of chemical engineering) are embarking on a project to achieve this.

The Team of Dr. Benjamin S. Hsiao Won Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water - Creativity Prize (2020)

Dr. Hsiao’s team has developed adsorbents, coagulants and membrane materials from sustainable, biomass-sourced nanocellulose fibers along with numerous practical applications that promise to provide effective water purification for off-grid communities of the developing world. Their work also involves the development of environmentally friendly biomass extraction processes to produce these low-cost cellulose nanofibers for use in energy-efficient industrial water treatments, desalination and heavy metal removal, capable of reaching a performance/price ratio of over 10-100 times better than existing commercial systems. (The team also includes Dr. Priyanka Sharma, research scientist at Stony Brook University.)

The Team of Dr. Benjamin S. Hsiao Won Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water - Creativity Prize (2020)

On 26 July 2020, the Prize Council Chairman Dr. Badran Al-Omar, under the direction of PSIPW President HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, announced the winners for the 9th Award (2020) of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW). 

The team of Dr. Benjamin S. Hsiao won the Creativity Prize.

SBU’s Ben Hsiao, Priyanka Sharma win prestigious global water prize


TRB News Media recently interviewed the research team for winning first place for creativity in the prestigious Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water. Dr. Benjamin S. Hsiao and Dr. Priyanka Sharma talked about the experience of winning the prestigious global water prize in this interview article. 

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Dr. Priyanka Sharma won 2018 Blavatnik Regional Award


Congratulation to Dr. Priyanka Sharma, postdoc in the our group, for being named as a Finalist for the 2018 Blavatnik Regional Award for Young Scientists. The Blavatnik Regional Awards acknowledge and celebrate the excellence of outstanding postdoctoral scientists from institutions in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The finalist award comes with a $10,000 prize. Dr. Sharma is the first postdoc from Stony Brook University to be recognized by the Blavatnik Awards in at least the last 5 years!


Dr. Sharma was recognized for her pioneering work on converting untreated biomass to carboxycellulose nanofibers for applications in biomedicine and water purification.



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Dr.Tomas Rosen's Incredible Performance on Gotham Rock Choir Concert

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