Sibel Irmak, PhD

Contact Information:
Lincoln: East Campus
218 L.W. Chase Hall
(402) 472-0900

Research Associate Professor
Academic Degrees
  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Cukurova University, Adana/Turkey
  • M.S., Chemistry, Cukurova University, Adana/Turkey
  • B.S., Chemistry, Cukurova University, Adana/Turkey
  • 100% Research
Areas of Research and Professional Interest
  • Production of biofuels, bioproducts and green chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass
  • Gasification of lignocellulosic biomass in aqueous media
  • Developing catalysts for green synthesis and biomass conversion using nanotechnological approaches
  • Extraction, purification and identification of bioactive compounds from various sources
  • Advanced oxidation processes for remediation of wastewater

  • Faculty, Department of Chemistry, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey (2006–2013).
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Grain Science and Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (2005–2006).
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK (2003–2005).
  • Research Scholar, Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2001–2002).

Honors and Awards


  • “Outstanding contribution in reviewing” award from Elsevier for the contributions made to the quality of the ‘International Journal of Hydrogen Energy’, 2019.
  • NZFUW/Daphne Purves Award presented by International Federation of University Women, 2000.
  • TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) Encouragement Award for International Publications.
  • Cukurova University International Publications Encouragement Award (BEDEK).
  • B.S. Graduated in Honors, first rank in the class, 1997.
  • Teaching Certificate (Faculty of Education, Cukurova University, Turkey), 1997.


Selected Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

  • Kang, J., Irmak, S., Wilkins, W., 2019. Conversion of lignin into renewable compounds by advanced oxidation processes. Renewable Energy 135, 951-962.
  • Chen, L., Wei, W., Irmak, S. Chaves, B.E., Subbiah, J., 2019. Inactivation of Salmonella enterica and Enterococcus faecium NRRL B-2354 in cumin seeds by radiofrequency heating. Food Control 103, 59-69.
  • Wei, X., Lau, S.K., Stratton, J., Irmak, S., Subbiah, J., 2019. Radiofrequency pasteurization process for inactivation of Salmonella spp. and Enterococcus faecium NRRL B-2354 on ground black pepper. Food Microbiology 82, 388–397.
  • Irmak, S., and O.N. Tiryaki. 2018. Alternative biomass materials to corn for production of value-added products. UNL Extension NebGuide G2310 (Index: Crops, Crop Production/Field Crops, Issued October 2018).
  • Irmak, S. 2018. Factors affecting hydrogen production from biomass in hydrothermal conditions. International Journal of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering 1(1), 1-5.
  • Xinyao, W., Lau, S. K., Stratton, J., Irmak, S., Bianchini, A.,  Subbiah, J., 2018. Radio-frequency processing for inactivation of Salmonella enterica and Enterococcus faecium NRRL B-2354 in black peppercorn. Journal of Food Protection 81(10), 1685-1695.
  • Ozsel, B. K., B. Nis, B. Meryemoglu, A. Hasanoglu, and S. Irmak. 2018. Utilization of waste cotton linter for preparation of activated carbon to be used as catalyst support in aqueous-phase reforming process. Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy, DOI: 10.1002/ep.12988.
  • Irmak, S., B. Meryemoglu, A. Sandip, J. Subbiah, R.B. Mitchell, and G. Sarath. 2018. Microwave pretreatment effects on Switchgrass and Miscanthus solubilization in subcritical water and hydrolysate utilization for hydrogen production. Biomass and Bioenergy 108, 48-54.
  • Irmak, S. and B. Meryemoglu. 2017. Comparison of perennial grasses and corn based agricultural biomass materials for high-yielding hydrogen gas production. Transaction of the ASABE 60(3), 601-606.
  • Irmak, S., H. Canisag, C. Vokoun, and B. Meryemoglu. 2017. Xylitol production from lignocellulosics: Are corn biomass residues good candidates? Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology 11, 220-223.
  • Irmak, S., 2017. Carbon-based supported catalysts for biomass conversion. Journal of Biochemical Engineering & Bioprocess Technology, 1(1), 1-2. (Editorial paper).
  • Virtanen, S., R. R. Chowreddy, S. Irmak, K. Honkapää, and L. Isom. 2016. Biodegradable mulch films from food industry co-streams. Journal of Polymers and the Environment. DOI 10.1007/s10924-016-0888-y.
  • Meryemoglu, B., S. Irmak, and A. Hasanoglu. 2016. Production of activated carbon materials from kenaf biomass to be used as catalyst support in aqueous-phase reforming process. Fuel Processing Technology 151, 59-63.
  • Hasanoglu, A., B. Meryemoglu, S. Irmak, M. Kurtulus, and O. Erbatur, 2016. A new approach for high-yield hydrogen production: Atmospheric pressure vapour-phase catalytic reforming of biomass hydrolysate. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 41, 12880-12887.
  • Huang, X., S. Irmak, Y. F. Lu, I. Pipinos, G. Casale, and J. Subbiah. 2015. Spontaneous and coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy of human gastrocnemius muscle biopsies in CH-stretching region for discrimination of peripheral artery disease. Biomedical Optics Express 6, 2766-2777.
  • Irmak, S., B. Meryemoglu, B. K. Ozsel, A. Hasanoglu, and O. Erbatur. 2015. Improving activity of Pt supported metal catalysts by changing reduction method of Pt precursor for hydrogen production from biomass. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 40, 14826-14832.
  • Kaya, B., S. Irmak, A. Hasanoğlu, and O. Erbatur. 2015. Developing Pt based bimetallic and trimetallic carbon supported catalysts for aqueous-phase reforming of biomass-derived compounds. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 40, 3849-3858.
  • Irmak, S., B. Meryemoğlu, A. Hasanoğlu, and O. Erbatur. 2015. Does reduced or non-reduced biomass feed produce more gas in aqueous-phase reforming process? Fuel 139, 160-163.
  • Kaya, B., S. Irmak, A. Hasanoğlu, and O. Erbatur. 2014. Evaluation of various carbon materials supported Pt catalysts for aqueous-phase reforming of lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysate. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 39, 10135-10140.
  • Meryemoğlu, B., A. Hasanoğlu, S. Irmak, and O. Erbatur. 2014. Biofuel production by liquefaction of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) biomass. Bioresource Technology 151, 278-283.
  • Meryemoğlu, B., A. Hasanoğlu, B. Kaya, S. Irmak, and O. Erbatur. 2014. Hydrogen production from aqueous-phase reforming of sorghum biomass: An application of the response surface methodology.  Renewable Energy 62, 535-541.
  • Meryemoğlu, B., S. Irmak, A. Hasanoğlu, O. Erbatur, and B. Kaya. 2014. Influence of particle size of support on reforming activity and selectivity of activated carbon supported platinum catalyst in APR. Fuel 134, 354-357.
  • Irmak, S., M. Kurtuluş, A. Hasanoğlu (Hesenov), and O. Erbatur. 2013. Gasification efficiencies of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin fractions of biomass in aqueous media by using Pt on activated carbon catalyst. Biomass & Bioenergy 49, 102-108.
  • Meryemoglu, B., S. Irmak, A. Hesenov, and O. Erbatur. 2012. Preparation of activated carbon supported Pt catalysts and optimization of their catalytic activities for hydrogen gas production from the hydrothermal treatment of biomass-derived compounds. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 37, 17844-17852.
  • Kaya, B., S. Irmak, A. Hesenov, O. Erbatur, and C. Erkey. 2012. Effect of support materials on supported platinum catalyst prepared using a supercritical fluid deposition technique and their catalytic performance for hydrogen-rich gas production from lignocellulosic biomass. Bioresource Technology 123, 723-726.
  • Meryemoglu, B., B. Kaya, S. Irmak, A. Hesenov, and O. Erbatur. 2012. Comparison of batch aqueous-phase reforming of glycerol and lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysate. Fuel 97, 241-244.
  • Naeem, H.A., D. Paulon, S. Irmak, and F. MacRitchie. 2012. Developmental and environmental effects on the assembly of glutenin polymers and the impact on grain quality of wheat. Journal of Cereal Science 56, 51-57.
  • Hesenov, A., H. Kınık, G. Puli, B. Gözmen, S. Irmak, and O. Erbatur. 2011. Electrolysis of coal slurries to produce hydrogen gas: Relationship between CO2 and H2 formation. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 36, 5361-5368.
  • Meryemoglu, B., A. Hesenov, S. Irmak, O.M. Atanur, and O. Erbatur. 2010. Aqueous-phase reforming of biomass using various types of supported precious metal and raney-nickel catalysts for hydrogen production. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 35, 12580-12587.
  • Öztürk, İ., S. Irmak, A. Hesenov, and O. Erbatur. 2010. Hydrolysis of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) stems by catalytical thermal treatment in subcritical water.  Biomass & Bioenergy 34, 1578-1585.
  • Irmak, S. and İ. Öztürk. 2010. Hydrogen rich gas production by thermocatalytic decomposition of kenaf biomass. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 35, 5312-5317.
  • Irmak, S., K. Solakyildirim, A. Hesenov, and O. Erbatur. 2010. Study on the stability of supercritical fluid extracted Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) essential oil. Journal of Analytical Chemistry 65, 899-906.
  • Jonnala, R. S., S. Irmak, F. MacRitchie, and S. R. Bean. 2010. Phenolics in the bran of waxy wheat and triticale lines. Journal of Cereal Science 52, 509-515.
  • Dunford, N.T., S. Irmak, and R.S. Jonnala. 2010. Pressurised solvent extraction of policosanol from wheat straw, germ and bran. Food Chemistry 119, 1246-1249.
  • Dunford, N.T., S. Irmak, and R.S. Jonnala. 2009. Effect of the solvent type and temperature on phytosterol contents and compositions of wheat straw, bran, and germ extracts. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 57, 10608-10611.
  • Irmak, S., R.S. Jonnala, and F. MacRitchie. 2008. Effect of genetic variation on phenolic acid and policosanol contents of Pegaso wheat lines. Journal of Cereal Science 48, 20-26.
  • Irmak, S., H.A. Naeem, G.L. Lookhart, and F. MacRitchie. 2008. Effect of heat stress on wheat proteins during kernel development in wheat near-isogenic lines differing at Glu-D1, Journal of Cereal Science 48, 513-516.
  • Irmak, S., N.T. Dunford, S.E. Gilliland, V. Banskalieva, and M. Eisenmenger. 2006. Biocatalysis of linoleic acid to conjugated linoleic acid. Lipids 41, 771-776.
  • Irmak, S., N.T. Dunford, and J. Milligan. 2006. Policosanol contents of beeswax, sugar cane and wheat extracts. Food Chemistry 95, 312-318.
  • Irmak, S., H.I. Yavuz, and O. Erbatur. 2006. Degradation of 4-chloro-2-methylphenol in aqueous solution by electro-Fenton and photoelectro-Fenton processes. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 63, 243-248.
  • Irmak, S., O. Erbatur, and E. Kuşvuran. 2006. Degradation of alkylphenolic compounds in aqueous media by Fenton and ultraviolet induced Fenton reaction, Fresenius Environmental Bulletin 15, 1601-1606.
  • Irmak, S. and N.T. Dunford. 2005. Policosanol contents and compositions of wheat bran varieties. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 53, 5583-5586.
  • Irmak, S., O. Erbatur, and A. Akgerman. 2005. Decomposition of 17β-estradiol and bisphenol-A in aqueous medium by using ozone and ozone/UV techniques. Journal of Hazardous Materials 126, 54-62.
  • Kuşvuran, E., S. Irmak, H. I. Yavuz, A. Samil, and O. Erbatur. 2005. Comparison of treatment methods efficiency on decolorization and mineralization of reactive black 5 azo dye. Journal of Hazardous Materials 119, 109-116.
  • Irmak, S., E. Kuşvuran, and O. Erbatur. 2004. Degradation of 4-chloro-2-methylphenol in aqueous solution by UV irradiation in the presence of titanium dioxide. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 54, 85-91.
  • Kuşvuran, E., O. Gulnaz, S. Irmak, O.M. Atanur, H.I. Yavuz, and O. Erbatur. 2004. Comparison of several advanced oxidation processes for the decolorization of reactive red 120 azo dye in aqueous solution. Journal of Hazardous Materials 109, 85-93.

Book Chapters

  • Irmak, S., 2018. “Challenges of Biomass Utilization for Biofuels” in Biomass for Bioenergy - Recent Trends and Future Challenges, ed. Abd El-Fatah Abomohra. InTech Publisher, Rijeka, Croatia, ISBN 978-1-78923-988-1.
  • Irmak, S., 2016. “Biomass as raw material for production of high value products” in Biomass Volume Estimation and Valorization to Energy, ed. Jaya Tumuluru. InTech Publisher, Rijeka, Croatia, 201-225.
  • Irmak, S. and O. Erbatur, 2011. “Gasification of Biomass in Aqueous Media” in Biomass Crops: Production, Energy and the Environment, ed. Alfred P. Haggerty, Nova Science Publishers, NY, 153-164.
  • Irmak, S. and O. Erbatur, 2008. "Additives for Environmentally-Compatible Active Food Packaging" in Environmentally-Compatible Food Packaging, ed. Emo Chiellini, Woodhead Publishing, Abington, Cambridge, 263-293.