William Joe Sagues

Assistant Professor

Dr. Sagues is the Principal Investigator of the Biocarbon Utilization & Sequestration (BUS) Lab in the Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department at NC State University. He has experience in research, development, and demonstration of innovative bioprocessing technologies at corporations, universities, and national labs. During graduate school, he conducted independent research as a Technology-to-Market Scholar at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) and as an Office of Science Graduate Student Research Fellow (SCGSR) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The BUS Lab takes an integrated approach to innovate technologies that utilize and sequester biogenic carbon. The aim of our work is to leverage the bioeconomy for carbon drawdown. We are bridging fundamental advances in synthetic biology and chemical catalysis with bioprocess engineering to innovate carbon-negative bioproducts that range from feed, chemicals, fuels, and materials.

When developing a new technology, the BUS Lab takes into account the entire technology-to-market pathway, starting with fundamental research and ending with commercialization. Such a comprehensive approach increases the odds of commercial success by eliminating developmental hurdles and pitfalls at an early stage.


PhD 2020

Forest Biomaterials

NC State

MS 2017

Chemical Engineering

University of Florida

MS 2017

Agricultural & Biological Engineering

University of Florida

BS 2012

Agricultural & Biological Engineering

University of Florida


Catalytic Graphitization of Biocarbon for Lithium‐Ion Anodes: A Minireview
Lower, L., Dey, S. C., Vook, T., Nimlos, M., Park, S., & Sagues, W. J. (2023), ChemSusChem. https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.202300729
Green Needle Coke Production from Pyrolysis Biocrude toward Bio-based Anode Material Manufacture: Biochar Fines Addition Effect as ?Physical Template? on the Crystalline Order
Molina, E. A. R., Vook, T., Sagues, W. J., Kim, K., Labbe, N., Park, S., & Kelley, S. S. (2023), ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING, 11(18), 6944–6955. https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.2c06952
Leveraging the bioeconomy for carbon drawdown
Dees, J. P., Sagues, W. J., Woods, E., Goldstein, H. M., Simon, A. J., & Sanchez, D. L. (2023, April 6), GREEN CHEMISTRY, Vol. 4. https://doi.org/10.1039/d2gc02483g
Selective Depolymerization of Lignin Towards Isolated Phenolic Acids Under Mild Conditions
Peng, W., Bao, H., Wang, Y., Cote, E., Sagues, W. J., Hagelin-Weaver, H., … Tong, Z. (2023, August 9), CHEMSUSCHEM, Vol. 8. https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.202300750
Sustainable Li-ion anode material from Fe-catalyzed graphitization of paper waste
Vook, T., Dey, S. C., Yang, J., Nimlos, M., Park, S., Han, S.-D., & Sagues, W. J. (2023), Journal of Energy Storage. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.est.2023.109242
Lower, L., Cunniffe, J., Cheng, J. J., & Sagues, W. J. (2022), JOURNAL OF THE ASABE, 65(4), 849–864. https://doi.org/10.13031/ja.14908
A simple method for producing bio-based anode materials for lithium-ion batteries
Sagues, W. J., Yang, J., Monroe, N., Han, S.-D., Vinzant, T., Yung, M., … Park, S. (2020), Green Chemistry, 22(20), 7093–7108. https://doi.org/10.1039/d0gc02286a
Decarbonizing agriculture through the conversion of animal manure to dietary protein and ammonia fertilizer
Sagues, W. J., Assis, C. A., Hah, P., Sanchez, D. L., Johnson, Z., Acharya, M., … Park, S. (2020), BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY, 297. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2019.122493
Depolymerization of Lignin into Monophenolics By Ferrous/ Persulfate Reagent Under Mild Conditions
Bao, H., Sagues, W. J., Wang, Y., Peng, W., Zhang, L., Yang, S., … Tong, Z. (2020), ChemSusChem, 10. https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.202002240
Prospects for bioenergy with carbon capture & storage (BECCS) in the United States pulp and paper industry
Sagues, W. J., Jameel, H., Sanchez, D. L., & Park, S. (2020). Prospects for bioenergy with carbon capture & storage (BECCS) in the United States pulp and paper industry. Energy & Environmental Science, 13(8), 2243–2261. https://doi.org/10.1039/d0ee01107j,

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Sargassum and Wood Waste for Aviation Fuel and Graphite (SWAG)
US Dept. of Energy (DOE) - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)(10/01/22 - 9/30/23)
A Feasibility Assessment of Waste Cotton to Bioenergy with Carbon Removal
Cotton, Inc. (No pre-award costs/accounts allowed)(4/01/22 - 12/31/23)
Valorizing Rock Quarry Fines via Soil Carbon Mineralization
The Sunrock Group(4/01/22 - 12/30/22)
EMN-22-S-R-03-Methane Pyrolysis
Eastman Chemical Company(1/16/23 - 1/15/25)
Biocatalyst Interactions with Gases (BIG) Collaboration
Novo Nordisk Foundation(9/01/22 - 8/31/27)
Getting to Carbon Neutrality - A National Assessment
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(11/24/21 - 9/30/23)
Ethanol Fermentation Assessment
Rayonier Advanced Materials, Inc.(11/01/21 - 3/31/24)
Electrifying Animal & Fish Feed: Leveraging Microbes in Food Waste Anaerobic Digesters to Produce Single Cell Protein via Assimilation of CO2-Derived Formic Acid
NC Biotechnology Center(1/03/22 - 1/02/23)
Enzyme Enhanced Anaerobic Digestion (2E-AD) of Source Separated Organics and Municipal Solid Waste
Novozymes(10/11/21 - 2/28/23)
Butanol & Nanocellulose from CRISPR-Edited Poplar
NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services(4/30/21 - 6/29/23)