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 innovating 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


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, 122493. 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,
Are lignin-derived carbon fibers graphitic enough?
Sagues, W. J., Jain, A., Brown, D., Aggarwal, S., Suarez, A., Kollman, M., … Argyropoulos, D. S. (2019), Green Chemistry, 21(16), 4253–4265. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9gc01806a
Enhanced carbon dioxide removal from coupled direct air capture-bioenergy systems
Sagues, W. J., Park, S., Jameel, H., & Sanchez, D. L. (2019), SUSTAINABLE ENERGY & FUELS, 3(11), 3135–3146. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9se00384c
Potential for ethanol production from different sorghum cultivars
Castro, E., Nieves, I. U., Rondón, V., Sagues, W. J., Fernández-Sandoval, M. T., Yomano, L. P., … Vermerris, W. (2017), Industrial Crops and Products, 109, 367–373. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2017.08.050
Techno-economic analysis of ethanol production from sugarcane bagasse using a Liquefaction plus Simultaneous Saccharification and co-Fermentation process
Gubicza, K., Nieves, I. U., Sagues, W. J., Barta, Z., Shanmugam, K. T., & Ingram, L. O. (2016), Bioresource Technology, 208, 42–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2016.01.093
Optimization of dilute-phosphoric-acid steam pretreatment of Eucalyptus benthamii for biofuel production
Castro, E., Nieves, I. U., Mullinnix, M. T., Sagues, W. J., Hoffman, R. W., Fernández-Sandoval, M. T., … Ingram, L. O. (2014), Applied Energy, 125, 76–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.03.047
Seed train development for the fermentation of bagasse from sweet sorghum and sugarcane using a simplified fermentation process
Geddes, C. C., Mullinnix, M. T., Nieves, I. U., Hoffman, R. W., Sagues, W. J., York, S. W., … Ingram, L. O. (2013), Bioresource Technology, 128, 716–724. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2012.09.121

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Butanol & Nanocellulose from CRISPR-Edited Poplar
NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services(4/30/21 - 6/29/23)
Sub-topic 3.1: Integrating Carbon Capture and Utilization into Industrial Processes. Our concept involves integrating alkaline CO2 capture into kraft pulping. [PI to replace with concept paper title]
US Dept. of Energy (DOE) - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)(8/01/21 - 1/31/23)