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Timothy Rials, Ph.D.

Tim Rials is the Associate Dean of AgResearch at the University of Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture.


  • Associate Dean and Associate Director
  • Director- The Center for Renewable Carbon
  • Professor- Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries


  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Tim Rials is the Associate Dean of AgResearch at the University of Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture. This appointment follows 15 years as the Director of the UT Center for Renewable Carbon. Dr. Rials is a graduate of Mississippi State University and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in wood science from Virginia Tech. He joined the university following 13 years with the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station in Pineville, Louisiana, after two years on the faculty of the University of California–Berkeley. Tim’s research career has focused on the efficient and effective utilization of renewable resources in advanced composite materials, including development of high throughput analytical methods for characterizing wood. As director of the Center for Renewable Carbon, he facilitates UTIA’s research and development program on the use of forest and agricultural biomass for alternative liquid fuels, industrial chemicals, and advanced materials. The CRC is home to the Southeastern Regional Sun Grant Center that supports an expansive research portfolio in biomass and bioenergy throughout the region. He also leads a regional team of research and outreach specialists in the Southeastern Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems, a competitively awarded grant from USDA’s AFRI program. Dr. Rials was recently recognized for his contributions in the area of renewable carbon science with the 2011 AgResearch Impact Award. He is a fellow in the International Academy of Wood Science and an active member of the American Chemical Society’s Cellulose and Renewable Materials Division

Recent Publications:

Bozell, J. J., Astner, A. F., Young, T. M., & Rials, T. G. (2018). Optimization of Component Yields and Thermal Properties by Organosolv Fractionation of Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) Using Response Surface Design. BioEnergy Research, 11(3), 652–664. 

Edmunds, C. W., Reyes Molina, E. A., André, N., Hamilton, C., Park, S., Fasina, O., … Labbé, N. (2018). Blended Feedstocks for Thermochemical Conversion: Biomass Characterization and Bio-Oil Production From Switchgrass-Pine Residues Blends. Frontiers in Energy Research, 6. 

Rajan, K., Mann, J. K., English, E., Harper, D. P., Carrier, D. J., Rials, T. G., … Chmely, S. C. (2018). Sustainable Hydrogels Based on Lignin-Methacrylate Copolymers with Enhanced Water Retention and Tunable Material Properties. Biomacromolecules, 19(7), 2665–2672. 

(2017). Improving Processing and Performance of Pure Lignin Carbon Fibers through Hardwood and Herbaceous Lignin Blends. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(7), 1410. 

Wang, J., Boy, R., Nguyen, N. A., Keum, J. K., Cullen, D. A., Chen, J., … Labbé, N. (2017). Controlled Assembly of Lignocellulosic Biomass Components and Properties of Reformed Materials. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 5(9), 8044–8052. 

Contact Info:

(865) 946-1129

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