Priyanka Sharma

2018 Regional Award Finalist — Post-Doc

Priyanka Sharma

Current Position:
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Stony Brook University

Polymer Chemistry

Recognized for: Pioneering work on converting untreated biomass to carboxycellulose nanofibers for applications in biomedicine and water purification.

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise:

Nanocellulose, Cellulose Chemistry, Water Purification, Polymer Chemistry


PhD, CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, India
MS, Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, India
BS, Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, India

Dr. Sharma is a polymer chemist making breakthroughs in the use of untreated biomass (cellulose) – the most abundant natural polymer on earth - to sustainably develop carboxy-cellulose nanofibers. Traditional methods of synthesizing carboxycellulose nanofibers require a pretreatment step that can prove to be quite costly based on the time, energy and reagents required and the waste that is produced as a byproduct of the process. However, Dr. Sharma has developed a novel, efficient, single step Nitro-oxidation process that no longer requires pretreatment of the biomass (weeds, grass, and agricultural waste) in the synthesis of the nanofibers and the byproducts of this nitro oxidation process are useful and can be converted into plant fertilizers. These nanofibers have been shown to be quite effective in water purification. They can remove lead, cadmium and mercury ion impurities from water and have maximum adsorption capacities that rival the best reported adsorbents currently available. Other potential applications include drug delivery, the development of fuel cell membranes and gas barrier films.

"Absolute concentration and persistence lead to solution to the problem."

Key Publications:

  1. P. R. Sharma, A.J. Varma. Functional nanoparticles obtained from cellulose: engineering the shape and size of 6-carboxycellulose.  Chem. Commun., 2013, 49 (78), 8818-8820.!divAbstract

  2. P. R. Sharma, A. Chattopadhyay, S. K. Sharma, B. S. Hsiao. Efficient Removal of UO22+ from Water Using Carboxycellulose Nanofibers Prepared by Nitro-Oxidation Method.  Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2017, 13885-13893.

  3. P. R. Sharma, R. Joshi, S. K. Sharma, B. S. Hsiao. A Simple Approach to Prepare Carboxycellulose Nanofibers from Untreated Biomass.  Biomacromolecules, 2017, 2333-2342.

  4. P. R. Sharma, A. Chattopadhyay, S. K. Sharma, L. Geng, N. Amiralian, D. J. Martin, B. S. Hsiao. Nanocellulose from Spinifex as an effective Adsorbent to Remove Cadmium(II) from Water.  ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2018, 3279-3290.

Other Honors:

2018 INSPIRE Faculty (India) Award
2015 SUNY Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
2010 CSIR-UGC (India) Research Fellowship
2009 Silver Medalist-MDS University (India)

In the Media:

India’s Magazine Nanodigest – Functional Nanoparticles from Cellulose

National Chemical Laboratory (India) website ( under featured R&D section titled “Nanoparticles from Cellulose”

Sakal Newspaper (Pune, India) - Science Day special issue on 28th Feb. 2014