Professor Jillian Goldfarb - firstname.lastname@example.org
Nanomaterials; Water Treatment; Catalyst
While the modern biorefinery could meet increasing global energy demands, thermochemical biomass-to-biofuel conversions are criticized for their total energy balance, fiscal and environmental externalities, and technical limits. One of the primary issues with using pyrolysis (heating in the absence of oxygen) as a biomass conversion technique is the need for significant, costly fuel upgrading to improve stability and increase the heating value of the oil. These issues are addressed in a new approach to the integrated biorefinery: by incorporating inorganic compounds such as metal nitrates and acetates into cellulosic feedstocks, it is possible to simultaneously engineer high-value nanomaterials via biotemplating, while increasing hydrogen and other clean-burning gas components, and catalytically upgrading renewable bio-oils, reducing the need for costly downstream upgrading.
Working alongside a Ph.D. one M.Eng. student will explore the key factors that lead to fuel upgrading and nanomaterial formation. Students will learn a variety of materials fabrication and characterization techniques and analytical chemistry laboratory skills and will develop an understanding of the key bottlenecks in biofuel upgrading that we must overcome to implement a modern biorefinery. Please note: we do NOT use biological treatment methods (e.g. fermentation, digestion, etc.); our laboratory focuses on thermochemical methods (e.g. pyrolysis, liquefaction, gasification). Students with a background in Chemical, Environmental and/or Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, and/or Materials Science will be best suited for this project. The ideal student for this project will be capable of working in a team with excellent communication skills, but have the independent motivation necessary to carry out a portion of this project on her/his own.
New approach to the integrated biorefinery; solid lines indicate current processes for pyrolysis biofuels and biotemplated nanomaterials, dotted lines are proposed novel process.
|Course number||Course title|
|BEE 6310||Multivariate Statistics for Environmental Applications|
|CEE 5921||Sustainable Engineering in Context|
|CEE 6530||Water Chemistry for Environmental Engineering|
|CEE 6550||Transport, Mixing, and Transformation in the Environment|
|CEE 6560||Physical/Chemical Process|
|CHEME 7110||Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics|
|CHEME 7130||Chemical Kinetics and Transport|
|CHEME 7310||Advanced Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer|
|MSE 5150||Structures and Materials for Sustainable Energy Systems|
|MSE 5550||Introduction to Composite Materials|
|MSE 5810||Materials Chemistry|
|MSE 5820||Mechanical Properties of Materials, Processing, and Design|
|MSE 5830||Thermodynamics of Condensed Systems|
|MSE 5840||Kinetics, Diffusion, and Phase Transformation|
|MSE 6010||Chemistry of Materials|
|MSE 6030||Thermodynamics of Materials|
|MSE 6210||Solid State Chemistry|