Designing Catalytic Materials on the Atomic Level for Sustainable Biomass Conversion

Colloquium | April 24 | 4-6 p.m. | 180 Tan Hall

 Nicholas Burnelli, Professor, Ohio State University

 Department of Chemical Engineering

Rapid consumption of energy and material resources demands that we identify more sustainable manufacturing processes. Sustainable processes inherently involve minimizing waste. Indeed, the key challenge is
achieving highly active and selective catalytic materials for converting resources such as biomass. Our group develops precise synthetic methods to produce uniform and well-defined catalytic sites that enable elucidation of structure-function relationships. We are currently investigating methods to convert biomass into chemicals through developing heterogeneous catalytic materials for glucose isomerization to fructose and fructose dehydration to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). Through tuning catalytic material design on the atomic level, we are able to establish structure-function relationships to create more active and selective catalysts. Overall, these new synthesis methods will help to create sustainable manufacturing processes to overcome challenges with catalytic selectivity.