Supporting Team Members: Sunitha Sadula, Weiqing Zheng
Grad Students: Tai-Ying (Chris) Chen, Pierre Desir, Natalia Rodriquez Quiroz, Zhaoxing (Joe) Wang, Montgomery Baker-Fales
Tremendous progress has been made in the production of chemicals and fuels from plant-based biomass, but many of these processes are not economically feasible because of the number of steps required. This project will develop a scalable technology that improves efficiency and reduces the cost of converting biomass from dry, woody plant materials into valuable commodities.
Researchers Dion Vlachos (principal investigator) and Raul Lobo of the University of Delaware will lead the project, in partnership with Rutgers University in New Jersey and Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium (KU Leuven).
We will deliver modular chemical process intensification technology for industry and address rising consumer demand for using sustainable feedstocks in the manufacture of materials.
Success could have a major impact on economic development and sustainability in the United States. The proposed technology will enhance the reaction rate, minimize total reaction and heating time from hours to seconds, improve carbon efficiency, minimize separation complexity and increase energy efficiency. It also could have benefits for the production of bio-acrylic acid, bio-jet fuels, bio-surfactants and bio-lubricants.
The University of Delaware brings extensive expertise in conversion of biomass with high yields. It also has process models and designs for scalable technology and years of expertise on process intensification, short contact time processes, microreactors and reactive separation.