Home > Thiele Lecture: Paul Dauenhauer, At the Frontier of Biochemicals: Bubbles, Bottles and (Rubber) Bands from Biomass

Thiele Lecture: Paul Dauenhauer, At the Frontier of Biochemicals: Bubbles, Bottles and (Rubber) Bands from Biomass

Start:

9/26/2017 at 12:30PM

End:

9/26/2017 at 1:30PM

Location:

138 DeBartolo Hall

Host:

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Edward Maginn

Edward Maginn

VIEW FULL PROFILE Email: ed@nd.edu
Phone: 574-631-5687
Website: http://www.nd.edu/~ed/
Office: 182A Fitzpatrick Hall

Affiliations

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Dorini Family Professor of Energy Studies and Department Chair
College of Engineering Dorini Family Professor of Energy Studies and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
The research in our group focuses on developing a fundamental understanding of the link between the physical properties of materials and their chemical constitution. Much of our work is devoted to applications related to energy and the environment. The main tool we use is molecular simulation. In ...
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Thermochemical conversion of lignocellulosic biomass utilizes heterogeneous catalysts to transform sugars to the common chemicals comprising everyday products.  Sugars are catalytically transformed to many of the common chemicals and materials used in everyday products including PET plastics, surfactants and synthetic rubber.  These materials are specifically targeted due to similar size and oxidation state with biomass.  Novel solid acid catalysts and supported metals are utilized to promote selective catalytic dehydration and hydrogenation.  In particular, Diels-Alder cycloaddition of furan dienes in tandem with sequential dehydration yields para-xylene.  Acid-catalyzed acylation of furans with fatty acids (obtained from renewable oils) produces alkylfurans as precursors to novel surfactants.  And selective hydrogenation and dehydration produce useful olefin precursors to synthetic rubbers, including isoprene, butadiene and pentadienes.  The presentation combines experiment and computation to identify the mechanisms of formation of these foundational chemicals that comprise the bulk of the modern chemical industry.

Seminar Speaker:

Paul Dauenhauer

Paul Dauenhauer

University of Minnesota

Paul J. Dauenhauer is the DuPont Young Professor and Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota.  He serves as Co-Director of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation.  He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin Madison and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.  He worked for the Dow Chemical Company as a Senior Research Engineer in Midland, MI, and Freeport, TX.  His work on catalysis and reaction engineering of renewable feedstocks has been highlighted by numerous awards including the DOE Early Career, NSF CAREER, the Rutherford Aris Excellence in Reaction Engineering Award, and the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.  His is the co-founder of Sironix Renewables and inventor of the flagship technology for Activated Research Company.