I am developing hydrodeoxygenation catalysts that will produce high quality fuels and chemicals from pyrolysis oils made from woody biomass. I utilize both ultra high vacuum surface science techniques and traditional high pressure catalyst characterization methods.
In Other Words
We are working on ways to convert wood into fuels like gasoline that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and, because wood is a renewable resource, it can reduce the effects of global warming. When wood is heated without air, it forms an oily mixture of chemicals that are half carbon and half oxygen. The oxygen reduces the energy content of the oil. To convert this mixture into high quality gasoline, we are designing metal “catalysts”, similar to those in your car’s catalytic converter, that will remove the oxygen efficiently.