Growing up in a small New Hampshire town I have always felt at home in the forest. My summers were spent in the woods hiking and camping and my winters working with my father in his woodshop. I have always found it interesting how may products can be made from wood. It is even more amazing that by using wood as fuel source, our dependence on foreign oil can be decreased without greatly impacting this ecosystem.
We are working on ways to turn wood into liquid fuels for transportation and heating. This fuel contains carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. It is necessary to remove some of the oxygen to increase the energy of the fuel. One method of removing some of the oxygen is to react it with hydrogen over a metal catalyst, much like those in automobile catalytic converters. After reacting specific components of oil over one of these catalysts I can use chemical instrumentation in order to determine how well the oxygen was removed.
5708 Barrows Hall, Room 211A
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469