Our group investigates reactions at solid surfaces for renewable and sustainable energy applications. We are particularly focused on interfacial chemistry important in the conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals. Biomass-derived carbohydrates and lipids contain a high degree of oxygenate functionality, and it is a major challenge to develop new catalysts capable of selective conversions of the oxygenates to useful fuel and chemical products. A major focus of our group is to design such catalysts based on a molecular-scale understanding of the oxygenate-catalyst interaction. Our efforts to research various applications are united by a common theme: a variety of experimental and computational tools are employed to obtain a detailed understanding of chemical and physical phenomena at solid surfaces. Having this understanding in hand allows us to design improved catalysts that we can screen under realistic conditions in chemical reactors.
CHEN 3320 - Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
Fall 2019 / Fall 2022
Applies thermodynamic principles to nonideal systems, phase equilibrium, chemical equilibrium, power generation, refrigeration, and chemical processes.
CHEN 3660 - Energy Fundamentals
Spring 2019 / Spring 2020
Explains the most important energy technologies and systems; provides tools to analyze performance using science and engineering principles. This course will investigate important energy concepts from sources and extraction to utilization, storage and efficiency. Topics include fossil fuels, hydropower, renewable energy, biofuels, carbon capture and waste disposal.
CHEN 5390 - Chemical Reactor Engineering
Studies ideal and nonideal chemical reactors, including unsteady state behavior, mixing effects, reactor stability, residence time distribution and diffusion effects. Department enforced prerequisite: undergraduate course in chemical reactor design/kinetics.