Multiscale Reaction Engineering

Research

Research Areas

Our work focuses on the circular economy and derivatization of various feedstocks, including biomass, food waste, other waste streams, and plastics, to produce renewable fuels, chemicals, and green ammonia.  It integrates molecular level catalysis, kinetics and reaction mechanisms, catalyst informatics and in silico materials prediction, catalyst active site determination, continuous intensified chemical processing, and chemical process electrification. It provides a symbiosis of experiments, multiscale modeling, and data science as enabling pillars. 

Process Intensification, Modular Manufacturing & Electrification

Chemical looping

Microfluidics

Microwave and plasma reactors

Applications to the conversion of biomass, shale gas and other circular economy chemistries

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Data Science & Multiscale Models

Data science for spectroscopy, 3D printed materials design, and process design

From density functional theory to molecular dynamics, to kinetic Monte Carlo and computational fluid dynamics of chemical reactors

Atomistic design of catalytic materials

Novel data science method development

Biomass Conversion

Production of renewable lubricants, detergents, adhesives and plastics

Characterization and synthesis of new
catalytic materials

Identification of novel reaction mechanisms

Engineering the active site

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Sustainability-driven Chemistry

Municipal waste stream utilization

Food waste valorization

Paper industry waste

Plastics upcycling

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Shale Gas & CO2

Alkane dehydrogenation

Methane upgrade to ethylene and aromatics

CO2 conversion to value-added products

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Materials Synthesis & Characterization

Operando spectroscopies

Single-atom catalysts

Microporous and mesoporous materials

Catalyst dynamics

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Sponsors

Our research has been or is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Army Research Office (ARO), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and several companies. The biomass-related research is supported as part of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001004. This manufacturing work is supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficient and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office through the RAPID manufacturing institute in partnership with the State of Delaware. Financial support from all these sources is much appreciated.