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About George W. Huber

Concerns about global warming, national security and the diminishing supply of fossil fuels are causing our society to search for new renewable sources of transportation fuels. In this respect, domestically available biomass has been proposed as part of the solution to our dependence on fossil fuels. While biomass has potential to replace a large fraction of imported petroleum based products, the main obstacle to the more widespread utilization of our low-cost biomass resources is the absence of low-cost processing technologies. The objective of our research is to develop highly efficient and low-cost catalytic processes, catalytic materials and reactors for biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals utilizing aqueous-phase processing. Aqueous-phase technology is advantageous for biomass conversion strategies in that high energy efficiencies are obtained, recyclable-heterogeneous catalysts are used, and biomass-derived molecules, which have a high degree of functionality and low thermal stability, can be processed.
New catalytic materials and processes are developed in our group by using a combination of high-throughput and fundamental studies. High-throughput studies allow the rapid testing of a large number of catalysts, thereby significantly decreasing catalyst development time. We also seek to understand the fundamental chemistry and reaction pathways occurring under reaction conditions. The relationship between the structure of the catalyst and activity/selectivity is investigated using modern in-situ catalytic characterization techniques. New catalytic synthesis techniques, which allow the design of catalyst at the molecular level with controlled adsorption properties, are used to develop highly active catalysts for aqueous-phase processes. We believe it is vital to our nation's energy, economic and environmental future to continue to develop these low-cost strategies for biomass conversion.


Present Left UMass August 2012, University of Massachusetts Amherst


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Catalysts (3)

Physical and Chemical Conversion (1)

Biofuels Production and Economics (1)

No Subject Area (34)