Author: College of Engineering

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Product Upgrading From Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis: You Have To Understand The Old Dog Before You Can Teach It New Tricks

Friday, April 6, 2012
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Dady B. Dadyburjor
Department of Chemical Engineering
West Virginia University


The Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process converts synthesis gas (syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen) to long-chain hydrocarbons in the gasoline, kerosene and/or diesel range at moderate-to-high pressures and temperatures in the presence of a catalyst. The catalysts used consist of multiple metals on a support. Most work in our laboratory has been carried out using iron as the main metal and activated carbon as the support. Chemical promoters such as Mo, K and Cu are often added. FT liquids generally require upgrading before use as fuels, to remove waxes, and to improve the iso-to-normal paraffin ratio. In the first part of this work, we systematically vary the amounts of the metals and the type of support to show the effects of each of these on individual products (e.g., benzene) as well as classes of products (e.g., aromatics). In the second part of this work, we show the effect on the product distribution of adding ZSM-5 zeolite as an upgrading catalyst, either intimately mixed with the FT catalyst, or downstream of it.

Bio: Dr. Dadyburjor is currently Professor of Chemical Engineering at WVU. He served as Department Chair during 1999-2009. His research has been in the areas of sintering and redispersion of supported metal catalysts, coking of cracking catalysts, catalytic direct coal liquefaction, and catalysts for water-gas shift and for the production of high-molecular-weight alcohols and synthesis gas. Prior to arriving at WVU in 1983, he was an Associate Professor and Assistant Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a post-doctoral fellow with Eli Ruckenstein at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He received his undergraduate degree at IIT, Bombay and his graduate degrees at the University of Delaware. He has participated as a Visiting Professor or Guest Professor at various institutions in this country and overseas: EPFL (Switzerland), Technion (Israel), UC Berkeley, Fritz-Haber-Institut (Berlin), Institute of Coal Chemistry (Taiyuan), and Kitami Institute of Technology (Japan). He has served on the Board of Directors of the North American Catalysis Society and of the Council for Chemical Research, President of the Pittsburgh-Cleveland Catalysis Society, Chair of Area 1b (Kinetics, Catalysis and Reaction Engineering) of AIChE, and Chair of the Division of Petroleum Chemistry of ACS. He is currently on the Visiting Committee of Ohio University and the Editorial Board of Fuel Chemistry and Technology, and is an editor of the ACS journal Energy and Fuels. He was elected a Fellow of AIChE in 1999. In 2007, he was appointed a Resident Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Energy Studies at the National Energy Technology Laboratory of USDOE.

Pearce Presents on Campus Energy

Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) presented a lecture, “Campus Energy Paradigm Shift: Examining Diverse Campus Strategies Resulting in the Largest Carbon Pollution Reductions, Cost Savings and Student Learning Benefits,” sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation at the Ninth Ball State University Greening of the Campus Conference in Muncie, Ind.

While at the conference Pearce also presented two additional papers on solar photovoltaics and open-source research in applied sustainability.

From Tech Today, March 27, 2012.

Drelich Delivers a Key Note at ICMPC 2012

ICMPC 2012Dr. Jaroslaw W. Drelich has delivered the keynote address on Antibacterial Mineral-Copper Materials during the 2nd International Conference on Materials Processing and Characterization in Hyderabad, India, March 8-10, organized by the Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engineering and Technology (GRIET). The two-day conference was attended by more than 100 participants from India, Australia, Poland, and USA, who discussed recent advances made in materials science, metallurgical engineering and manufacturing.

ICMPC 2012 ICMPC 2012
ICMPC 2012 ICMPC 2012

New Funding

View the news article

Assistant Director John Diebel (IIE) has received $45,217 from the University of Michigan-Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for a project, “Bench Scale Synthesis of Antimicrobial Vermiculite and its Stability Characteristic Determination.” The Co-PI is Associate Professor Jaroslaw Drelich (MSE). The two researchers will collaborate with the Institute of Materials Processing (IMP).

Joshua Pearce on Photovoltaic Performance

Associate Professor Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) coauthored a paper, “Effects on Amorphous Silicon Photovoltaic Performance from High-temperature Annealing Pulses in Photovoltaic Thermal Hybrid Devices,” in Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 100, pp.199-203 (2012).

Pearce’s insight was included in the article “Solar Installer Insight: What Is the Best PV Panel for Your Roof?” posted in GreenTech Media on March 12, 2012.

Pearce said a consumer isn’t likely to go wrong with panels from any of the name brands. “You can have some faith that because they’re selling tens of thousands of them, they’re more or less good. I wouldn’t disparage any of the top manufacturers. I think all of them are pretty good.”

2012 MSGC Awards

2012 MSGC Awards Announced

Michigan Tech faculty, staff members and students received awards tallying $101,875 through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which includes 11 university members.

Among the undergraduates receiving $2,500 research fellowships were Meredith Mulder (Materials Science): “Synthesis and Characterization of Multifunctional Vermiculite Containing Carbon Nanotubes and Metallic Nanoparticles” and Bradley Villeneuve (Materials Science): “Formulation and Antimicrobial Testing of Vermiculite Coated with Copper Nanoparticles.”

Among the graduate students receiving $5,000 fellowships was Patrick Bowen (Materials Science): “Exploring the effect of group IV elements on the mechanical and corrosion performance of magnesium.”

Read more at Tech Today, by Lisa Wallace.