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Workshop / Seminar

Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering Graduate Seminar Series

SPARK G45/FLOYD 265 (WSU Tri-Cities)
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About the event

The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering is hosting a seminar presented by John Holladay, Manager, Biomass Sector, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA.

Dr. John Holladay has spent more than fifteen years researching and leading catalysis projects focused on condensed phase processing of renewable carbon for production of fuels and chemicals. He holds 18 U.S. Patents leading to numerous commercial licenses, including propylene glycol from glycerol (practiced at full commercial scale) and alcohol-to-jet. Currently, he is responsible for shaping the strategic direction of PNNL’s transportation portfolio, which includes bioenergy, vehicles, and fuel cell technologies.

Dr. Holladay is the founding co-director (acting) of a new joint research institute between PNNL and Washington State University for bioproducts. The purpose of the institute is to jump start the bioeconomy in the Pacific Northwest. The institutes focus is to establish pioneer plants, using waste carbon that “solves another problem,” and provide products that optimize value of process streams.

Dr. Holladay is an Associate Director of the Institute of Integrated Catalysis. Within the Institute, Dr. Holladay, along with Johannes Lercher, initiated a new program within PNNL to establish the science base for low temperature catalysis within novel reactor designs that address challenges in distributed carbon energy production. The science emphasis is on improving catalyst activity and catalyst robustness required for carbon-rich waste streams, including electrocatalytic upgrading of complex wet sludges and aqueous oxygenates from industrial waste gasses, forest and agriculture residues.

Dr. Holladay received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Brigham Young University and his doctorate in Organic Chemistry from University of Wisconsin. He is a former PNNL Inventor of the Year and a Distinguished Inventor of Battelle. Dr. Holladay has served as Chief Scientific Officer for the National Advanced Biofuels Consortium, Chief Operations Office for the National Alliance for Biofuels and Bioproducts, leadership of the Co-Optima of fuels and engines DOE cross cut, and the Chair of the Organic Reactions Catalysis Society.

Why Jet Fuel? A Look at PNNL’s Current Renewable Fuels and Products S&T Strategy

It has been 11 years since the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was established through the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Currently the U.S. produces around 18 billion gallons of biofuels yet less than ten million gallons are from lignocellulosic resources – the primary purpose of the RFS. This needs to change. Focusing S&T research in a way that can have an impact is critical.

In this talk I will provide an overview of S&T research at PNNL that pursues waste carbon that is an environmental liability as the raw material for renewable, low carbon, fuels as well as what are the properties for the fuel needs of the future. Several themes emerge, including: distributed processing and replacing hydrogen gas at small-scale each which require chemistry that differs than that used at large scale today. Specific examples that combine thermal processing with biotechnology and catalysis will be provided in the lecture. The concepts discussed are the bedrock to themes of the WSU-PNNL Bioproducts Institute.