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Stevens awarded $1M for advanced biofuels research

HOBOKEN, N.J. Stevens Institute of Technology has been awarded $1 million from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to support research and development into biomass conversion technologies. The grant is one of six awarded by the DOE to various higher-education institutions to develop their advanced biofuels projects. In total, the DOE will invest up to $4.4 million in these university projects for their research into how non-food feedstocks can be transformed into advanced biofuels.

The universities are required to invest an additional 20% of their own funding, which brings the entire investment into these six projects to $5.7 million.

Stevens will receive its $1 million over the course of three years. The project will be led and executed by the new Jersey Center for MicroChemical Systems (NJCMCS) in partnership with BASF Catalysts LLC.

NJCMCS is an academic research center that has been established at Stevens with state, federal and internal funding of over $12 million during the last five years. BASF Catalysts is a US-based company that has expertise in a broad range of catalyst and reactor design technologies.

With its award, Stevens plans to evaluate and demonstrate a novel microchannel reactor to reform pyrolysis oil into synthesis gas. The project intends to use the novel reactor and precisely controlled operating conditions to produce a high yield of synthesis gas using reduced energy.

The project abstract, Dual Layer Monolith ATR of Pyrolysis Oil for Distributed Synthesis Gas Production, was prepared and written by Professor Adeniyi Lawal of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. He is also the project's principal investigator.

Other higher-education institutions selected for their projects are the University of Toledo, for its plans to simultaneously convert cellulose to sugar and fermentation to ethanol; Montana State University, which will partner with Utah State University to evaluate the oil content of algae; the University of Georgia, which will evaluate cost-effective algae-biofuel production systems, along with using the abundance of litter from the poultry industry as a source of low-cost nutrients; the University of Maine, for its plans to determine the optimal yield and productivity of high-potential bacteria; and Georgia Tech Research Corporation, which will determine which models will best maximize synthesis gas yield from an optimized gasifier.


Contact: Stephanie Mannino
Stevens Institute of Technology

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