365 Cobb Ave NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144

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Speaker: Dr. Parikshit Gogoi, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Title: “Lignocellulosic biomass-based fuels and chemicals: challenges and opportunities”

Abstract: The increase in global energy demands, diminution of fossil fuels, and its harmful effects on the environment have attracted the use of lignocellulosic biomass as an alternative sustainable source for chemicals, materials, and liquid fuels. Lignocellulosic feedstocks, which are potentially abundant, comprise three main components: cellulose (~28-55%), hemicellulose (~17-35%), and lignin (~17-35%). Extracted from trees, grasses, and other biomass sources, cellulose finds applications in products such as paper and ethanol. However, lignin, a complex material providing plant strength, remains largely unused due to challenges in breaking it down into chemicals and low-viscosity oils essential for producing kerosene or diesel fuel. Here, I am going to present a pretreatment method for woods to facilitate ethanol production and lignin depolymerization to yield chemicals, along with futuristic processes for valorizing lignin in a biorefinery. Within biorefineries, lignin is utilized to produce heat for running turbines, which significantly impacts the economy. We developed a simple, effective, and low-temperature (~100 0C) method for the pretreatment of wood chips directly and depolymerization of lignin to chemicals by using a catalytic system of FeCl3/NaNO3. The reported method overcomes some critical barriers in biomass pretreatment for biofuel conversion and lignin valorization, significantly reducing both grinding and thermal energies.


The Chemistry and Biochemistry Departmental Seminar Series covers a broad range of fields in the Chemical and Biochemical Sciences. In past seminars, scientists from Academia, Government, and Industry have presented their most recent discoveries and contributions in their respective areas. This Seminar Series offers students and faculty the opportunity to interact directly with other leaders in their specializations and to gain a good overview of the entire range of fields in Chemistry and Biochemistry.


This seminar will take place in person.

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