2017 Mellichamp Sustainability Fellows

The need to produce chemicals and materials from renewable sources in an environmentally responsible manner motivates my research into the use of alternatives to petrochemical feedstocks. I want to extend my thesis work by synthesizing a large realistic model lignin oligomer.

Understanding the Importance of “Hydricity” in Enabling CO2 Reduction

Hybrid perovskite materials are a promising class of materials which display impressive photovoltaic performance, as well as other attractive qualities such as as ease of preparation and use of earth abundant constituent elements.

The increasing urgency to replace petroleum based products (like bisphenol-A) in polymer networks is the driving force behind this research.

My research is focused on investigating the use of terminal nitride complexes as carbon dioxide reduction catalysts. CO2 reduction has been proposed as a method for generating green fuel and storing renewable energy, and we are focused on investigating the use of terminal M-N bonds as a novel catalytic motif. Performing CO2 reduction through a t

Thermoplastic elastomers are a ubiquitous class of tough commodity plastics that combine the flexibility and recoverability of an elastomer with the strength of a thermoplastic. Traditionally, these linear polymers comprise non-renewable petroleum-based monomers.

My research is aimed at exploring innovative olefin metathesis catalysts and their catalytic mechanism. Olefin metathesis catalysts are widely used in chemical industries, such as the Shell Higher Olefin Process which uses a supported molybdate catalyst. The conventional catalytic process usually requires high temperature and is unselective.

The work in the Read de Alaniz Lab has focused around the use of a very versatile and commercially available bio-waste material, furfural. With its origin as an agricultural byproduct of corncobs and oats, furfural has the hidden potential to be utilized as an environmentally friendly and cost efficient material in many industries.

An improved understanding of the underlying mechanisms that drive catalytic pathways as well as surface-activity relationships are fundamental in the areas of design and optimization of industrially relevant heterogeneous catalytic systems, which aim to reduce the environmental footprint of chemical manufacturing.

How to maintain a sustainable agricultural that could feed the world’s increasingly large population? How to ensure the pesticides we applied wouldn’t cause catastrophic adverse effects to the environmental ecosystem and our own human health? Mengya’s research focuses on the staple crops production from the perspective of life cycle assessment.

In this project, the goal of our research is to explore an efficient methodology to enantioselectively and regioselectively functionalize β,γ-unsaturated carboxylic acid using efficiently recyclable chiral lithium amides.

As the development of renewable materials has undergone a renaissance in recent decades, numerous biomass related resources have been utilized to replace or supplement the petroleum-based bisphenol A (BPA).