Nanoscale Biological Engineering Approaches for Biorenewable material Conversion to Energy
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Development of biomass based biofuels-production processes is hindered by key challenges associated with feedstock separation, upgrading and conversion. Nanotechnology provides us numerous tools to address such challenges. The overall focus of my research program is to use molecular level approaches to perform such unit operations effectively so that biofuels and biopower can be produced more sustainably. The objectives of the program include: 1) Separation of valuable products from biomass and product streams using novel surface functionalization tools; 2) Conversion of separated biomass streams to fuels (and chemicals) - specifically via molecular level design of catalysts with novel functionalities and 3) Conversion of fuels further to electricity via fuel cells.