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Dr. Devinder Mahajan

Professor Mahajan holds a joint appointment between Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and serves as the Site Director, NSF Center for BioEnergy Research & Development (CBERD). His research interests focus on Energy issues. He serves on the editorial board of three journals including the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. He is the author of 80 publications including book chapters, 9 patents, and presented over 176 invited lectures on clean energy. His recent awards include: Member, Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS)-US Section (2006), Recipient, RANS Crown and Eagle Medal of Honor (for service in the field of “Petroleum Eng.” (2006), Outstanding Mentor Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (2007 and 2009), University Visiting Professor, Government of Italy Fellowship, Universitá di Roma “La Sapienza”, Roma, Italy (2008), Visiting Researcher, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Hayama, Japan (2009) and Fulbright Specialist Scholar at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand (2010). At Stony Brook, his vision is to train students in next-generation renewable technologies.

Atom Economical Biofuel Production from Biomass

The use of non-food crop in which all the available carbon can be utilized to liquid fuels is the way forward to develop sustainable energy technologies. The Thermochemical pathway to process abundant cellulosic biomass affords an opportunity to develop atom economical processes. Pyrolysis is one option being pursued. This two-step approach requires further upgrading to transportation fuels. Another option is thermal depolymerization that produces one-carbon product that can be reengineered to a variety of transportation biofuels such as ethanol, butanol, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Approaches to achieve the next-generation synthesis of these desirable biofuels will be discussed. The aim is to develop highly active catalysts that can achieve high carbon conversion in the syngas to ethanol and butanol reactions while delivering high product specificity. A successfully development of such processes will make small (100 tons/day) skid-mounted units economical for biofuels production, a step forward in the implementation of distributed fuel production systems and smart grid.