Chemist to Discuss Green Solution for Converting Biomass

Chemist to Discuss Green Solution for Converting Biomass

Dequan Xiao, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, will present a lecture on Wednesday, March 30, titled “Drive the Discovery of Green Catalysts for Biomass Conversion using Inverse Molecular Design.” The program, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Library, will begin at 2 p.m. in the upper level of the Peterson Library.

Designing efficient catalysts is the key for the development of next-generation technologies of converting biomass into value-added chemicals such as liquid fuels. However, designing biomass catalysts based on earth-abundant metals that can work under mild conditions – such as low pressure, low temperature and with green solvents – remains a challenge.

Xiao is part of a team of UNH and Yale researchers that has discovered a high-quality catalytic process for converting biomass model compounds, which can be used to convert biomass into value-added chemicals, such as biofuels, while minimizing the environmental impact and boosting sustainability.

He is also working with scientists at Yale to develop new drugs to fight Leukemia. The work was selected by the Connecticut-sponsored Program in Innovative Therapeutics for Connecticut’s Health (PITCH) to be part of a three-year, $10 million investment supported by the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund.

Xiao conducted his postdoctoral work at Yale University from 2009 to 2013 and earned a Ph.D. in theoretical and computational chemistry from Duke University.

He joined UNH in 2013 and, he has established the University’s Laboratory for Integrative Materials Discovery. His research interests focus on developing new theoretical and computational chemistry methods to drive the discovery of new materials.

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