University of Delaware

The Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI)

The Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation was established as an Energy Frontier Research Center in 2009 by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The center's research focus is to develop innovative heterogeneous catalytic technologies to transform lignocellulosic (non-food-based) biomass materials (e.g., trees, switch grass, left over waste in agriculture, etc.) into fuels and chemicals. We focus on several scientific thrusts, including the production of furans from cellulose and hemicellulose, the production of green aromatics, the hydrodeoxygenation of target molecules for the upgrade of bio-oil and sugar derivatives, the pyrolysis of biomass, and the production of electricity. Within these scientific thrusts are cross-cutting efforts on synthesis of hierarchical multiscale materials, in situ characterization, and multiscale modeling. read more about CCEI


September 26, 2016 -- BES has recently published a booklet that summarizes the history and mission of the EFRC program and highlights the accomplishments since 2009.
View booklet

Fueling the Quest for Green Energy

August 24, 2016 -- Watch an introduction to the University of Delaware’s Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation—an Energy Frontier Research Center—as wood chips and cornstalks take on a new shade of “green,” converted into new fuels and other products. Featured in the image, CCEI Director Dion Vlachos and doctoral student Hannah Nguyen use a model of a catalyst to discuss its structure and properties.
(view video and read more)

Scientific Research Thrusts and Enabling Technologies

Sugars to Furans – Selective transformations of sugars to furans

Biomass Upgrade – Upgrade of intermediates to fuels and chemicals

Green Aromatics – Production of aromatics from furans

Fuel Cells – Molten antimony (Sb) as fuel electrode

Pyrolysis – Pyrolysis leads to bio-oil

Modeling – First-principles multiscale simulations

Materials – Growing portfolio of novel classes of materials