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

Clean and Green! Everyday Products Made from Sugar

Plant-derived chemicals competitive with petrochemical commodities

Consumer products such as shampoo, soap and detergents, as well as processed foods and drugs, are often laden with extra ingredients. Many of these extra ingredients are surfactants — chemicals responsible for changing the texture and solution properties of consumer products. Surfactants affect how well a shampoo or toothpaste "foams" and how well detergents remove dirt and grease. New research is highlighting how these products, typically derived from petroleum byproducts, can be made from renewable resources such as sugar.
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UD and Global Green Growth Institute establish research partnership

July 13, 2017 - The University of Delaware and the Global Green Growth Institute have announced a research partnership to support a global transition toward a green economy. The overall idea is to foster sustainable economic growth and development in ways that fuel the economy at regional, national and global levels while ensuring the Earth’s natural assets remain available to future generations.
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University of Delaware researchers look to make tires made from plants and wood

Story by: Scott Goss, The News Journal, Published July 9, 2017
Researchers at the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation say they have discovered a highly efficient way to convert plant matter into a chemical used to make everything from car tires to Lego blocks. "It’s still early in the research but what we’ve seen so far looks very promising," said Dionisios Vlachos, a UD professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of the federally-funded research center.
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Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

Synthetic rubber and plastics – used for manufacturing tires, toys and myriad other products – are produced from butadiene, a molecule traditionally made from petroleum or natural gas. But those manmade materials could get a lot greener soon, thanks to the ingenuity of a team of scientists from three U.S. research universities. The scientific team –- from the University of Delaware, the University of Minnesota and the University of Massachusetts – has invented a process to make butadiene from renewable sources like trees, grasses and corn.
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Scientific Research Thrusts and Enabling Technologies