University of Delaware


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Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation

About CCEI

The Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI) is a multi-institutional research center at the University of Delaware. It was established in 2009 by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. It is one of 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) and one of very few externally funded centers on heterogeneous catalysis. The center builds upon the long tradition of novel catalytic research in the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology (CCST) at the University of Delaware and extends its expertise to a team of faculty and scientific staff that brings together the expertise and synergism necessary to tackle the challenges and complexities of heterogeneous catalysis. It's a collaboration of over 20 principal investigators and approximately 40 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from 12 institutions nationwide.

The center's mission is to develop innovative heterogeneous catalytic technologies to transform lignocellulosic (non-food-based) biomass materials into fuels and chemicals. The cornerstone of CCEI research lies in advancing catalysis and its integration into processes that deliver innovative technologies for the conversion of biomass feedstocks, specifically cellulose and hemicellulose, sugars produced from the hydrolysis of biomass, and smaller oxygenated molecules.

CCEI focuses its research efforts on realizing significant scientific impact that assists in enabling the U.S. to meet the energy challenges of the future by developing catalytic technologies for sustainable energy applications through a spectrum of processes envisioned in a future biorefinery. Its research drives the science and technology that can lead to the conversion of cellulosic (non-food based) biomass and its derivatives to fuels, chemicals, and electricity. The center provides a multiscale integrated approach to solving scientific and engineering problems that spans across scales and disciplines, including (1) synthesis and characterization of novel catalysts, (2) development and application of multiscale modeling, (3) reaction and reactor evaluation, and (4) technology transfer.

CCEI offers a vibrant and exciting environment that educates and stimulates the next generation of engineers needed in heterogeneous catalysis and reactors, biorefineries, and renewable energy sectors.