Ph.D. University of Delaware. Chemical Engineering. 1986.
M.Ch.E. University of Delaware. Chemical Engineering. 1983.
B.S. Pennsylvania State University. Chemical Engineering. 1982.
Our reliance on petroleum for chemical products and energy is not sustainable. Also, industrial chemical processes could be made both more profitable and more environmentally friendly if they produced less waste. Our research group investigates chemical reaction systems that are important for sustainable chemical synthesis and energy production. The research is aimed at reducing the environmental impact of these vital activities. We often use high-temperature liquid water as the reaction medium, and we avoid the use of organic solvents. Replacing organic solvents now used in commercial chemical processes with high-temperature liquid water would result in “greener” processes.
Our current focus is on energy production from renewable resources. We are developing novel processes for converting biomass (e.g., algae, lignocellulosic material) into hydrogen, methane, and liquid transportation fuels. These strategies involve chemical reactions, both catalyzed and uncatalyzed, in water near or above its critical point. We also do fundamental kinetics studies and mechanistic work to build a better understanding of chemistry.
Our goals are to resolve the reaction networks, determine the kinetics for the different steps in the network, and probe the reaction mechanism. Accomplishing these goals provides the reaction engineering information needed for process design and optimization and also provides fundamental, molecular-level details about the reaction chemistry.
T. Pinnarat and P. E. Savage, “Oleic Acid Esterification in Sub- and Supercritical Ethanol” J. Supercrit. Fluids, 53, 53-59, (2010).
N. A. Rebacz and P. E. Savage, “Hydration of 1-Phenyl-1-Propyne in High-Temperature Water with Catalysis by Water Tolerant Lewis Acids” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 49, 535-540, (2010).
J. Fu, P. E. Savage, X. Lu, “Catalyitc Hydrothermal Deoxygenation of Palmitic Acid” Energy & Environmental Science, 3, 311-317, (2010).
F. L. P. Resende and P. E. Savage, “Effect of Metals on Supercritical Water Gasification of Cellulose and Lignin” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res, 49, 2694-2700, (2010)
Duan, P., Dai, L., Savage, P. E., “Kinetics and Mechanism of N-substituted Amide Hydrolysis in High-Temperature Water”J. Supercrit. Fluids 51, 362-368, (2010).
F. L. P. Resende and P. E. Savage, “Kinetic Model for Noncatalytic Supercritical Water Gasification of Cellulose and Lignin” AIChE J. 56, 2412-2420 (2010).
T. Brown, P. Duan, P. E. Savage, “Hydrothermal Liquefaction and Gasification of Microalga Nannochloropsis sp.” Energy & Fuels 24, 3639-3646 (2010).