Thomas J. Schwartz
Heterogeneous Catalysis • Reaction Kinetics • in situ and operando Spectroscopy • Biomass Conversion • Biorenewable Chemicals
Our group strives to develop a molecular-level understanding of processes that occur on catalytic surfaces used for the conversion of carbon-based feedstocks (i.e., biomass, petroleum, and natural gas) to chemicals and fuels. We combine data from spectroscopic (both in situ and operando) and reaction kinetics studies to elucidate the fundamental surface chemistry associated with chemical transformations. This knowledge is subsequently used to guide the rational design of novel catalytic materials. Our research is currently applied to the production of biorenewable chemicals by upgrading platform molecules obtained from either biocatalytic transformations of sugars or biomass pyrolysis.