May 2, 2012: Spring Seminar Series - Dr John Shabaker

Shabaker.jpgThe Department of Chemical Engineering is proud to announce the 14th in its series of Seminars for the Spring 2012 Semester: “An Industrial Perspective on Emerging Challenges in Energy Catalysis”

John Shabaker, PhD, Team Leader, BP Catalyst Discovery Laboratory

Primary energy demand has grown tremendously over the past century, and despite the recent economic downturn, is predicted to increase 50% over the period from 2005-20301. Driven by global population growth and rising standards of living, this rapid increase in demand has already strained energy supplies and highlighted environmental impacts of energy production & consumption. In this seminar, we will explore the magnitude of these problems from an industrial perspective, and provide commentary on progress toward the goals laid out by the US Department of Energy report, “Basic Research Needs: Catalysis for Energy”(2007). In particular, we will highlight the role of catalysis research in the expansion of sustainable liquid transport fuels from evolving petroleum and growing biomass sources, including an overview of BP’s scientific efforts in these fields.

1 BP Energy Outlook 2030 (2011)

Dr. John W. Shabaker is currently Team Leader for the BP Catalyst Discovery Laboratory, a fundamental & exploratory catalysis research group that collaborates with business technology groups in refining, petrochemicals, lubricants, and production chemistry, as well as funded university programs. From 2007-2011 John led the implementation of new biofuels pathways in Refining Technology, ranging from biobutanol process development to renewable diesel co-processing in refinery hydrotreaters. He was also active in traditional hydroprocessing technology, including pilot plant catalyst testing and kinetic modelling.

Prior to joining BP, John was a reaction engineering specialist at Bristol-Myers Squibb, applying in-situ spectroscopy, kinetics, and safety studies to pharmaceutical process development. He received his PhD in chemical engineering in 2004 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he explored the initial catalysis and development of the Aqueous Phase Reforming (APR) process to convert carbohydrates to hydrogen, fuels and chemicals under the supervision of Prof. James Dumesic. He also holds bachelors degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry from Lehigh University.

Colloquium at 2:30 PM, Room B023 - Refreshments at 2:15 PM, Siegel Lower Lobby
Mountaintop Campus, Iacocca Hall, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015