The patent filed a year ago for the development of carbon-based catalyst for the waste-to-bioenergy conversion was issued last week. The work was done in collaboration with ORNL and was initiated by a superb collaboration between two alums: Zach Hood (chem major) and Shiba Adhikari (graduate student in Chemistry). Zach defended his PhD work last week and is headed to a postdoc at MIT to work on Materials for electrochemical storage, and Shiba obtained his PhD in 2017 and is currently a postdoctoral Fellow at the Carbon materials group at ORNL.
This work would never have happened without the collaborative environment between graduate and undergraduate students that the Wake Forest University Chemistry Department has encouraged over the years.
Here is a brief description of the patent:
United States Patent: 9,884,804
Inventors: Hood; Zachary D., Adhikari; Shiba P., Wright; Marcus W., Lachgar; Abdessadek, Li; Yunchao, Naskar; Amit K., Paranthaman; Mariappan Parans
A method of making solid acid catalysts includes the step of sulfonating waste tire pieces in a first sulfonation step. The sulfonated waste tire pieces are pyrolyzed to produce carbon composite pieces having a pore size less than 10 nm. The carbon composite pieces are then ground to produce carbon composite powders having a size less than 50 .mu.m. The carbon composite particles are sulfonated in a second sulfonation step to produce sulfonated solid acid catalysts. A method of making biofuels and solid acid catalysts are also disclosed.