Seminar: Friday, November 15, 2013 at 11:00 A.M.

JSNN Seminar Presentation on November 15, 2013 at 11:00 A.M.

Title: Nanotechnology in Biomass Gasification and Artificial Photosynthesis

By: Wayne Yuan, Ph.D.


From: NCSU | Dept. of Biological and Agricultural Engineering


The application of nanotechnology in two different areas of biofuels research will be discussed. One area is in biomass gasification syngas cleanup and conditioning. A newly developed nano-NiO on char catalyst was evaluated on an updraft biomass gasifier. It exhibited similar or better catalytic performance than Ni/γ-Al2O3 catalysts, but was much cheaper and more energy efficient compared to the latter. The other area is in artificial photosynthesis, where glucose was converted from sunlight, CO2 and water using nano-scale vesicles in the lab. The research mimics the nature process of photosynthesis for the production of biofuels, independent of the life of nature plants.

Dr. Wenqiao (Wayne) Yuan is an associate professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University. His research focuses on advanced biofuels and bioproducts, which has been heavily funded by various federal agencies, such as NSF, USDA, DOE, and DOT.  His current research interests include microalgae cultivation and bioprocessing (for biofuel and bioproduct development), biomass thermochemical conversion (for biofuel and value-added co-product development), n-butanol and organic acids fermentation (from low value substrates), and microbial fuel cells (for electricity and H2 generation and wastewater treatment). Dr. Yuan is nationally and internationally recognized for his accomplishments in research, education, and service. He has received numerous prestigious awards, such as the NSF CAREER Award, ASABE New Holland Young Researcher Award, Outstanding Service Award, Superior Paper Award, Scholarly Achievement Award, and Graduate Research Award.