273189 Design of Heterogeneous Catalysts for the Conversion of Biomass Into Fuels and Chemicals
There has been an increasing interest in renewable sources of carbon for the production of transportation fuels and chemicals due to the diminishing petroleum resources. Cellulose and hemicellulose, components of biomass, can be depolymerized into the monossacharides glucose and xylose, which yields a variety of important platform molecules for the production of fuels and chemicals. For the economical viability and sustainability of biomass conversion processes, development of selective and stable solid catalysts is necessary. My research interest is in the design of novel functional heterogeneous catalysts with appropriate structural and surface properties for the production of biomass-derived compounds. I obtained my undergraduate and Master's degree in Chemistry at the State University of Campinas (Brazil) under the supervision of Prof. Ulf Schuchardt working on the preparation of catalysts for olefin epoxidation. As a graduate student, under the supervision of Prof. Leonardo Marchese at the University of Eastern Piedmont (Italy) and Prof Heloise O. Pastore at the State University of Campinas (Brazil), I studied the surface properties of solid acid catalysts and also developed new electrocatalysts for Methanol Fuel Cell. My post-doctoral research, under the guidance of Prof. James A. Dumesic and Prof. Manos Mavrikakis involves preparing hydrothermally stable solid catalysts and studying methods to improve their selectivities for the conversion of monosaccharides into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, an important platform chemical. My aim is to create a strong research group focusing on materials science and catalysis, combining the experience I have acquired over the years in various research groups.