ChEMS Department Seminar

Event Date/Time: 
January 17, 2019 - 9:10am
Event Location: 
3540 EB
Chester Upham
New Catalysts for New Processes: CO2-Free Production of Chemicals, Fuels, and Power


In order to meet increasing energy demands for a growing population while reducing CO2 emissions, new affordable technologies are needed.  This talk will focus on several recently developed catalysts and processes for the production of chemicals, fuels, and electricity without producing carbon dioxide.  Experimental results using a number of different catalysts will be presented in conjunction with supporting theory, modeling, characterization, and techno-economic analysis.  Three approaches will be discussed: (1) High temperature liquid catalysts for oxygen-free natural gas pyrolysis to produce hydrogen and separable solid carbon that can be used or stored in perpetuity, (2) Molten halide salts and halogens as indirect oxidants for alkane oxidation reactions to olefins or electrical power, and (3) Passivated zeolites for conversion of mixtures of CO2/CO/H2 to acetic acid or ethanol using a tandem catalytic process.


Chester Upham is a postdoctoral scholar in the Stanford Chemical Engineering Department advised by Professor Thomas Jaramillo. He completed his PhD at UC Santa Barbara in the labs of Eric McFarland and Horia Metiu in 2017, and his Bachelor of Engineering at McGill University. In addition, he was the Director of Development for Carbon Sciences for 3 years, leading the development of a CO2 reforming catalyst.  His research interests are in the areas of fundamental catalysis research, process and reactor design and modeling, and development of energy systems.