Two new videos deal with the work of George Huber, chemical engineering, who is transforming biomass into the industrial chemicals used to make gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, plastics, and other things. Dr. Huber is interviewed by Chemistry Views here. Meanwhile, the UMass News Office has produced a short video about Huber at youtu.be/emsCe0c3DwM. Using a catalytic fast pyrolysis process that transforms renewable non-food biomass into petrochemicals, Huber’s team has created a catalyst that boosts the yield for five key "building blocks of the chemical industry" by 40 percent compared to previous methods.
This most recent innovation makes Huber’s process economically competitive with current fossil fuel refining methods. His production process has been tested and proven in a laboratory reactor, using wood as the feedstock.
As the News Office video explains, “George Huber, a chemical engineer at the UMass Amherst, can turn biomass, switch grass, wood, or agricultural waste into chemicals used to make gasoline, jet fuel, and many of the things we now make from oil. The process is also sustainable.” (April 2012)