Nitish Deshpande wins AIChE Travel Award
Graduate student Nitish Deshpande (Brunelli Group) will attend the AIChE annual meeting in Pittsburgh this October thanks to winning an AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division Travel Award.
The award includes the opportunity to present a paper, a stipend for travel costs, and a ticket to the Division dinner, where Deshpande and the additional 19 award recipients will be formally recognized for their achievements.
Deshpande's paper, "Selective glucose isomerization to fructose using immobilized tertiary amines," demonstrates the design and development of silica supported tertiary amine catalysts for the selection (~70%) conversion of glucose to fructose.
Converting glucose to fructose is an important step in upgrading dry plant matter to high-valued products such as high fructose corn syrup, bio-based polymers and fuel additives.
Investigations by the Brunelli Group reveal that various catalyst design parameters including amine loading, amine structure support-pore characteristics affect catalytic performance significantly. Through tuning these parameters, researchers have been able to achieve fructose yields comparable to homogeneous catalysts.
In notifying Deshpande that he had been chosen for the award, committee chair Eranda Nikolla, associate professor at Wayne State University, wrote that Deshpande was selected from "a large pool of extremely good nominees, which did not make things easy for the selection committee."
The AIChE Annual Meeting will be held October 28-November 2, 2018.