AIChE Central Florida March Dinner Meeting 2020

    March 10, 2020
    6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
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    Hilton Garden Inn - East Tampa / Brandon
    10309 Highland Manor Drive
    Tampa, FL 33610
    Venue website

    "Waste-to-Energy: Forward to the Past"   

    John Kuhn

    USF Professor

    ChemTreat Inc.


    Even though fossil fuels have been primarily relied upon to meet society’s increasing energy needs over the last two centuries, there was once a time where biomass was the primary source of energy and even some earlier cars used ethanol as fuel. With an increasing focus on sustainability, the path forward involves returning to the past. Waste and sustainable materials management, including re-using resources, will be a critical element. Modern waste management sites (aka, landfills) involve much more complexity than just filling land with garbage. Futuristic waste management sites could even be envisioned without this function, instead acting as local chemical upcycling centers and even as mining sites for valuable resources. This talk focuses on conversion of landfill gas to fuels and chemicals, with a primary focus on diesel. Landfill gas is primarily a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide and is produced from anaerobic digestion of food and other organic wastes (roughly one third of approximately 1 ton of garbage we each produce) and must be at least flared to minimize methane emissions. Our group at USF focuses on developing processes with integrated catalytic operations to convert landfill gas to value-added products. Specifically, production of diesel at landfills offers possibilities for a circular economy. In collaboration with and led by T2C-Energy LLC, a pilot facility has been constructed and tested at multiple sites including the Citrus County Landfill. The research, development, and deployment of this technology will be highlighted in the talk.

    Speaker Bio:

    Professor John Kuhn is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Graduate Studies in the Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Florida. Prior to starting at USF in 2009, he was a post-doctoral fellow, under the supervision of Gabor Somorjai, in the Chemistry Department at the University of California, Berkeley with joint appointments in the Chemical and Materials Sciences Divisions of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His doctorate was received in Chemical Engineering at the Ohio State University with Professor Umit Ozkan as his advisor. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Dayton. During that time, he also performed research at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

    His recent research has focused on waste-to-energy processes and operations, with an emphasis on heterogeneous catalysis. He has advised or co-advised 24 graduate students to degree completion and has over 85 peer-reviewed journal articles and patents. He earned the USF Research & Innovation ‘Excellence in Innovation’ Award in 2013 and 2018, USF Outstanding Research Achievement Award in 2019, and the USF College of Engineering ‘Outstanding Research Achievement’ Award in 2016. His group has been funded by many agencies, including the DOE, NSF, Hinkley Center, NASA, FESC, and VentureWell.

    Please Make Your Reservations by March 6th  
    Contact AIChE Treasurer Bruce Wiggins at: 
    [email protected] 

    Meeting Sponsor:



    $20.00 Senior Member Ticket
    $30.00 after 11:00 pm March 9

    $10.00 Student Member Ticket

    $20.00 Guest Ticket
    $30.00 after 11:00 pm March 9