November 2019 Newsletter Print

Next Meeting

Next AIChE Dinner Meeting

Date: Tuesday, March 10

Time: Social starts at 6:30 PM and dinner starts at 7:15 PM

Location: Hilton Garden Inn

10309 Highland Manor Drive

Topic: Waste to Energy: Forward to the Past

Speaker: Dr. John Kuhn (USF)


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.

Click here to Register

Cost is $10 for students, $20 for professionals & guests. Cost for professionals only goes up to $30 the night before the dinner meeting at 11 PM.

Thank you very much to our meeting sponsor:


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AIChE General Body Social-Bingo Night!

Mark your calendars for March 30th at 6:30 PM at O'Brien's Irish Pub & Grill in Brandon. For questions, please email Russell at [email protected]

College Scholarship Application is now live!

The scholarship application for college scholarships for UF, USF and FIT chemical engineering students is now live! The deadline is March 27th, 2020. See our website for complete requirements.

Click here to view the college scholarships requirements

Reminder to pay your local dues!

Remember to pay your local dues ($20) to receive membership benefits including discounts on the Engineers Week banquet and discount on Clearwater Conference registration. There are several ways to pay: in person at one of our dinner meetings, on our website or on the national AIChE website.



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Upcoming Events


Mark your calendars for this year's dinner meetings and other events!

Date Event Location
March 10, 2020 Dinner Meeting Hilton Garden Inn
March 30, 2020 Social Event-Bingo Night O'Brien's Irish Pub (Brandon)
April 14, 2020 Dinner Meeting Hilton Garden Inn
June 12 & 13, 2020 44th Annual Clearwater Conference Sheraton Sand Key


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