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Special Seminar: Chasing Carbon—Reimagining the integrated biorefinery through cascaded conversion processes



12:00pm - 1:00pm ET


Meeting ID: 951 4202 1459
Passcode: 113629

In the absence of massive government subsidies, the economic viability of large-scale thermochemical conversions of biomass to biofuels is tenuous at best. Pyrolysis converts dry biomass waste into a bio-oil and solid biochar, while hydrothermal carbonization and liquefaction (HTC/HTL) are efficient ways to convert wet wastes into hydrochars. Yet pyrolysis bio-oils and biochars require significant upgrading to be of any real value, while hydrochar is unstable and hydrothermally processed biocrudes are difficult to separate from their aqueous process media. A profitable biorefinery will require new in situ catalytic approaches to modular unit operations, the valorization of all byproducts, and the coupling of conversion processes to maximize renewable fuel extraction.

Our laboratory is exploring integrated biological, chemical and thermal conversion pathways to increase carbon recovery in liquid biofuels and to enhance the value of solid residues such as hydrochars and biochars. In this talk, we think beyond the literature norms of "make and characterize a fuel" to envision integrated processes for holistic carbonaceous waste valorization.

About the Speaker(s)

Jillian Goldfarb
Associate Professor of Biological & Environmental Engineering, Cornell U

Jillian Goldfarb

Jillian Goldfarb received her BS in chemical engineering from Northeastern University and her PhD from Brown University. She is an associate professor of biological and environmental engineering at Cornell University. Goldfarb's research tackles challenges surrounding energy generation and its impact on the environment. She has developed new concepts for solid waste to green material conversion and proposed new biorefinery concepts for low-carbon fuels. Her work is funded by NSF, USDA, US-Israel Binational Research Development Fund, the Eppley Foundation, and the Towards Sustainability Foundation. Goldfarb is Principal Editor (Americas) of Fuel. She is recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, an ACS Green Chemistry Institute GreenX: Rising Star Award, and was a 2017 Fulbright Scholar to Italy. In 2022 she was a delegate to the 1st National Academies of Science US-Africa Frontiers symposium and a recipient of the Cornell University College of Engineering James and Mary Tien Excellence in Teaching Award.


For more information, contact Ashley Parker at