Vijay Shah

 Vijay M. Shah

vijayms2 at Illinois dot edu
B., Chemical Engineering: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (2021)
B.S., Chemistry: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (2021)

Project: Heterogeneously Catalyzed Aerobic Oxidative Cleavage for Sustainable Biomass Valorization

Project Description: The production of value-added chemicals from biomass feedstocks has rapidly become a major interest in the field of heterogeneous catalysis. This work aims to convert biomass-derived unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) into (di)carboxylic acids using oxygen or air as the oxidant in the presence of Au catalysts, departing from previous work in our group using hydrogen peroxide as the oxidant. Through kinetic measurements, catalyst synthesis, and reaction engineering, the long-term vision of this project is to (i) develop mechanistic insights into the oxidative cleavage of alkenes using model compounds and (ii) to apply this chemistry to the UFA oleic acid. We ultimately aim to use knowledge gleaned from model systems to examine these catalysts’ utility for the conversion of sorghum-derived oleic acid and resilience towards feedstock impurities