Emerging Challenges in Catalysis for Sustainable Production of Transport Fuels: An Industrial View

2017 Spring Symposium

John Shabaker, BP Group Research, Naperville, IL

Abstract – Primary energy demand has grown tremendously over the past century, and despite the recent economic downturn, it is predicted to increase another 37% over the period from 2013-20351. Driven by global population growth and rising standards of living, this rapid increase in demand has driven innovation in the development of new energy supplies and highlighted environmental impacts of energy production & consumption. In this seminar, we will explore how these broad changes have in turn affected the transportation fuels sector, greatly influencing the price and availability of feedstocks, as well as the desired mix and quality of products. We will focus on the technological challenges arising for today’s transport fuels industry, and provide commentary on the role of catalysis research to help address them.

1 BP Energy Outlook 2035 (2017)

Biography – John is currently Technology Strategist in BP Group Research, where he provides technical input into strategic initiatives across the company.  Formerly, he was US Science Team Leader in the BP Center of Excellence for Applied Chemistry & Physics, also part of Group Research that supports businesses in refining, petrochemicals, lubricants, and upstream production, as well as manages global university programs. From 2007-2011 John led the implementation of new biofuels pathways in Refining Technology, ranging from biobutanol process development to renewable diesel co-processing in refinery hydrotreaters.   He was also active in conventional hydroprocessing technology, including pilot plant operations and modelling.

Prior to joining BP, John was a reaction engineering specialist at Bristol-Myers Squibb, applying in-situ spectroscopy, kinetics, and safety studies to pharmaceutical process development.  He received his PhD in chemical engineering in 2004 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He holds bachelor degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry from Lehigh University.