The Impact of Shale Gas and Oil on the Chemical Industry

Event Date: January 19, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Jeffrey Siirola
Speaker Affiliation: Purdue University
Time: 3:00 - 4:15 pm
Location: FRNY G140
Priority: No
School or Program: Chemical Engineering
College Calendar: Show

Abstract:  Lower alkanes and aromatics are very useful as both fuels and chemical feedstocks.  Occasionally limited supplies have constrained demand but also encouraged investigation of alternative chemistries and feedstocks.  New technologies for the production of unconventional gas and oil sources in shale formations has significantly increased availability, altered economics, changed demand, and multiplied the ways traditional and alternative chemistries might be exploited.  This presentation will outline how natural gas became useful as a chemical feedstock, how government regulations led to shifts in availability, the development of alternative chemistries and catalysts, and the exploitation of shale resources, all of which are having a significant impact on the chemical industry.

Bio: Jeff Siirola retired in 2011 as a Technology Fellow at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport Tennessee where he had been for more than 39 years.  He now holds half time positions as Professor of Engineering Practice at Purdue University and Distinguished Service Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems at Carnegie Mellon University.

He received a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Utah in 1967 and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970.   His areas of interest include chemical process synthesis, computer-aided process engineering, design theory and methodology, process development and technology assessment, resource conservation and recovery, sustainable development and growth, carbon management, and chemical engineering education.

Siirola just completed two terms as Secretary of ABET.  He is also a trustee and past president of CACHE (Computer Aids for Chemical Engineering Education), and a member of the American Chemical Society, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and the American Society for Engineering Education.  He has served on numerous National Research Council, National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy panels, and on the advisory boards of several journals and chemical engineering departments.  He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was the 2005 President of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.