Paulami Majumdar

Graduate Research Assistant

Advised by Professor Jeffrey Greeley

Professional Networks




  • Indian Oil Corporation Limited (2010 - 2011)


Project Description

In view of depleting non-renewable resources, catalytic conversion of biomass into fuels has drawn considerable interest in recent years. Large scale conversion of biomass is limited by constraints of poor selectivity to desired products and by limited knowledge about catalysts available for biomass conversions. DFT studies, in conjunction with experiments, can improve our understanding of the mechanism of heterogeneous catalysis of biomass-derived compounds and provide insights into design of catalysts for improving selectivity. In particular, transition metals and their alloys are promising candidates for biomass-related heterogeneous catalysis reactions. DFT computations of adsorption energies and transition state energies, coupled with microkinetic modelling of elementary reaction steps, on such catalysts can provide insights into the thermodynamics and kinetics of decomposition reactions. The primary focus of this research is to elucidate such information for simple biomass-derived compounds like glycerol and low molecular weight alcohols on different types of transition metal based catalysts. We also use scaling relations relating binding energies of intermediates to those of carbon on different metals to improve computational efficiency.