Industrial laboratories have played a major role in innovation and commercialization of new technologies in energy and chemicals. This lecture will present case studies in technology development including enhanced oil recovery, chemical process developments with homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts and advanced separations, and in biofuels and new energies. The breadth of laboratory, pilot, and demonstration plant studies required to understand underlying fundamentals and derisk scale up, will be described. While computational modeling is showing increasing benefit in a priori prediction, experiments remain a centerpiece for discovery and characterization of plausible ranges of performance. The art of fit-for-purpose experimentation and measurement, augmented by appropriate modeling, remains a key skill for the industrial scientist and engineer.
Who is Joe Powell?
Joe Powell is Fellow and former Director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and since 2006 Shell’s Chief Scientist – Chemical Engineering, where over 30+ years he has led R&D programs in new chemical processes, biofuels, enhanced oil recovery, and currently advises R&D for energy transition to a net-zero carbon economy. Dr. Powell is co-inventor on more than 125 patent applications (60 granted), has received AIChE / ACS / R&D Magazine awards for Innovation, Service, and Practice, and is co-author of Sustainable Development in the Process Industries: Cases and Impact (2010). He currently chairs the U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC) and served for two terms on the U.S. National Academy Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology. PhD: U. Wisconsin-Madison (1984); BS: U. Virginia (1978).