May 10

Chemistry Department Seminar: Dr. Karen Goldberg

Fri, May 10, 2024 • 3:30pm - 4:30pm (1h) • Olin Hall 149

The Jerry and Jean Mohrig Lecture

Developing Alternatives to Oil as Feedstocks for our Chemicals and Liquid Fuels

Karen Goldberg, University of Pennsylvania

The call for reducing CO2 emissions and moving to renewable energy sources has never been louder than it is today. But as society moves away from oil as a primary energy source, we will also need to develop sustainable sources for our liquid fuels and re-envision our chemical industry and economy. Gasoline and other liquid fuels are the major products that are made from oil, but oil is also the source of the chemicals that are used to make most all of the consumer goods that we have come to rely on. Our medicines, detergents, paints, plastics, fibers, fabrics, and almost everything we use on a daily basis, are currently derived from petroleum. The carbon-based building blocks used to make all these consumer goods have been available in sufficient supply and at low cost due to the economy of scale of the enormous oil refining industry. Fundamentally new pathways, from new sources, to the chemicals and liquid fuels that we depend on must be developed to successfully transition to a sustainable future. In this presentation, I will describe how we arrived at our current energy landscape, projections on where we are going, and some of the exciting strategies that we and others are pursuing to allow us to use resources such as natural gas, carbon dioxide, and even waste plastics to prepare our chemicals and fuels in the future.

*This seminar counts towards the chemistry major seminar attendance requirement for all majors not doing comps this year.

Event Contact: Tami Little

Event Summary

Chemistry Department Seminar: Dr. Karen Goldberg
  • Intended For: General Public, Students, Faculty, Staff, Emeriti, Alums
  • Categories: Lecture/Panel, Comps

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