ChBE Seminar Series: Ryan L. Hartman

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building
Professor Ray Adomaitis

Aqueous and Natural Gas Flow Chemistry with Microchemical Systems for Chemicals, Energy, and Sustainability
Ryan L. Hartman
Assistant Professor and Reichhold-Shumaker Fellow
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Flow chemistry, important to the global chemicals industry, critically depends on chemical reaction engineering first principles. Significant quantities of chemical waste are generated in fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals manufacture relative to the mass of the products formed. Conventional batch-wise processes are also energy intensive relative to performing reactions in microscale flow. The reaction engineering of organic syntheses using water has broad and versatile utility. Aqueous-phase synthesis could revolutionize catalysis in continuous fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals discovery and their scale-ups by assuring soluble reactants and products. As an example, the kinetics of an aqueous phase Pd-catalyzed, Cu-free Sonogashira coupling were investigated.  Our discovery that both deprotonation and carbopalladation mechanisms accurately describe the kinetics undergirds the importance of considering transport phenomena via reactor design principles in laboratory-scale batch and flow synthetic chemistry. Energy barriers similar in magnitude to density functional theory calculations of purely organic synthesis support that water as a reaction solvent could revolutionize the continuous flow manufacture of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals by accelerating the kinetics, while maintaining the solubility of inorganic salt by-products.  Water and natural gas also have symbiosis to global energy and sustainability. Massive quantities of natural gas are trapped in crystalline water throughout the world, from the deep seabed to beneath the polar ice regions, in the form of gas hydrates. Our discovery of gas hydrate formation and dissociation using microchemical systems unveils a new era of metastable methane science that was previously missing intrinsic experimental laboratory techniques that generate molecular understanding that complements computational techniques. On chip, rapid discovery of formulation chemistry is also crucial for emergency responses that remediate environmental disasters. Partnerships between chemists and chemical engineers are needed to drive innovations in science and engineering that harness aqueous and natural gas flow chemistry, and chemical reaction engineering is key.

About the Speaker
Ryan L. Hartman is Assistant Professor and Reichhold-Shumaker Fellow of Chemical and Biological Engineering at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. He received his B.S. from Michigan Technological University (2001) and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2006), both in chemical engineering. As a chemical engineer with Schlumberger, he innovated and developed chemistry technology for natural gas and petroleum production. In 2008, he joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he completed postdoctoral research on the continuous manufacture of pharmaceuticals. Professor Hartman is Senior Member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Member of the National Academy of Inventors.


Audience: Graduate  Undergraduate  Faculty  Post-Docs 

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