A New NSF-EFRI Award: Engineering Interfaces between Plasma, Catalysts, and Reactor Design for Natural Gas Conversion to Liquid Products


A collaborative team led by Prof. Michele Sarazen in CBE and joined by Prof. Yiguang Ju in MAE at Princeton University, Prof. Xiaolin Zheng at Stanford University, and Profs. Tanvir Farouk and Lang Yuan at the University of South Carolina (USC) is awarded a four-year $2M NSF-EFRI grant for Distributed Chemical Manufacturing. Both Profs. Zheng and Farouk are our former MAE graduate and postdoc in the combustion group. The research team seeks to develop smaller and efficient plasma-assisted chemical reactors that could be widely distributed as a distributed chemical manufacturing network to convert vented and stranded methane at oil and gas reservoirs into chemicals and liquid fuels. The project represents a dramatic re-envisioning and streamlining of natural gas utilization by using an innovative 3D printing technology and a new concept of misty plasma catalysis. The team will also partner with national laboratories and industry to provide a variety of research and educational initiatives that will nurture future U.S. leaders and innovators in energy and engineering sciences and technology. Details of this award can be found on the NSF website: