Michelle O'Malley Receives Major DoE Grant for Biofuels Research

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Most of the products that sustain modern life — such as fuels, pharmaceuticals, and other commodity chemicals — are produced from non-renewable sources, which become more costly as supplies diminish. Petroleum, from which we derive fuels that feed our insatiable demand for energy, is a prime example.

Several years ago, in an effort to create a truly renewable alternative to petroleum, Michelle O’Malley, professor of chemical engineering at UC Santa Barbara, began researching some of the most abundant materials on Earth — the non-food parts of plants (stems, roots, and inedible leaves) — that would generally be regarded as waste. Now, with a new $2.25 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy, O’Malley’s research group, working with collaborators at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), is poised to expand knowledge related to advanced biofuels and the technology needed to develop them.

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Professor Michelle O'Malley

Professor Michelle O'Malley