The 19th Annual Graduate Student and Postdoc Research Day was held on March 22, 2019, at Biotech Place, Auditorium & Atrium on the Bowman Gray Campus. Norman Fraley won the People’s Choice Award for his Ph.D. Thesis presentation of his chemistry research into an Amorphous Carbon Catalyst for Biofuel Production.
Norman is the Executive Director of The Frölich Institute.
In partnership with Wake Forest University, The Frölich Institute is in development and characterization of a carbon framework catalyst from simple sugars, this surface has been modified and is showing great success in the direct conversion of free fatty acids to biodiesel.
We are in the characterization and scale-up phase of this work, designing a continuous flow reaction process to convert this, or potentially any Lewis Acid catalytic reaction into a green, sustainable high performance catalyst.
We are investigating applications in water cleanup and other esterification chemistry using this simply prepared catalyst where every step in the process uses readily biodegradable materials at relatively low temperatures.
The Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) is a skills development activity which challenges Research Higher Degree students to explain their research project to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes. https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au/
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Originally broadcast at KONO 101.1 Public Affairs Show on July 21, 2019.