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Chemicals & Fuels Development Center

The Chemical and Fuels Development Center (CFDC) is a national leading center for the development of both traditional and developing fuels and chemicals (co-products) with an emphasis on using sustainable production methods.  A R&D area of particular focus is the production of liquid fuels from renewable feedstocks such as biocrude, sewage sludge, and cultured crops.   More recently, the team at the CFDC has emerged as leading experts on the conversion of urban areas into foundational feedstock sources for a new generation of biorefineries based on municipal wastes.

The CFDC is led by Dr. Rafael Hernandez of the UL Chemical Engineering department who has established a highly regarded reputation for his work in the area of bio-based diesel derived from agricultural and waste products.  The UL departments of Chemical, Civil, Biology, Chemistry, and Geosciences are the primary partnered university entities with the CFDC.

Some example projects underway at the CFDC are listed below:
  1. Production of lipids using wastewater residuals for positioning urban wastewater treatment plants to become biorefineries of the future.
  2. Using delipidified microalgae cake as a feedstock to produce green adhesives.
  3. Upgrading anaerobic digesters for the production of pipeline  quality methane and dramatic from industrial wastewater treatment plants.
  4. Conversion of waste woody biomass into biocoal for replacement of coal at power plants.
  5. Development of a reactive filter for production of high quality syngas.
Dr. Rafael Hernandez (Chemical Engineer)
Associate Executive Director of the EIL & Director of the Chemicals and Fuels Development Center (CFDC)

Home Academic Unit: Chemical Engineering

Key Areas of Expertise: Bioprocessing; Chemical Production; Process Chemistry; Reaction Kinetics; Environmental Engineering; and Process


Phone: 337-482-6062