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August 20, 2007


BASF Supports 'Green' Research At Columbia

$600,000 grant will support research into renewable energy and pollution control

Michael McCoy

BASF has made a three-year, $600,000 research commitment to the earth and environmental engineering department of Columbia University's School of Engineering & Applied Science. The money will fund graduate and postdoctoral studies into environmentally benign technologies using heterogeneous catalysts.

ANALYTICAL VIEW Researchers at BASF's Iselin, N.J., R&D center use X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to analyze complex chemistries for their active components.

"The program is directed toward 'green/sustainable' technology and pollution abatement???issues that are of great importance to the world, to Columbia, and to BASF," says Robert Farrauto, a research fellow in hydrogen and fuel cells at BASF Catalyst Research in Iselin, N.J. Farrauto is also an adjunct professor in the earth and environmental engineering department.

According to BASF, the program will offer four Columbia students the opportunity to take basic research concepts into a production environment and publish their findings in professional journals. Student researchers will interact with BASF scientists at the Iselin center and at BASF's Ludwigshafen, Germany, headquarters.

Farrauto will jointly supervise the research with Columbia professor Marco Castaldi. Potential topics include catalytic reforming of biofuels to hydrogen; conversion of greenhouse gases, such as landfill gases, to useful chemicals and fuels; and catalytic issues related to pollution abatement from diesel combustion engines.

BASF calls itself the world's leading supplier of environmental and process catalysts. It obtained the Iselin research center last year as part of its acquisition of Engelhard.

Chemical & Engineering News
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