Paul Dauenhauer

Paul Dauenhauer

Associate Professor, DuPont Young Professor
Contact Information
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, 2004
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2008

Research Areas

Recent News:

Research Interests

Engineering sustainable energy technology remains the key challenge of the 21st century. Utilization of alternative energy sources including biomass requires fundamental understanding of catalytic reaction chemistry and associated transport phenomena. New feed stocks are predominately porous solids (e.g. shale, lignocellulosic biomass) resulting in both heat and mass transfer limitations inside reacting particles. Additionally, alternative feed streams to refineries are complicated by being over-functionalized (biomass) or over-oxidized (bitumen/kerogen). Our research addresses the catalysis and reaction engineering challenges associated with these renewable and emerging carbonaceous feed stocks for manufacturing the fuels and chemicals of tomorrow. Invention of new experimental techniques combined with novel catalytic and separation materials allow for development of the next generation of energy technology based on detailed chemical understanding. Our publications address catalysis and chemistry of highly functionalized renewable feed stocks, mechanisms and kinetics of complex reacting systems, and the interplay of reaction/transport in new micro-mesoporous materials/catalysts. Focus on reacting systems across length scales from catalytic active site, to particle, and reactor allows for utilization of fundamental insight within industrial applications and substantial opportunity for collaboration with industry.


  • US Department of Energy Early Career Award, 2011
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2013
  • 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, 2012-2015
  • College of Engineering, Goldstein Outstanding Junior Professor Award, 2013
  • DuPont Young Professor Award, 2013
  • Armstrong Career Development Professor, 2013-2014
  • Camille-Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2014
  • Rutherford Aris Award for Excellence in Reaction Engineering, 2016
  • Mellichamp Lecturer, Purdue University, 2016

Selected Publications

  • A.D. Paulsen, M.S. Mettler, D.G. Vlachos, P.J. Dauenhauer, "Tuning Cellulose Pyrolysis Chemistry: Selective Decarbonylation via Catalyst-Impregnated Pyrolysis," Catalysis Science & Technology, 2014
  • Alex D. Paulsen, Blake, R. Hough, C. Luke Williams, Andrew R. Teixeira, Daniel T. Schwartz, J. Pfaendtner, P.J. Dauenhauer, "Fast Pyrolysis of Wood for Biofuels: Spatiotemporally-Resolved Diffuse Reflectance in situ Spectroscopy of Particles (STR-DRiSP)" ChemSusChem 2014, 7(3), 765-776.
  • J. Yang, C. Luke Williams, A. Ramasubramaniam, P.J. Dauenhauer, "Aqueous-Phase Hydrodeoxygenation of Highly Oxygenated Aromatics on Platinum," Green Chemistry 2014. 16, 675.
  • Andrew R. Teixeira, Chun-Chih Chang, Wei Fan, Paul J. Dauenhauer, "Dominance of Surface Barriers in Molecular Transport through Silicalite-1," Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2013, 117(48), 25545-25555.
  • Chun-Chih Chang, Andrew R. Teixeira, Chao Li, Paul J. Dauenhauer, Wei Fan, "Enhanced Molecular Transport in Hierarchical Silicalite-1," Langmuir 2013 29(45), 13943-13950.
  • N. Nikbin, P.T. Do, S. Caratzoulas, R.F. Lobo, P.J. Dauenhauer, D.G. Vlachos, "A DFT study of the acid-catalyzed conversion of 2,5-dimethylfuran and ethylene to p-xylene," Journal of Catalysis 2013, 297, 35-43.
  • S. Vaitheeswaran, Sara Green, Paul J. Dauenhauer, Scott M. Auerbach, "On the Way to Biofuels from Furan: Discriminating Diels-Alder and Ring-Opening Mechanisms," ACS Catalysis 2013. 3(9), 2012-2019.
  • C.Luke Williams, Chun-Chih Chang, Phuong Do, Nima Nikbin, Stavros Caratzoulas, Dionisios G. Vlachos, Raul F. Lobo, Wei Fan, Paul J. Dauenhauer, "Cycloaddition of Biomass-Derived Furans for Catalytic Production of p-Xylene," ACS Catalysis 2012, 2(6), 935-939.
  • M.S. Metter, A.D. Paulsen, D.G. Vlachos, P.J. Dauenhauer, "The Chain Length Effect in Pyrolysis: Bridging the Gap between Glucose and Cellulose," 2012. Green Chemistry 2012, 14, 1284-1288.
  • M.S. Mettler, A.D. Paulsen, D.G. Vlachos, P.J. Dauenhauer, "Pyrolytic Conversion of Cellulose to Fuels: Levoglucosan Deoxygenation via Elimination and Cyclization within Molten Biomass," Energy & Environmental Science 2012, 5, 7864-7868.
  • M.S. Mettler, S.H. Mushrif, A.D. Paulsen, A.D. Javadekar, D.G. Vlachos, P.J. Dauenhauer, "Revealing pyrolysis chemistry for biofuels production: Conversion of cellulose to furans and small oxygenates," Energy and Environmental Science 2012, 5, 5414.
  • A.R. Teixeira, K.G. Mooney, J.S. Kruger, C.L. Williams, W.J. Suszynski, L.D. Schmidt, D.P. Schmidt, P.J. Dauenhauer, "Aerosol Generation by Reactive Boiling Ejection of Molten Cellulose," Energy and Environmental Science 2011, 4, 4306.

Contact Information

Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

421 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0132

P: 612-625-1313 | F: 612-626-7246

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