Xiao awarded funding for energy sustainability research through TIRE grant

May 3, 2024 | Engineering and Science, Faculty/Staff, Research

Louisiana Tech University faculty member, Dr. Yang Xiao, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the Institute of Micromanufacturing, was awarded $30,000 for his energy sustainability efforts. His project converting methane to ethanol as transportation fuel marks a crucial milestone in the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions.

The funding for Xiao’s project comes from his proposal to the Louisiana Transportation Research Center through the Transportation Innovation Research Exploration (TIRE) grant.

The project aims to revolutionize Louisiana’s energy landscape by harnessing locally sourced methane from the Haynesville Shale area and converting it into ethanol fuel through innovative photo-thermo catalysis techniques.

“The conversion of methane to ethanol helps the development of alternative fuels for Louisiana’s transportation sector, reduces Louisiana’s dependence on petroleum resources, and facilitates Louisiana’s energy transition,” Xiao said.

With concerns rising over petroleum security and greenhouse gas emissions, this initiative plans to make significant strides in reducing dependency on fossil fuels, lowering fuel costs, creating job opportunities, and improving U.S. energy security.

Xiao has also been awarded several grants by the state of Louisiana for his ongoing research on sustainable energy including the Catalytic Conversion of Methane to Liquid Rocket Propellant Fuels, funded by the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium, and the Design of novel high-entropy catalysts for the production of sustainable fuels, funded by Louisiana Materials Design Alliance (LAMDA).

In addition to addressing energy challenges, the research initiative will also provide support for one PhD student in Xiao’s research group.

“Leveraging local resources enhances energy security and sustainability,” Dr. Sumeet Dua, Executive Vice President of Research, said. “This project holds significant potential for northwest Louisiana, and we are proud to showcase Dr. Xiao’s expertise.”

This achievement not only reflects Dr. Xiao’s expertise and dedication but also highlights the collaborative efforts of Louisiana Tech University and its partners in advancing cutting-edge research initiatives.

Learn more about Xiao and his team’s research here.