VPR Distinguished Lecture highlights carbon refining strategy

Closeup of Jennifer Holmgren
Jennifer Holmgren

The fall 2023 Vice President for Research Distinguished Lecture will highlight the need for a carbon refining strategy and new approaches to reaching the global net-zero carbon goals set by recent international agreements.

The lecture will be given by Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, at 9 a.m., on Wednesday, Oct. 18. The lecture will be livestreamed via Zoom.

Under Holmgren’s guidance, LanzaTech is developing a variety of platform chemicals and fuels, including alternative jet fuel derived from industrial waste gases.

Her talk, “Innovating for a CarbonSmart Future,” will highlight the need for sustainable solutions to industrial processes that draw on multiple sources of waste carbon. One such technology is commercialized gas fermentation, which converts industrial waste carbon into ethanol that can then be upgraded into components for consumer products, such as jet fuel, clothing, plastic bottles, and more. Once these consumer products have reached the end of their lifetimes and become municipal solid waste, they can be recycled via gasification and fermentation into new consumer products, completing the carbon circle.

During her presentation, Holmgren will discuss how carbon refining strategies, such as commercialized gas fermentation, could help address climatic threats and ultimately lead to greater economic security both at home and abroad.  

Prior to LanzaTech, Holmgren was vice president and general manager of the Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit at UOP LLC, a Honeywell Company. While there, she was a key driver of their leadership in low carbon aviation biofuels.

She has authored or co-authored 50 U.S. patents and more than 30 scientific publications. Holmgren is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and serves on a number of national and international boards and advisory committees related to bioenergy.

Holmgren received a Bachelor of Science degree from Harvey Mudd College and a doctoral degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also received a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Chicago.

The Vice President for Research Distinguished Lecture Series invites world-renowned experts to WSU to share ideas and spark conversations about research that addresses society’s biggest challenges. Invited lecturers are leaders in their fields. This VPR Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by the Office of Research and is part of Research Week 2023.

RSVP is required and a full schedule of other Research Weeks events are available online.

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