Photo: courtesy of

2nd Natural Gas Utilization Workshop

Chemistry, Technology, and Deployment of Natural-Gas-based Chemicals, Fuels, and Energy Systems
August 12-14, 2018

AIChE’s Center for Energy Initiatives (CEI) is hosting a consensus-building workshop on Aug 12-14, 2018 in College Station, TX. This workshop brings together leaders in downstream natural gas conversion across industry, academia and government to discuss various perspectives on hurdles to technology implementation. Topics will focus on novel advances in natural gas conversion. The goal of each session will be to call out high potential leads that have emerged or may emerge in each area along with key enablers to facilitate continued progress.

Technical Program


*Opportunity to submit a paper for Elsevier's Catalysis Today

Natural Gas Workshop flyer

RAPID workshop for attendees

Invited Speakers

Session Topics

  • Advances in catalyst/process chemistries for natural gas conversion: Thinking beyond LNG and CNG
  • Advances in reaction engineering and separations for natural gas conversion: Novel, emerging technologies for modular and intensified gas processing
  • Process systems engineering for natural gas systems: Centralized vs. distributed models, process design, optimization, supply chain

Conference Chair

Conference Co-Chair

  • John Hu, West Virginia University

Organizing Committee

Additional Workshop

Featured Speakers

Jim Bielenberg

Jim Bielenberg, PhD, is the former Chief Technology Officer of the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute. He has spent the last 15 years working in various areas of new technology development, including 12 years working at ExxonMobil.

He is a co-inventor on over a dozen technology patents across chemicals technology, refining technology, coal gasification, and biofuels processing. He received his BS from the Univ. of Nebraska and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both in chemical engineering. He is...Read more

Anne Gaffney

Dr. Anne M. Gaffney has over thirty years of industrial chemistry and catalysis experience having worked at ARCO, DuPont, Rohm and Haas, and Lummus Technology in various R&D and leadership roles. She is currently the Director of Process Science and Technology at Idaho National Laboratory and recently appointed Laboratory Fellow.Read more

Fanxing Li

Dr. Fanxing Li is an Associate Professor in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at North Carolina State University. Dr. Li received his BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering from Tsinghua University in 2001 and 2004, respectively. He received his PhD at the Ohio State University in 2009. Dr. Li has published over 50 journal articles and book chapters. He is also an inventor/co-inventor of 12 patents and patent applications. He has won numerous awards including the Best PhD in Particle Technology Award, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, SABIC Young Professional Award, the NC State Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award, and was named as a NC State University Faculty Scholar.Read more

Patrick Linke

Dr. Patrick Linke is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Chair of the Chemical Engineering Program at Texas A&M University at Qatar. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Graduate Studies. He is a co-founder and director of the Qatar Sustainable Water and Energy Utilization Initiative (QWE), a center of excellence for research and capacity building at Texas A&M University in Education City. Dr. Linke is a process systems engineer and his activities focus on the design of efficient processes, integrated systems and associated infrastructures. Dr. Linke is a process systems engineer and his activities focus on the design of efficient processes, integrated systems and associated infrastructures. Dr. Linke regularly serves on numerous national and international committees. He served as Chief Engineer for the Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) in the Office of the Heir Apparent from 2009-2014.Read more

Christos Maravelias

Christos obtained his Diploma in Chemical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, an MSc in Operational Research from the London School of Economics (London, UK), and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. He joined the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2004, where he is currently the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor.Read more

Eric McFarland

Eric McFarland studied Nuclear Engineering and received B.S. and M.S. degrees from U.C. Berkeley, and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has published over 160 scientific papers and is the inventor on over 25 patents. McFarland has always worked closely with industry and is a Board member and advisor for several technology companies. McFarland recently returned to UCSB from a two-year position as the founding Director of the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation and Dow Chemical Chair of Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland, Australia. McFarland initiated the Centre’s major programs including investigations of means to improve the value proposition of nuclear power for sustainable energy production and more sustainable uses of methane related to mining and chemicals production.Read more

Stratos Pistikopoulos

Professor Pistikopoulos is TEES Distinguished Research Professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University. At Texas A&M, he is the Interim Co-Director and Deputy Director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute, the Course Director of the Master of Science in Energy, the Director of the Gulf Coast Regional Manufacturing Centre, and the Texas A&M Principal Investigator of the RAPID Manufacturing USA Institute on process intensification, co-leading the Modeling & Simulation Focus Area.Read more

Joseph Powell

Joseph B. Powell (PhD) is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Shell’s Chief Scientist - Chemical Engineering since 2006. He joined the Process Development Department at Shell Technology Center Houston in 1988, where he has led R&D programs in new chemical processes, biofuels, and enhanced oil recovery, in addition to a Hunters innovation group.

Dr. Powell has been co-inventor on more than 125 distinct patent applications with more than 60 granted, and has received several industry awards including the A. D. Little Award for Chemical Engineering...Read more

Fabio H. Ribeiro

Fabio H. Ribeiro is currently the R. Norris and Eleanor Shreve Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center on the Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources (CISTAR) at the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University. He received his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in 1989, worked for Catalytica, Inc. in Mountain View, California, held a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California – Berkeley, and was on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute faculty before joining Purdue University in August 2003. His research interests are centered on the kinetics of heterogeneous catalytic reactions and catalyst characterization under reaction conditions.Read more

James Spivey

Dr. James J. Spivey is the J. M. Shivers and C.M. Eidt,Jr. Professor of Chemical Engineering at Louisiana State University. He is Editor-in-Chief of Catalysis Today, and Editor of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Catalysis book series. He has written/edited a total of 17 books over the last 15 years, and has authored more than 100 publications.Read more


Proceedings of the 2nd Natural Gas Utilization Workshop are now available: