James A. Dumesic is the Micek Distinguished Professor and the Michel Boudart Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dumesic earned his B.S. degree from UW-Madison and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University, under the supervision of Professor Michel Boudart. He joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at UW-Madison in 1976. He has co-founded three companies (Virent, Glucan Biorenewables, and Pyran) and has pioneered new processes for creating bio-derived fuels and chemicals. He and colleagues at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) and the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI) have created an organosolv-type process for fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass for production of sugars and lignin that can be converted into biofuels and bioproducts.

Research Interests

Throughout his career, Dumesic has used spectroscopic, microcalorimetric, and reaction kinetics techniques to study the surface and dynamic properties of heterogeneous catalysts. Dumesic pioneered the field of microkinetic analysis, in which diverse information from experimental and theoretical studies is combined to elucidate the essential surface chemistry that controls catalyst performance. He has studied how aqueous-phase reforming of biomass-derived carbohydrates can be tailored to selectively produce H2 or directed to produce liquid hydrocarbons, and he has studied the use of furan compounds, levulinic acid, and gamma-valerolactone as biomass-derived platform chemicals for the production of fuels and chemicals. His current research is focused on the synthesis of new performance-advantaged polymers from biomass-derived monomers.

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Primary Section

Section 31: Engineering Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 14: Chemistry