About Dianne Xiao's Work
For decades, petroleum-derived hydrocarbons have served as the primary energy source and central feedstock for the chemical industry. Today, this petroleum-centered paradigm is no longer sustainable. My research program aims to develop a new generation of porous materials that are compatible with alternative raw materials and renewable energy sources. First, drawing inspiration from nature, my lab will develop new heterogeneous catalysts that can tame the greater complexity of biomass-derived feedstocks. Second, drawing inspiration from carbon nanomaterials, we will develop structurally diverse porous conductors that can use renewable electricity, rather than heat, to power chemical processes. Together, these synthetic advances will lay the foundation for a new green industrial revolution.