EBI Personnel Directory Bell, Alexis

Biomass Depolymerization

Alexis Bell




Dr. Bell is the Theodore Vermeulen Professor of Chemical Engineering at UC Berkeley and Faculty Senior Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research specialty is catalysis and chemical reaction engineering.

His research honors include the Curtis W. McGraw Award for Research from the American Association of Engineering Education, the Professional Progress and R. H. Wilhelm Awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis from the Catalysis Society, the William H. Walker Award of the AIChE, and the ACS Award for Creative Research in Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Catalysis from the American Chemical Society. Dr. Bell is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also holds an Honorary Professor title in the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.



Biomass Pretreatment & Chemical Synthesis of Transportation Fuels

Alexis Bell’s group at UC Berkeley will examine ionic liquids (ILs) and ionic liquid/co-solvents for their ability to dissolve the cellulosic components of lignocellulosic biomass. The mild conditions employed and the possibility of recovery and recycle of ionic liquids makes them attractive alternatives to dilute acid or hydrothermolysis pretreatments for hydrolyzing lignocellulose biomass. Bell also proposes to study the use of ILs and biphasic water/IL systems as a reaction medium for converting sugars to fuel, rather than using water.