Research Interests

Engineering sustainable energy technology remains the key challenge of the 21st century. Utilization of alternative energy sources including biomass requires fundamental understanding of catalytic reaction chemistry and associated transport phenomena. New feed stocks are predominately porous solids (e.g. shale, lignocellulosic biomass) resulting in both heat and mass transfer limitations inside reacting particles. Additionally, alternative feed streams to refineries are complicated by being over-functionalized (biomass) or over-oxidized (bitumen/kerogen). Our research addresses the catalysis and reaction engineering challenges associated with these renewable and emerging carbonaceous feed stocks for manufacturing the fuels and chemicals of tomorrow. Invention of new experimental techniques combined with novel catalytic and separation materials allow for development of the next generation of energy technology based on detailed chemical understanding. Our publications address catalysis and chemistry of highly functionalized renewable feed stocks, mechanisms and kinetics of complex reacting systems, and the interplay of reaction/transport in new micro-mesoporous materials/catalysts. Focus on reacting systems across length scales from catalytic active site, to particle, and reactor allows for utilization of fundamental insight within industrial applications and substantial opportunity for collaboration with industry.


  • 2021 - Herman Pines Award
  • 2020 - Macarthur Fellowship
  • 2019 - Dept. of Energy, Top Ten EFRC Invention Award
  • 2019 - Univ. of Minnesota COGS, Outstanding Advisor Award
  • 2019 - Stratis V. Sotirchos Memorial Lectureship
  • 2019 - ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship
  • 2018 - AIChE CRE Young Investigator Award
  • 2017 - Thiele Lecturer - Notre Dame
  • 2016 - Purdue University - Mellichamp Lecturer
  • 2016 - Rutherford Aris Award for Excellence in Reaction Engineering
  • 2014 - Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar
  • 2014 - Armstrong Career Development Professor
  • 2013 - National Science Foundation, NSF- CAREER Award
  • 2013 - DuPont Young Professor Award
  • 2013 - UMass College of Eng. - Outstanding Junior Faculty Award
  • 2011 - Department of Energy, DOE - Early CAREER
  • 2011 - 3M Young Faculty Award

Selected Publications

  • "Cooperative Activation of Cellulose with Natural Calcium" Gregory Facas, Vineet Maliekkal, Cheng Zhu, Matthew Neurock, Paul J. Dauenhauer, JACS Au, 2021.  DOI:  10.1021/jacsau.0c00092
  •  "The Catalytic Mechanics of Dynamic Surfaces: Stimulating Methods for Promoting Catalytic Resonance," Manish Shetty, Amber Walton, Sallye R. Gathmann, M. Alexander Ardagh, Joshua Gopeesingh, Joaquin Resasco, Turan Birol, Qi Zhang, Michael Tsapatsis, Dionisios Vlachos, Phillip Christopher, C. Daniel Frisbie, Omar Abdelrahman, Paul Dauenhauer, ACS Catalysis, 2020.  DOI:  10.1021/acscatal.0c03336
  •  "Finned zeolite catalysts," H. Dai, Y. Shen, T. Yang, ChoongSze Lee, D. Fu, A. Agarwal, T. Thanh Le, M. Tsapatsis, J.C. Palmer, B.M. Weckhuysen, P.J. Dauenhauer, X. Zou, J.D. Rimer, Nature Materials, 2020, 19, 1074–1080.  DOI:  10.1038/s41563-020-0753-1
  • "Electric-Field Assisted Modulation of Surface Thermochemistry," Manish Shetty, M. Alexander Ardagh, Yutong Pang, Omar A. Abdelrahman, P.J. Dauenhauer ACS Catalysis 2020, 10, 21, 12867–12880. DOI:  10.1021/acscatal.0c02124
  • "Dehydra-Decyclization of 2-Methyltetrahydrofuran to Pentadienes on Boron-Containing Zeolites," Gaurav Kumar, Dongxia Liu, Dandan Xu, Limin Ren, Michael Tsapatsis, Paul J. Dauenhauer, Green Chemistry 2020, 22, 4147-4160.  DOI: 10.1039/D0GC00136H
  • "Catalytic Resonance Theory: Parallel Reaction Pathway Control," M.A. Ardagh, M. Shetty, A. Kuznetsov, Q. Zhang, P. Christopher, D.G. Vlachos, O. Abdelrahman, P.J. Dauenhauer, Chemical Science. 2020, 11, 3501-3510.    DOI: 10.1039/C9SC06140A
  • "Principles of Dynamic Heterogeneous Catalysis:  Surface Resonance and Turnover Frequency Response" M. Alexander Ardagh, Omar A. Abdelrahman, Paul J. Dauenhauer, ACS Catalysis, 2019, 9(8), 6929-6937.
  • "Dehydra-Decyclization of Tetrahydrofuran on H-ZSM5:  Mechanisms, Pathways, and Transition State Entropy," Sha Li, O. Abdelrahman, G. Kumar, M. Tsapatsis, D.G. Vlachos, S. Caratzoulas, Paul Dauenhauer, ACS Catalysis. 2019, 9(11), 10279-10293.  DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.9b03129
Paul Dauenhauer in Office


Phone: 612/624-0159

Office: 484 Amundson Hall

Research Group

Support Paul Dauenhauer's Research

  • B.S., Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, 2004
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2008