Biofuels Program Director and Fellow (Chemistry), RTI International—Energy Technology Division
Dr. David C. Dayton is a RTI Fellow (Chemistry) and the Director of the Biofuels Program in RTI International’s Energy Technology Division with over 20 years of project management and research experience in biomass thermochemical conversion R&D projects involving biomass combustion, gasification, and pyrolysis. His current research focuses on alternative fuels research, particularly catalytic biomass pyrolysis technology development, synthesis gas conversion, cleanup, and conditioning, and experimental programs relating to biomass thermochemical conversion for biofuel production. These R&D activities are focused on expanding integrated biorefinery technology development activities for advanced biofuel production. Prior to joining RTI, Dr. Dayton was the technical leader of the Thermochemical Platform at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for USDOE/OBP, where he managed biomass thermochemical conversion projects.
He has extensive R&D experience investigating fundamental, high-temperature kinetics of thermochemical conversion processes, specifically pyrolysis (devolatilization) and gasification (partial oxidation), as related to the transformation of trace elements (N, S, Cl, K, etc.) and the formation of tars (high-molecular-weight organics). He also has extensive R&D experience related to the cleanup and conditioning of biomass-derived synthesis gas, specifically the catalytic steam reforming and cracking of biomass gasification tars, to provide a suitable feedstock for the production of renewable liquid fuels and chemicals.
His current R&D interests focus on catalytic biomass pyrolysis technology development for advanced hydrocarbon biofuels production. Through a series of U.S. Department of Energy funded projects a robust deoxygenation catalyst has been developed. The technology is being scaled up from the bench-top to a 1 TPD integrated pyrolysis and upgrading facility that will be used to optimize the bio-crude intermediate physical and chemical properties, validate catalyst and process performance, and determine the most effective upgrading conditions for producing gasoline and diesel range hydrocarbons from biomass.
Dr. Dayton came to RTI in July 2007 following 14 years at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He was a postdoctoral research associate at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD from 1991-1993. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC in 1990 and a B.S. in Chemistry from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA in 1985.
Dr. Dayton has published over 50 technical papers and government reports.