Dale LeCaptain
Dale LeCaptainAssociate Professor
Dow Science Complex 358

  • Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry, Michigan State University, 1999
  • B.S., Chemistry, University of Wisconsin LaCrosse - LaCrosse, WI, 1994
Professional Interests
  • Sustainable chemistry. The proliferation of biotechnologies and the incremental push toward “greener technologies” through biocatalysis have afforded opportunities for cost competitive production of industrially useful synthetic products that are “green” from start through production to the final product.  Ionic solvents, polymers, and plasticizers derived from biobased carboxylic and amino acids are examples that we are pursuing.
  • Biodiesel. Solving the growing energy crises will likely not have a single solution, rather a combination of energy sources will be needed to decrease the petroleum demand. Numerous technologies are being developed, wind, solar, ethanol, and many more. Biodiesel is another alternative energy source that can replace petroleum diesel fuel. Biodiesel is made from plant oils either directly or from waste oils that were used for cooking. As with any fuel, biodiesel must adhere to the set industry standards of quality and purity. Quality is verified in the final product but as with most chemical production the key to efficient operation and a quality product is to monitor the process at every step enabling process control as system parameters change over time. The focus of this research is to develop in-process analytical measurement methods and procedures for the production of biodiesel.
Teaching Areas
Analytical, General, and Engineering Chemistry
Selected Publications

  • Amanda Stuart, Megan M. McCallum, Daming Fan, Dale J. LeCaptain, Choon Y. Lee, and Dillip K. Mohanty (2009). Succinic acid based plasticizer synthesis and application for PVC. Polym. Bull., submitted Sept. 2009.
  • Dale J. LeCaptain, Michael S. Todd, David S. Allan, Alissa Veeneman (2009). Optimization of a Continuous Production Process for Biodiesel Fuel from Waste Vegetable Oil Promoted by Ultrasonics.  Energy and Fuels, submitted Sept. 2009.
  • Hartmann-Thompson, C., Keeley, D., Pollock, K., Keinath, S., Dvornic, P., Dantus, M., Gunaratne, T., LeCaptain, D. J. (2008). One- and Two-photon Fluorescent Polyhedral Oligosilsesquioxane (POSS) Nanosensor Arrays for the Remote Detection of Analytes in Clouds, in Solution and on Surfaces. Chem. Mater, 20(8), 2829-2838.
  • Jariwala, M., Crawford, J., LeCaptain, D. J. (2007). In Situ Raman Spectroscopic Analysis of the Regeneration of Ammonium Hydrogen Sulfate from Ammonium Sulfate. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 46(14), 4900-4905.
  • LeCaptain, D. J., Todd, M. S. (2007). Segmented-Flow Direct Sampling Mass Spectrometry of Biodiesel Headspace. Applied Spectroscopy, 61(12), 1410-1412.
  • McCallum, M. M., Fan, D., Lee, C. Y., Mohanty, D. K., LeCaptain, D. J. (2007). Bio-based plasticizers for poly-vinyl chloride. (2nd ed., vol. 48, pp. 869-870). Polymer Preprints.
  • ​​Raymond, J.E., Vohs, J.K., Brege, J.J., Rozeveld, S., LeCaptain, D.J., Slusher, L. E., Williams, G.L., and Fahlman, B.D., "Room-Temperature Growth of Carbon Nanofibers from Iron-Encapsulated Dendritic Catalysts", Polymer News, 30, 2005, 1-4.​