David Schartung


I was born in Decatur, AL as the middle child of a family with five children. Growing up as a middle child I was constantly getting into things; electrical outlets, chemicals, and even the fish tank once. I loved it, and I loved the world. I had a fascination in particular with the fields of science and mathematics. I wanted to know how things worked—how to fix them and how to make them. This led me to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. I joined the class of 2020 and am currently in my sophomore year. I joined Dr. Carrero’s group in December 2016, and since then I have been learning about catalysis and crude oil, and have gained valuable skills in the lab and as a team member.


Due to the constantly increasing demand for oil-based products by consumers over the last century, conventional crude oil levels have peaked and are now on a terminal global decline. As conventional oil dwindles, scientists and engineers have begun to study new means of producing and upgrading unconventional crude oil sources. Presently, delayed coking is the most commonly utilized process for refining the asphaltene-rich fraction of crude oil into more valuable liquid and gas products. However, this method invariably produces a large amount of the carbon-rich problematic byproduct known as petcoke (petroleum coke). Minimization of petcoke formation in any stage of the refinery process is universally desired. We propose to investigate the aggregation process of asphaltenes (the main precursors of petcoke) using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), thus allowing us to gain fundamental insights into how asphaltene aggregates respond to electromagnetic manipulation. Our primary aim is to impact the processes in the oil industry involving asphaltenes by developing in situ EIS as a new approach to replace the ex situ optical methodology currently used to measure the stability of asphaltenes during the extraction, transportation, and refining of crude oil.

Oral & Poster Presentations

Influence of Electric Fields on the Flocculation of Asphaltenes | Auburn University Chemical Engineering Open House, April 2017


Coming Soon…

 Awards and memberships

  • Undergraduate Research Fellowship | May 2016 – May 2017
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE) | Fall 2016 – Present
  • Spirit of Auburn Presidential Scholarship | August 2016
  • Theta Xi Fraternity | Spring 2017 – Present
  • Eagle Scout Award | October 2015

 Hobbies and extracurricular activities

  • Camping
  • Hunting/fishing
  • Reading
  • Microscopy
  • Piano

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