SAFARI – Systemic Approaches For Aviation Research Initiative


The Teaming Partner List tool may be used to facilitate the formation of new projects for a funding opportunity organically with or without assistance from the Aviation Climate Taskforce. Teams can provide additional details to express their interests or expertise to explore potential partnerships.

Contact Organization Description Capabilities offered Capabilities sought
Dr. Jie Li
Principal Chemical Engineer
Argonne National Laboratory
I am a staff chemical engineer and PI at Applied Materials Div. at ANL and specialize in process R&D and scale-up of advanced materials developed by cRead morehemists/material scientists, e.g. ALD powder coating in a fluidized bed reactor, Continuous manufacturing of high-quality particulate materials by developing a plasma reactor. At MERF, we seek to advance the frontier of material manufacturing by collaborating with both academic and industrial partner.
  • 1) Fast or flash pyrolysis of biomass (fluidized bed)
  • 2) Carbonization of biochar for high-value products
  • 1) established expertise in catalysts
  • 2) bio-oil refinery for making jet fuel
Dr. Di-Jia Liu
Senior Chemist
Argonne National Laboratory
Di-Jia Liu is a Senior Chemist at Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division of Argonne National Laboratory and a Senior Scientist at Pritzker School ofRead more Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago. His current research interests include design and synthesis of nanomaterials for electrocatalysis, fuel cells, gas storage, hydrogen production by water splitting, water purification and more recently, electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 to chemicals and fuels. Before joining Argonne in 2002, he was a Senior Principal Scientist at Honeywell International. Liu received Ph. D. degree in Physical Chemistry from The University of Chicago in 1987 and postdoctoral training at The University of California at Berkeley from 1988 to 1990. He published over 100 peer reviewed scientific publications, including 6 in Science and Nature family journals, received 32 granted US patents and four R&D 100 Awards.
  • electrocatalyst design and synthesis
  • electrolyzer system design and engineering
  • CO2 conversion to chemicals/fuels
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Dr. Lauren Valentino
Environmental Engineer
Argonne National Laboratory
Lauren Valentino’s work focuses on material and technology development for various separation applications, including product/resource recovery for biRead moreofuels and bioproducts.
  • Electrochemical separation of aqueous streams
  • Membrane separation of aqueous and organic streams
  • Physicochemical property characterization
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  • Selective material synthesis
  • Sensor development
  • Computational simulation (molecular dynamics, fluid dynamics)
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Dr. Haoran Wu
Argonne National Laboratory
Dr. Haoran Wu is a researcher at Argonne National Laboratory, working on bioprocesses development. My team and I have been working on the waste-to-eneRead morergy technologies for the past few years, and have successfully convert organic carbon from waste streams into chemical precursors like volatile fatty acid (VFA), ethanol. These chemicals are promising intermediates for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production. We have recently completed a project conducting techno-economic analysis and life-cycle analysis for the waste-to-VFA, VFA-to-SAF processes using bioprocesses experimental data generated from our lab. Our waste-to-VFA process has been scaled-up to TRL5,6 in 100-gal reactor. We are also working on optimzing and scaling up cost-effective separation technologies for bioproduct capture, which plays a crucial role in overall waste-to-SAF process.
  • Process development at bench-and pilot-scales
  • Process simulation and evaluation
  • SAF upgrading using chemical intermediates from bioprocess
  • SAF quality test
Dr. Dan Matuszak
Chief Technology Officer
Aviation Climate Taskforce
The Aviation Climate Taskforce is a non-profit organization that supports pre-commercial research and development that aligns with a decarbonized aviaRead moretion sector. I am responsible for technology strategy, program development, grants management, and coordination with technical stakeholders.
  • chemistry
  • chemical engineering
  • techno-economic analysis (TEA)
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  • lifecycle assessment (LCA)
  • artificial intelligence
Dr. Ji Su
Staff Scientist
Berkeley Lab
Ji Su (2023 R&D 100 Award) is a staff scientist at Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His reseaRead morerch interests include design and development of advanced catalytic materials, applied catalysis for energy and environmental and surface chemistry. In Su Group, the current research projects include: 1) Hydrogen production and storage; 2) CO2, natural gas, plastic and biomass conversion to aviation fuel components; 3) advanced catalytic materials development for thermal catalysis and electrocatalysis.
  • Catalytic Material Design and Synthesis: Zeolite, Supported metal catalyst, High entropy catalyst (HEA and HEO), liquid metal catalyst
  • Reaction Evaluation: including fix bed reactor (1 to 80 atm, RT-1200 oC), fluidized bed reactor, liquid batch reactor and gas-phase batch reactor
  • Surface Chemistry: in-situ X-Ray characterization, AP-XPS, FT-IR, Raman, SFG
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  • Seeking industry partners interested in utilizing CO2 and biogas sources (e.g., Bio-LPG or Landfill gas) for the production of SAF or its components, including alcohol, isobutane, and olefins. Additionally, exploring opportunities for alkane dehydrogenation and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.
Reza Nazemi
Assistant Professor
Colorado State University
Our lab at the Powerhouse Energy Campus at Colorado State University specializes in designing catalysts, electrochemical reactors, and techno-economicRead more and life cycle analyses for synthesizing renewable fuels. In particular, we have been developing bench-scale electrochemical reactors to convert carbon dioxide to various oxygenates, including dimethyl ether. Powerhouse Energy Campus is home to a 180 kW electrolysis system, hydrogen storage, a high-pressure H2 refueling station, and large industrial engines, including a 3.5 MW Centaur 40 gas turbine (Solar Turbines) and a 1 MW spark-ignited engine (CAT).
  • Catalyst synthesis, electrochemical reactor design and fabrication, testing and validation of electrocatalytic performance, techno-economic and life cycle analyses of electrochemical conversion processes to fuels.
  • We seek industry partners to help us with large-scale demonstrations (pilot-scale systems) of dynamically operating electrochemical reactors for CO2 conversion to dimethyl ether and provide input for process intensification. We also seek partners with expertise for conversion of DME to jet fuels.
Brad Brennan
Chief Science Officer
Dimensional Energy
Brad Brennan is a PhD chemist, Chief Science Officer, and head of R&D at Dimensional Energy (DE). We convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons, with a Read morecommercial route of Reverse Water Gas Shift and Fischer Tropsch, but other pathways are also in our view and capability. DE is a technology developer for catalysts, reactor designs, and commercial plant integration with hydrogen and carbon dioxide sources.
  • Catalyst
  • Engineering services
  • Chemical Reactor Design
  • Scaling partners with accessible sites
  • offtake partners for FT products
  • Sustainable CO2 suppliers
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Dr. Ronald Stanis
R&D Manager
GTI Energy
GTI Energy is a non profit energy research organization that has been strengthening energy systems to improve lives, economies, and the environment siRead morence 1941. Today, we are proudly meeting new demand for impactful innovations that support low-carbon, low-cost energy systems.
  • Engineering, Laboratories, Bench, Pilot, Demo, TEA, LCA
  • Catalysis, separations, gasification
  • Support
Ryan Lively
Georgia Institute of Technology
Academic research laboratory, focusing on chemical separations
  • Fundamental and translational R&D
Judith Lattimer
Director Energy Conversion Technologies
Giner Inc
Giner is a 50-year-old electrochemistry R&D company specializing in electrolyzer and fuel cell development. We provide commercial stacks for life suppRead moreort systems for Aerospace and Defense applications, and perform cutting edge research on early-stage electrochemistry technologies relating to clean energy, carbon capture, carbon conversion, sensors, batteries, and materials.
  • electrolyzer system development, component scale up and testing
Dr. Matthew Seabaugh
CEO and Founder
HeatPath Solutions, LLC
As Founder and CEO of HeatPath Solutions, I lead a team dedicated to enhancing the process economics of chemical reactions. Collaborating with partneRead morers, we improve the performance, selectivity and productivity of established catalysts and reactor designs. Our HeatPathTM catalyst carrier is a unique, proprietary approach to reforming, water gas shift, and fuel synthesis reactors. We are interested in collaborating with partners on feedstocks and processes of all kinds.
  • Catalyst Packaging, Design, Synthesis and Pilot Manufacturing .
  • Catalyst Testing and model development
  • Process intensification
  • Fuel Refining Partners and Advisors
  • Unique catalyst formulations
Chris Juarez
Senior Manager, Proposal Center
R&D company focused on carbon capture/conversion and hydrogen
Joe Rodden
I am the co-founder and CEO of Lydian, an early stage e-fuels company based in Cambridge, MA. We are a team of 13 highly qualified scientists and engiRead moreneers. We have technologies under development for conversion of CO2 and hydrogen into syngas as well as for the production of fuel-range hydrocarbons. We are committed to making e-fuels as cheaply as possible with a highly intense and efficient solution with a standardized module design.
  • CO2 reduction. Fuel-range hydrocarbon synthesis.
  • Project and scaling partners.
Dr. Maxim Lyubovsky
Founder & CEO
Methylennium Energy Corp
Methylennium Energy develops technology and projects for production of net-zero carbon renewable e-fuels by combining captured CO2 with green hydrogenRead more produced by water electrolysis using renewable power. We directly integrate intermittent renewable power systems with water electrolysis and methanol synthesis to optimize process efficiency and minimize cost of produced fuel.
  • System for production of cost competitive e-methanol
  • System integration modeling and design
  • Chemical reactor design
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  • Methanol-to-Jet conversion
  • Methanol fuel cell
  • Water electrolysis development
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Alex Motey
Nataqua is forging new paths to decarbonize industrial plants and heavy transportation. Our company is based on five years of CO2 catalyst research anRead mored development and two years of product development. We have developed designs for unique reactors (TRL 3) that electrochemically convert CO2 to ethanol in 1 chemical step. Other companies that produce ethanol from CO2 can only do so in multiple steps that involve hydrogen gas and/or CO as intermediates, which complicates process design, limits technical feasibility, and significantly increases costs. Our first market will be to sell our ethanol-producing reactors to ethanol fermentation plant operators. Ethanol plants operate at 63% efficiency, whereas the other 37% is vented into the atmosphere as a >99% source of pure CO2. Nataqua’s reactors can be implemented immediately for in-line conversion of CO2 to ethanol.
  • CO2 Catalyst Design
  • CO2 Electrolyzer Scale-Up
  • Product Integration
  • Industrial Implementation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Chemical Separations
Dr. Robert Baldwin
Principal Scientist
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
I manage the Market Impact Platform for the Bioenergy Science and Technology Directorate and also work in program and business development. I will be Read morethe central clearinghouse and first point of contact for engagement with NREL.
  • R&D on SAF and renewable energy. Please contact me to arrange for discussions with NREL scientists and engineers on projects related to SAFARI and ACT
  • partnerships on projects relating to technology development for SAF and other renewable fuels and bio-based products
Fanxing Li
North Carolina State University
Our research group works on chemical looping and catalytic approaches to intensify syngas generation from biogenic feedstocks, CO2 capture and conversRead moreion, and chemical process intensification.
  • Biogenic syngas production and waste gas conversion to H2/CO
  • Integration with Fischer-Tropsch synthesis systems
Dr. Magda H. Barecka
Assistant Professor
Northeastern University
Barecka Lab specializes in electrochemical conversion of dilute CO2 sources into the next generation of chemical building blocks, with a focus on scalRead moreability and enabling the broad use of this technology in the industry.
We develop methods for in-depth understanding of CO2 electrolysis, by a diverse combination of electrochemical techniques, analytical chemistry, surface characterization with developed in-house modelling tools for TEA.
  • Design, testing and optimization of electrochemical reactions
  • Energy-efficient separation of CO2 electroreduction products
  • Process integration
  • Industrial expertise: potential offtakers of our low-carbon products – SAF synthesis companies through fermentation/HEFA process
  • Industrial integration opportunities: producers of CO2 which we could use in our process
  • Manufacturing and testing of scaled-up reactors
Ke Xie
Research Assistant Professor
Northwestern University
Ke Xie is a Research Assistant Professor at Northwestern University. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Melbourne and Read morehis M.S. and B.S. in (Physical) Chemistry from Nanjing University. With a background in electrochemistry, membrane science, separation processes, polymer chemistry, and microporous materials, he is currently focusing on process design, device development, and materials discovery for the electrified synthesis of chemical and fuel molecules.
  • Catalysis materials discovery for CO2 conversion
  • Electrolysis system development for CO2 conversion and capture
  • Membrane for CO2 capture and water purification
  • Membrane and ionomer for electrolyzer
  • Upscaling and demonstration
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Britt Boughey
OMC Thermochemistry
Single step, highly scalable process (no electrolyzers or external hydrogen required) to syngas in any ratio using CO2, water, heat, and globally abunRead moredant, low-cost materials.
  • CO2 reduction
  • syngas production
  • syngas upgrading
  • CO2 sources
  • Industrial waste heat
Dr. Kostas Goulas
Assistant Professor
Oregon State University
Our team at Oregon State University focuses on the design and implementation of sustainable processes for the production of fuels and chemicals.
Dr Karthikeyan Kallupalayam Ramasamy
Chief Chemical Engineer
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a leading center for scientific discovery in chemistry, data analytics, and Earth science, and for technologiRead morecal innovation in sustainable energy and national security.
  • Process development (biological and thermochemical), SAF fuel property analysis, catalyst development, techno economic and life cycle analysis.
Peter Shepard
RenewCO2 is developing electrocatalytic modules to convert CO2 and water to C1 to C4 molecules. We are a 12 person team located in Somerset, NJ USA.
  • Electocatalytic cell technology to convert CO2 to C1-C4 hydrocarbons
  • Catalyst design and development for CO2 reduction
  • Processes and technolgy to convert C1-C4 molecules to SAF
  • Polymerization/Chain extension and hydrogenation reactions
  • Membranes and related product purification technology
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Aparna Simmons
Commercial Counsel
SRI International
SRI is an independent nonprofit R&D institute with deep roots in Silicon Valley. With a nearly 80-year legacy of innovation across a range of industriRead morees, our technologies, research, and ideas have had a meaningful impact on every one of our lives—at home, at work, at school, and at play. Our diverse teams, working in locations from coast-to-coast and in Tokyo, collaborate across fields and disciplines, taking an integrated approach to addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges. From AI and technology in education to biomedicine and robotics, we have created new industries, billions of dollars in market value, and lasting benefits to society.
Jin Ki Hong
Senior Scientist
SRI International (SRI)
A global leader in R&D with deep roots in Silicon Valley, SRI is an independent nonprofit research institute with a rich history of supporting governmRead moreent and industry. For almost 80 years, we have collaborated across technical and scientific disciplines to discover and develop groundbreaking products and technologies and bring innovations and ideas to the marketplace. I create and lead climate tech projects at SRI.
  • New chemistry and reaction pathway for SAF production. Lab and pilot-scale feasibility demonstration. Conceptual process design
  • Process scale-up expertise including process design evaluation, cost estimation, and pilot-scale design & build
James Stabile
We consolidate advanced environmental technologies with advanced blockchain technology to enable efficient development and application of these technoRead morelogies.
Dr Vasudev Haribal
Senior Research Engineer
Susteon Inc.
Dana Howng
Head of Partnerships
Prof. James Harris
Assistant Professor
The University of Alabama
I am an assistant professor of chemical engineering at The University of Alabama. Our group has been working catalytic conversion of ethanol to higherRead more olefins (en route to SAF) for the past 5 years, focusing on catalyst synthesis, characterization, and testing across a range of zeolite-based catalysts. Our group has broad capabilities in materials synthesis including zeolite synthesis and a range of approaches to generate (bi)metallic nanoparticles dispersed on supports of varied morphologies.
  • Hydrothermal and post synthetic zeolite synthesis, catalyst synthesis, physical and chemical catalyst characterization, kinetic testing, in situ and operando infrared spectroscopy, DRUV spectroscopy, and XAS
  • Formulated catalyst production
Arthur Ragauskas
Professor/Chair Biorefining
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Dr. Arthur Ragauskas held the first Fulbright Chair in Alternative Energy and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Read morethe International Academy of Wood Science, and TAPPI. In 2014, he assumed a Governor’s Chair for Biorefining based in the University of Tennessee’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, with a complementary appointment in the UT Institute of Agriculture’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries and serves in the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate, Biosciences Division, at ORNL. His research program is directed at understanding and exploiting innovative sustainable bioresources for the circular economy. This multifaceted program is targeted to develop new and improved applications for nature’s premiere renewable biopolymers for biofuels, biopower, and bio-based materials and chemicals. His research program has been sponsored by NSF, USDA, DOE, GA Traditional Industry Program, a consortium of industry partners, and several fellowship programs which are summarized in 722 peer-reviewed publications. His Fulbright-sponsored activities at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden were focused on forest biorefinery and new biofuel conversion technologies for lignocellulosics. Currently, Dr. Ragauskas manages a research group of graduate students, postdoctoral research fellows, a research scientist, and visiting scientists. He is the recipient of the 2014 TAPPI Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award, the 2014 ACS Affordable Green Chemistry Award, the 2017 AIChE Green Processing Award, the 2017 Academia Distinguished Service Award, 2019 AIChE Chase Award and 2022 RSC Environment, Sustainability, and Energy Division open award: Environment Prize. In addition, his students and postdocs have won several awards, including the ACS graduate research award, the ORNL UT-Battelle Award, and the ORNL Supplementary Performance Award.
Dr. Ragauskas has been an invited visiting professor at Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal; Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; Royal Institute of Technology/ STFi, Stockholm, Sweden; and Southeast University, China.
  • Biorefining biomass to SAF, diesel, and ethanol
Dr Nathaniel Eagan
Assistant Professor
I am an Assistant Professor in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Tufts University investigating the development of catalysts and cRead moreatalytic technologies capable of converting abundant, sustainable feedstocks into fuels and chemicals. Particular focuses relevant to SAFARI include developing oligomerization-based technologies with a model-guided approach, using kinetic data collected under “ideal” conditions to simulate reactions and processes under more complex conditions and thus enable rationale catalyst design.
  • Catalyst synthesis
  • Catalytic reactor evaluation (thermocatalytic)
  • Catalyst characterization
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  • Life-cycle and techno-economic analysis
  • Industrial perspectives
  • Additional catalysis researchers for multi-stage processes
Siddarth Krishna
Bluemke Assistant Professor
I am an Assistant Professor in the department of University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Chemical Engineering developing heterogeneous catalystsRead more for sustainable fuels and chemicals production.
  • heterogeneous catalysis, biomass conversion, catalyst synthesis, catalyst characterization, reaction kinetics, reaction engineering
  • technoeconomics, life cycle analysis, fuel property measurements
Bhupendra Khandelwal
Associate Professor
University of Alabama
I have been working on fit for purpose analysis of SAF for the last 12 years. The analysis includes SAF evaluation on gas turbine platforms, gas turbiRead morene combustor platforms, fuel systems compatibility and related fields. Some of them are listed below.
1. Impact of SAF on gas turbine emissions and performance.
2. Impact of SAF on fuel systems compatibility, including thermal stability and dynamic elastomer compatibility.
3. Impact of SAF on emissions.
4. How different fuel compositions impact and properties impact the above.
5. Looking at how future fuels should look like.
  • 1. Impact of SAF on gas turbine emissions and performance.
  • 2. Impact of SAF on fuel systems compatability, including thermal stability and dynamic elastomer compatibility.
  • 3. Impact of SAF on emissions.
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  • Fuel producers
  • Pathway Researchers
Ioulia Valla
Associate Professor
University of Connecticut
I am Associate Professor at the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut (UConn). Prior to joining UConn, I worRead moreked in industry on the development and commercialization of mesoporous zeolites for refinery applications. I received my BS and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. My research is focused on the production of clean and renewable energy and fuels. I have been studying the thermochemical conversion and upgrading of lignocellulosic biomass to energy and fuels, the development of mesoporous zeolites for various catalytic and adsorption applications and the removal of sulfur from transportation and aviation fuels. I am the recipient of the 2019 National Science Foundation NSF/CAREER Award, the “American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Foundation” Young Investigator Award and the European “Recovery & Utilization of Carbon Dioxide” Young Investigator Award for “An Intelligent Use of Carbon Dioxide.”
  • Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis & Hydropyrolysis
  • Hydrodeoxygenation
  • Electrochemical upgrading of bio-oils
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Prof. Dionisios Vlachos
University of Delaware
The Univ. of Delaware is home of several catalysis centers specializing in renewable fuels, chemicals, and products, recycling of waste streams, sustaRead moreinability, decarbonization, multiscale modeling and AI.
  • Extensive experimental and computational infrastructure
  • Novel catalysts and reactors; separations
  • Fuel property testing
  • Larger scale facilities for scale up
Dr. Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez
Associate Director
University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research
Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez is Associate Director of the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, where he leads the Sustainable and ARead morelternative Fuels group. He has 15 years of experience working on the conversion of fats, oils, and greases (FOG) to drop-in hydrocarbon fuels, including renewable diesel (RD) and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Specific interests and capabilities include 1) FOG deoxygenation to RD and SAF via decarboxylation/decarbonylation (deCOx); 2) one-pot deoxygenation, isomerization, cyclization, and aromatization; 3) long duration runs in a fixed bed reactor to monitor the evolution of conversion of selectivity as a function of time on stream; and 4) fresh and spent catalyst characterization as a means to elucidate structure-activity relationships as well as to understand and control deactivation phenomena.
  • Catalysis testing in a fixed-bed reactor for several days on stream
  • SAF analysis via dual detection simulated distillation
  • Fresh and spent catalyst characterization
  • SAF analysis via GCxGC
  • Pre-ASTM approval analysis of SAF
Guoliang (Greg) Liu
Associate Professor
Virginia Tech
we specialize in plastic degradation and upcycling to value-added chemicals, including but not limited to short-chain hydrocarbons that can be used foRead morer surfactants, jet fuels, lubricants, and others.
  • chemistry and chemical engineering of plastic to fuel conversion
  • characterization and analysis of hydrocarbon compositions
  • microscopic and spectroscopic characterization and analysis of catalysts,
  • jet fuel quality test
  • scale up and/or pilot test facilities
Dr Rich Masel
dioxide materials
Small business producing electrolyzers and systems for the production of fuel intremediates
  • production of alcohols from CO2
  • Conversion of CO2 and water to syngas
  • CO2 electrolysis to CO or formic acid
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  • conversion of alcohols into SAF
  • TEA

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