Rakesh Agrawal

Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering

FRNY 3053D
Purdue University
School of Chemical Engineering
Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering
480 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2100
(765) 494-2257 (office)
(765) 494-0805 (fax)
Joined Purdue in 2004
B.Tech. - Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur
M.ChE. - Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware
Sc.D - Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Interests

Professor Agrawal's current interest and passion is in energy production issues especially from renewable sources such as solar. The thrust of research is to fabricate low-cost solar cells based on nanotechnology. Solar Group Website

Another major thrust of his current research is efficient conversion of biomass to liquid fuel and maximizing liquid fuel from a given quantity of biomass. He is also involved in modeling to find the role of biofuels vis-a-vis other solar energy derived alternatives to propel an entire transport sector in a solar economy. Biomass to Liquid Fuels Website

The group is also involved with developing efficient separation processes. Currently methods to synthesize and identify energy efficient distillation configurations for multicomponent separation are being developed. Additional effort is being devoted to develop optimal methods for membrane separation processes. Separations Group Website

He has a broad experience in hydrogen production and purification technologies. This has evolved from his earlier activity in developing integration steps within coal gasification combined cycles for power as well as syngas generation.

His research interests also include basic and applied research in process development, gas liquefaction processes, cryogenics, and thermodynamics.

Research Group

Graduate Students

  • Easa Al-Musleh
  • Robert Boyne
  • Kevin Brew
  • Nathan Carter
  • Harshavardhan Choudhari
  • John Degenstein
  • Emre Gencer
  • Brian Graeser
  • Chuck Hages
  • Josh Huff
  • Chinmay Joglekar
  • Mark Koeper
  • Guatam Madenoor Ramapriya
  • Steve Mcleod
  • Caleb Miskin
  • Bethlehem Negash
  • Hye-Yeon Park
  • Erik Sheets
  • Vinod Venkatakrishnan
  • Bryce Walker
  • Ruihong Zhang
  • Xin Zhao

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Ankur Sarkar
  • Stephen Szczepaniak
  • Lei Zhong
  • Yusheng Zhu

Awards and Honors

Youngest Ever Recipient of the Air Products' Prestigious Chairman's Award (1992)
Extraordinary Quality Award from Air Products and chemicals (1992)
Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement from the University of Delaware (1995)
Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology from the AIChE (1998)
Clarence G. Gerhold Award, Separations Division, AIChE (2001)
Alkyl Amines Dr. B. D. Tilak Chemcon Distinguished Speaker, Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE) 2001
Honorary Fellow, Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (2001)
Who's Who in the World
Diamond Award for Inventor on One Hundred United States Patents, Air Products and Chemicals (2001)
Member, U. S. National Academy of Engineering (2002)
BAYER Lecture, Carnegie Mellon University (2002)
Air Products' Equipment Innovation Award for The APX™ Hybrid LNG Process (2003)
J&E Hall Gold Medal, Institute of Refrigeration, UK (2004)
Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in Finance & Business
Regents' Lecturer, University of California, Los Angeles (2004)
Distinguished Faculty Seminar: Advanced Power Sources, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2004)
Professor B. D. Tilak Visiting Fellowship Lecture, Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai, India (2004)
AIChE Institute Lecturer (2005)
Chemical Engineering Practice Award, AIChE (2006)
V.V. Mariwala Visiting Professorship, UICT, Mumbai, India (2007)
Industrial Research Institute (IRI) Achievement Award (2007)
Chemical Weekly's Padmashri Dr. G. P. Kane CHEMCON Distinguished Speaker Award, IIChE (2007)
AIChE Fuels and Petrochemicals Division Award (2008)
Lecture on "Energy Systems Analysis" voted as the best presentation at the Pan American Institute (PASI) workshop, Argentina (2008)
W.R. Marshall Founders' Lecture, University of Wisconsin (2008)
Tis Lahiri Lecture, Vanderbilt University (2008)
C. K. Murthy Memorial Lecture, IIChE (2008)
Inaugural winner of Excellence in Gas Processing Award, Annual Gas Processing Symposium, Qatar (2009)
AIChE Fellow (2009)
Pirkey Lecture, University of Texas, Austin (2010)
Hugh M. Hulbert Memorial Lecture, Northwestern University (2011)
Hess Lecture, University of Virginia (2011)
AIChE Founders Award (2011)
Foreign Fellow, Indian National Academy of Engineering (2011)
ExxonMobil Visiting Chair Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore (2011 – Present)
National Medal of Technology and Innovation from the President of the United States of America (2011), (The highest honor given by the U.S. government for Technology and Innovation)
Ken Nobe Founders Lecture, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (2012)
Distinguished Alumnus Award, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (2012)
Padmavibhushan Professor M. M. Sharma CHEMCON Distinguished Speaker Award, IIChE (2012)
Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2013)
Shreve Award for Excellence in Teaching, Chemical Engineering, Purdue University (2013)
Allan P. Colburn Honorary Lecturer, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (2013)
Annual KAIST CBE Global Distinguished Lecturer, Korea (2013)
Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (2013)

Selected Publications

“From Shale Gas to Renewable Energy Based Transportation Solutions,” D. S. Mallapragada, G. Duan and R. Agrawal, Accepted for Publication in Energy Policy.

“9.2% Efficient Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 Solar Cells from Selenized Nanoparticle Inks,” C. K. Miskin, W.-C. Yang, C. J. Hages, N. J. Carter, C. S. Joglekar, E. A. Stach, and R. Agrawal, Accepted for Publication in Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications.

“Improved performance of Ge-alloyed CZTGeSSe thin-film solar cells through control of elemental losses,” C. J. Hages, S. Levcenco, C. K. Miskin, J. H. Alsmeier, D. Abou-Ras, R. G. Wilks, M. B?r, T. Unold, and R. Agrawal, Available on line in Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pip.2442/abstract

“Limiting and Achievable Efficiencies for Solar Thermal Hydrogen Production,” D. S. Mallapragada and R. Agrawal, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 39, 62 (2014).

“High-pressure fast-pyrolysis, fast-hydropyrolysis and catalytic hydrodeoxygenation of cellulose: Production of liquid fuel from biomass,” V.K. Venkatakrishnan, J. C. Degenstein, A. D. Smeltz, W. N. Delgass, R. Agrawal and Fabio H. Ribeiro, Accepted for publication in Green Chemistry. http://xlink.rsc.org/?doi=C3GC41558A

“Real-time observation of Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 solar cell absorber layer formation from nanoparticle precursors,” R. Mainz, B. Walker, S. S. Schmidt, O. Zander, A. Weber, H. Rodriguez-Alvarez, J. Just, M. Klaus, R. Agrawal and T. Unold, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 15, 18281(2013)

"Sun-to-Fuel Assessment of Routes for Fixing CO2 as Liquid Fuel," D. Mallapragada, N. Singh, V. Curteanu and R. Agrawal, I&EC Res, 52, 5136 (2013).

“New Multicomponent Distillation Configurations with Simultaneous Heat and Mass Integration,” A. A. Shenvi, V. H. Shah and R. Agrawal, AIChEJ, 59(1), 272 (2013).

“Ink Formulation and Low-Temperature Incorporation of Sodium to Yield 12% Efficient Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 Solar Cells from Sulfide Nanocrystal-Inks," Q. J. Guo, G. M. Ford, R. Agrawal and H. W. Hillhouse, Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications., 21(1), 64 (2013)

“Enhancing the performance of CZTSSe solar cells with Ge alloying,” Q. J. Guo, G. M. Ford, W-C.Yang, C. J. Hages, H. W. Hillhouse and R. Agrawal, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 105, 132 (2012).

“A Synthesis Method for Multicomponent Distillation Sequences with Fewer Columns,” A.A. Shenvi, V. H. Shah, J. A. Zeller and R. Agrawal, AIChEJ, 58(8), 2479 (2012).

Additional Documents

Patents and Publications