Clifton L. Lovell Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering
Director of Undergraduate Degree Programs, School of Engineering Education
School of Chemical Engineering
Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering
480 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2100
Adsorption research has focused on improving processing with pressure swing adsorption (PSA). We are looking at new PSA processing techniques to develop more productive processes, reduce energy use, and better purify the most strongly adsorbed species. Methods to couple thermal regeneration with PSA are being developed.
Large-scale chromatography, particularly simulated moving bed (SMB) systems, are rapidly becoming standard separation systems. Although the SMB is an efficient chromatographic process it can suffer from low productivity and high solvent use. In addition, most applications have been for binary separations. We are using a commercial simulator to develop new binary SMB configurations to increase productivity and reduce solvent use, and new SMB configurations for various multicomponent separation problems. In addition, new chromatographic processes are being developed that in some multicomponent applications appear to be better than SMB cascades.
Distillation is considered to be a mature separation technique. However, because of the huge scale of distillation operations, even modest improvements can have a major impact. We have been exploring methods to reduce the diameter of distillation columns when the calculated diameters vary significantly. Capital cost reductions up to 50 % are predicted.
For a variety of reasons the engineering education system in the United States is currently in a state of flux. Because of this, there is an opportunity to improve the system. Professor Wankat is one of the national leaders in developing methods to teach graduate students and new professors how-to-teach and in developing methods to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of faculty.
- Nicholas Soepriatna
Awards and Honors
“Desalination of the Colorado River Water: A Hybrid Approach,” Venkatesan, A., P. C. Wankat, Desalination, 286, 176-186 (2012).
“Distillation-Adsorption Hybrid Processes to Separate Binary Liquid Mixtures with Homogeneous Azeotrope,” Sharma, P. K., P. C. Wankat, Separ. Sci. Technol, in press (2012)
“Tips for Busy New Professors,” Wankat, P. C., Chem. Engr. Educ., 46 (2), 73-79 (Spring 2012).
“Five Major Shifts in 100 Years of Engineering Education,” Froyd, J. E., P. C. Wankat, K. A. Smith, IEEE Proceedings, 100, 1344-1360 (May 13, 2012) invited paper
Separation Process Engineering. Includes Mass Transfer Analysis, 3rd edition, Wankat, P. C., Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, (2012).
A Pictorial History of the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University, 1911-2011, Wankat, P. C., C. F. Farmus, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, (2011).
Wankat, P.C. and K. S. Knaebel, "Mass Transfer," Section 5B, in Perry's Handbook of Chemical Engineering, 8th ed., Green, D. (Ed.), McGraw-Hill, New York, p. 5-1, 5-2, 5-43 to 5-83 (2008).
Kostroski, K. and P. C. Wankat, “Potential Hybrid Methods for Oxygen Production,” in C. E. Baukal, Jr. (Ed.), Oxygen-Enhanced Combustion, 2nd edition, Taylor & Francis, (in press, 2012).
Teaching Engineering is available for free here.