Recent News

Summer 2018


David Rokke’s submission to the 2018 AIChE Conference, “Understanding the Formation and Pyrolysis of Metal Thiolate Complexes for Solution-Processed Thin Film Photovoltaics,” is accepted for an oral presentation


Prof. Rakesh Agrawal delivered a plenary lecture titled “Energy Systems Engineering for an Emerging Solar Economy” at the 13th International Symposium on Process Systems Engineering (PSE) 2018.


Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty and Yiru Li presented their research at PSE 2018


Congratulations to Zheyu Jiang for receiving the 2018 AIChE Separations Division Graduate Student Research Award


Congratulations to Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty for receiving PSE 2018 Young Researcher Award


Spring 2018


Professor Rakesh Agrawal and the NSF NRT research project are featured in an article by Forbes


Congratulations to Solar Energy Research group alumni Charles (Chuck) Hages for accepting a faculty position at the University of Florida


Congratulations to Solar Energy Research group alumni Charles (Chuck) Hages for receiving the Citation Award from the Purdue University Davidson School of Chemical Engineering


Congratulations to Scott McClary for receiving the 2018-2019 Bisland Dissertation Fellowship


Congratulations to Yiru Li for passing her Preliminary Examination


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Welcome to the Rakesh Agrawal Research Group Webpage


Dr. Rakesh Agrawal awarded NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) funding for graduate education in STEM fields

The NSF-wide NRT program addresses key issues in the scientific community, including educating and expanding the science and engineering workforce, broadening participation in STEM education to include traditionally underserved populations, and creating new resources at institutions that train STEM graduate students:

Sustainable Food, Energy, and Water Systems (SFEWS): Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue University, and Aavudai Anandhi Swamy, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.



The Rakesh Agrawal Research Group consists of three sub-groups each focusing on different fields of research: Solar Energy (Photovoltaics), Energy Systems Engineering, and Separations Optimization.

The Solar Energy Group focuses on the fabrication of high efficiency solution processed solar cells. Using colloidal nanoparticle inks or molecular precursors, solar cells can be fabricated from solution based methods such as spin-coating, doctor blading, inkjet printing, or spray coating. The solution based method forgoes the typical high vacuum needed for semiconductor processing, potentially leading to significantly reduced manufacturing costs.

The Energy Systems Group focuses on development and optimization of processes to meet crucial societal needs, such as transportation fuel, chemicals, and electricity, primarily from renewable energy sources to enable a sustainable economy. This group also utilizes 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. Additionally work is being done on the efficient conversion of biomass to liquid fuel and maximizing liquid fuel from a given quantity of biomass.

The Separations Group focuses on developing efficient separation processes. Currently methods to synthesize and identify energy efficient distillation configurations for multi-component separation are being developed. Additional effort is being devoted to develop optimal methods for membrane separation processes.