Recent News

Fall 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Jiang for successfully defending his PhD Thesis titled “Multicomponent Distillation – Mathematical Modeling, Global Optimization, and Process Intensification”.

Congratulations to Dr. Ridha for successfully defending his PhD Thesis titled “Transformation of Biomass and Shale Gas Carbon to Fuels and Chemicals”.

Solar Energy Research Group member Ryan Ellis completes a four month visiting graduate student position at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Melbourne, Australia where he worked with researchers on slot die coating of Cu(In,Ga)S2 nanocrystal inks

Postdoctoral Researcher Dr. Brian Graeser’s paper titled, “Pure phase synthesis of Cu3PS4 and Cu6PS5Cl for semiconductor applications” is published in RSC advances

Solar Energy group member Scott McClary and alumnus Bobby Balow’s paper titled, “Role of annealing atmosphere on the crystal structure and composition of tetrahedrite–tennantite alloy nanoparticles” is published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C

Energy Systems Modeling group member Yiru Li received the Women in Engineering Program Travel Grant

Solar Energy Research Group members Ryan Ellis and Xianyi Hu’s submissions to the 2018 Fall MRS Conference are accepted for oral presentations

Solar Energy Research Group member Scott McClary is recognized at the Chemical Engineering GSO Graduate Research Symposium for best overall talk

Solar Energy Research Group members David Rokke and Kyle Weidman are recognized at the Chemical Engineering GSO Graduate Research Symposium for Best Poster in the Energy and Process Intensification



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.