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Fall 2018

Solar Energy Research Group members Ryan Ellis and Xianyi Hu give oral presentations at the 2018 Fall MRS conference in Boston and are featured in the Davidson School of Engineering Newsletter

Congratulations to Scott McClary on securing 3rd position for his talk in ‘Graduate Student Award Finalists’ (Electronic and photonic materials) session at AIChE Annual Meeting 2018

Prof. Agrawal gave an invited talk titled “Electronic and Photonic Materials: Industry and Academia” at AIChE Annual Meeting 2018

Prof. Agrawal gave an invited talk titled “FEW Nexus: Emerging Chemical Engineering Innovations from Microscale to Complex, Interconnected Systems” at AIChE Annual Meeting 2018

Group members Dr. Zheyu Jiang, Yiru Li, Tony Mathew, Scott McClary, David Rokke and Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty gave oral presentations at AIChE Annual Meeting 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



Rakesh Agrawal


Joined Purdue in 2004

B. Tech. – Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology 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.

Another major thrust of his current research is the development and optimization of processes to meet essential human needs including transportation fuel, chemicals, and electricity, primarily from renewable energy sources to enable a sustainable economy. This effort is also focused on efficient conversion of biomass to liquid fuel and maximizing liquid fuel from a given quantity of biomass.

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.

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.

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 (2014)
– Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study Faculty Fellow (2014)
– Morrill Award, Purdue University (2014)
– Prof. C.V. Seshadri Memorial Distinguished Lecture, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India, (2014)
– Distinguished Lindsay Lecturer, Texas A&M University, (2014)
– Distinguished Member, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, NSCS (2014)
– TIAS Eminent Scholar Lecturer, Texas A&M University (2014)

Selected Publications

  • “Oxygen removal from intact biomass to produce liquid fuel range hydrocarbons via fast-hydropyrolysis and vapor-phase catalytic hydrodeoxygenation,” V. K. Venkatakrishnan, W. N. Delgass, F. H. Ribeiro and R. Agrawal, Green Chemistry, 17, 178 (2015)
  • “Synthesis and Characterization of 15% Efficient CIGSSe Solar Cells From Nanoparticle Inks,” S. M. McLeod, C. J. Hages, N. J. Carter, and R. Agrawal, Accepted for Publication in Prog. Photovolt.: Res. Appl.
  • “A Synergistic Biorefinery Based on Catalytic Conversion of Lignin Prior to Cellulose Starting from Lignocellulosic Biomass,” T. Parsell, S. Yohe, J. Degenstein, T. Jarrell, I. Klein, E. Gencer, B. Hewetson, M. Hurt, J. Im Kim, H. Choudhari, B. Saha, R. Meilan, N. Mosier, F. Ribeiro, W. N. Delgass, C. Chapple, H. I. Kentt?maa, R. Agrawal and M. M. Abu-Omar, Green Chemistry, Available online DOI: 10.1039/c4gc01911c.
  • “Thermal Coupling Links to Liquid-Only Transfer Streams: A Path for New Dividing Wall Columns,” G. Madenoor Ramapriya, M. Tawarmalani and R. Agrawal, AIChEJ, 60, 2949 (2014); DOI 10.1002/aic.14468.
  • “Contamination-Free Solutions of Selenium in Amines for Nanoparticle Synthesis,” B. C. Walker and R. Agrawal, Chem. Commun., 50, 8331 (2014)
  • From Shale Gas to Renewable Energy Based Transportation Solutions, D. S. Mallapragada, G. Duan and R. Agrawal, Energy Policy 67, 499 (2014).
  • 9% 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, Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, DOI: 10.1002/pip.2472.
  • Continuous power supply from a baseload renewable power plant”, E. I. Al-Musleh, D. S. Mallapragada, and R. Agrawal, Applied Energy, 122, 83, (2014).
  • 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. Bar, T. Unold, and R. Agrawal, 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).
  • 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, 53, 5136 (2013)

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