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Recent News

Summer 2019

Jose Adrian Chavez Velasco received first place for his poster in Energy and Process Intensification category at the 28th Annual Symposium organized by Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Organization. Congratulations, Adrian!

Prerena Prahlad, undergraduate student working with Peter Oladipupo, received ‘Top Research Poster’ award at the 2019 SURF Research Symposium. Congratulations, Prerena!

Solar Energy Research Group members Xianyi Hu and Scott McClary successfully defend their theses. Congratulations, Xianyi and Scott!

Solar Energy Research Group members Ryan Ellis and Kyle Weidman’s abstracts for the 2019 AIChE conference were accepted for an awards session oral presentation and Oral presentation respectively

Solar Energy Research Group member Scott McClary and David Rokke were nominated for the best student presentation award and best poster award respectively at the 46th IEEE PVSC

Yiru Li presented an oral talk and a poster at the 12th Natural Gas Conversion Symposium, San Antonio, Texas

Spring 2019

Solar Energy Research Group member Kyle Weideman receives Purdue University’s Teaching Academy Graduate Teaching Award for outstanding work as a teaching assistant for CHE378

Solar Energy Research Group members Scott McClary, Ryan Ellis, and Jospeh Andler’s submissions to the 2019 PVSC in Chicago are accepted for oral presentation, poster presentation, and poster presentation respectively

Prof. Rakesh Agrawal is recognized at a National Medal and Patent Wall unveil in Purdue’s Armstrong Hall

Solar Energy Research Group member Essam AlRuqobah and alumini Steven McLeod publish a paper titled, “Liquid assisted grain growth in solution processed Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2,” in Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells

Solar Energy Research Group members Scott McClary and Brian Graeser publish a paper titled, “A Cu3PS4 nanparticle hold selctive layer for efficient inverted perovskite solar cells” in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A

Solar Energy Research Group member Swapnil Deshmukh and alumini Caleb Miskin publish paper titled, ‘Lead Chalcogenide Nanoparticles and Their Size-Controlled Self-Assemblies for Thermoelectric and Photovoltaic Applications’ in ACS Applied Nanomaterials

Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty was awarded the Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

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

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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