Course Title: Recent Developments and Methods for Energy-efficient and Membrane Separations
Course Description: Separations are ubiquitous in all chemical and petrochemical industries. Of all the alternatives available for separation of mixtures, distillation is the predominant choice; accounting for 90-95% of all industrial liquid separations. Further, the development of novel materials with increased selectivities led membrane-based separations to receive increasing attention in industry. It is well known that both the alternatives are energy intensive at industrial scale. To put it in perspective, it is estimated that crude fractionation by distillation alone consumes energy equivalent of roughly 1.86 million bbl of oil per day, which is equal to 4% of total US energy consumption in a day. The required energy is generally obtained from non-renewable fossils fuels. With the growing concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, it is the objective of process designers to develop new energy-efficient solutions for separations.
Towards the objective, this course is designed to equip students with advanced concepts and state-of-the-art techniques developed in the past two decades. The course begins with a brief description of the basics of distillation. Subsequently, students are introduced to advanced concepts including the theory of multicomponent distillation, exergy analysis, intermediate heat exchangers, feed preconditioning, double and multieffect distillation, heat pumps, systematic synthesis of separation trains for multicomponent mixtures, heat and mass integration in distillation and so forth. The latter part of the course deals with membrane models and design of energy-efficient cascades for high purity separations. An important learning outcome from this course is to systematically develop novel energy-efficient distillation and/or membrane solutions for a given application.
Course Title: Advanced Solar Energy Conversion
Course Description: The course focuses on: (1) the fundamentals of solar energy conversion, primarily with photovoltaics, (2) critical analysis of the state-of-the-art, and (3) the methods to develop the next generation of solar energy converters. Specific topics include: Analysis of the solar spectrum, methods of solar energy utilization, thermodynamic analysis, electronic structure of materials, eletronic transport, electron-hole generation, recombination, semiconductor junctions, device structure, minority carrier based devices, excitonic based devices, light management, economic analysis, experimental methods, state-of-the-art of silicon, thin film, and III-V technologies, next generation technologies.
Course Title: System Analysis of Energy Production
Course Description: Even though our goal is to accelerate the use of renewable energy, it is a reality that the use of renewable resources will coexist with fossil fuel for a reasonable foreseeable time period. The impact of environmental and energy policies and interrelationship between various energy sources and use habits of the consumers also must be understood by students interested in the grand challenge of energy. This course will deal with the past, current, and future production and use of all forms of energy (coal, petroleum, natural gas, renewable resources such as wind, hydro, biomass, solar, etc.) along with their availability and environmental footprint. The thermodynamic limits for use of energy in various forms (as heat, mechanical work, electricity, etc.) will be discussed. How the common use habits influence the end inefficiencies and hence the rate at which energy is consumed. The complex interaction scenarios that may exist during the transition period from fossil resources to renewable resources will be highlighted in detail. This course will enable the students to get an overall vie of energy production, transformation, distribution, and use based on thermodynamic principles. Therefore, this course will be an integral part of the unique systems approach and expose the students to the extreme complexity of the subject.
Course Title: Design and Analysis of Processing Systems
Course Description: Use of process and product synthesis methods and concepts; detailed design of unit operation equipment, the economics of chemical plants and flow sheet optimization methods. Synthesize, develop, and evaluate a preliminary design of a chemical process that meets market requirements for a specific product. Analysis of design alternatives using case studies and optimization methods.