WebCAST seminar on "Process Synthesis for a Sustainable Energy Future"
by Rakesh Agrawal
Department of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University
Date: October 3, 2013, 2-4 pm (EDT)
Dial-in from the comfort of your office to hear the presentation.
Deadline to Register: September 30, 2013 (details at
This is a joint CAST / CACHE initiative. The registration rate is:
• free for the first 100 CAST members and CACHE departments (including
• for all others, $25/connection. Joining the CAST Division of AIChE only
In a fossil-fuel deprived world, it is likely that all the basic human needs
will be met by renewable sources like solar energy. Among the needs,
transportation offers the greatest challenges, owing to its high
energy-density fuel requirements, which have traditionally been met by
liquid hydrocarbon fuels derived from fossil resources. Here, we present a
detailed systems analysis of the transportation sector, from which emerges
an energy efficient roadmap, based on the use of renewable carbon sources
like biomass, solar energy in the form of H2, heat and electricity, in
conjunction with novel processes for producing liquid fuels. In addition,
some specific transition solutions are also discussed.
In a sustainable energy future, availability of efficient hydrogen from
solar energy will be a key to the large scale production of chemicals and
fuels. We present process synthesis methodology to identify efficient
processes for solar hydrogen production. These processes, although not
economical today, point us in the direction where technical advancements are
needed to enable a truly sustainable future.
Finally, a grand challenge of solar energy use is its intermittency.
Synthesis of processes to store GWhr levels of energy for uninterrupted
power grid supply is also discussed.
Rakesh Agrawal is Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor, School of
Chemical Engineering, Purdue University. Previously, he was an Air Products
Fellow at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., where he worked until 2004.
A major thrust of his research is related to energy issues and includes
novel processes for fabrication of low-cost solar cells, biomass and liquid
fuel conversion, and energy systems analysis. His research further includes
synthesis of muticomponent separation configurations including distillation,
membrane and adsorption based processes, basic and applied research in gas
separations, process development, gas liquefaction processes and cryogenics.
He was a member of the NRC Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES)
and a member of the AIChE’s Board of Directors and also its Energy
Commission. He has published 116 technical papers and holds 118 U.S. and
more than 500 foreign patents. These patents are used in over one hundred
chemical plants with total capital expenditure in multibillion dollars.
He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a foreign Fellow of the Indian
National Academy of Engineering. He is currently on the Technical Advisory
boards of five chemical companies. Agrawal received the 2010 National Medal
of Technology and Innovation from the U.S. President.
Dr. Agrawal received a B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, in
Kanpur, India; a M.Ch.E. from the University of Delaware, and an Sc.D. in
chemical engineering from the MIT.