Courses Taught

CHE 150: Climate Engineering for Global Warming

Climate engineering can be defined as the deliberate large-scale modification of the earth’s climate systems to counteract and mitigate anthropogenic climate change. The strategies which fall under this definition are loosely organized into four types: Decarbonizing the Energy Systems, Carbon Dioxide and other Green House Gas (GHG) Removal, Solar Radiation Management (Albedo Modification), and Adaptation to Climate Change. This course is designed to help students understand the historical and engineering perspective of climate change, strategies to engineer earth’s climate, monitor and predict climate change, and policies to mitigate risks associated with climate change. Through this course, the students will develop an understanding of the various aspects of science, engineering, economics, and policies of climate change. This course will answer the following questions:

  1. How can climate engineering impact global warming and climate change?

  2. What is the science behind carbon dioxide removal and albedo modification?

  3. What (and how) renewable technologies contribute to decarbonization?

  4. How much time will the climate engineering strategies take to impact climate change on the earth?

  5. How science, policies, and discussions can inform choices to reduce the risks posed by climate change?

The course will have the following five units and associated lectures:

  1. The History of Climate Change and Introduction to Climate Engineering - History of anthropogenic climate change, Atmosphere chemistry and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Carbon cycle and acidification of oceans, Introduction to climate engineering and strategies

  2. Climate Monitoring and Prediction - Monitoring climate change using satellites, Monitoring of CO2 and GHG levels in the atmosphere, Prediction of climate change – types of climate models, Prediction of global warming – Sawyer model, Broecker model, Hansen Model, Prediction of global warming – IPCC’s models.

  3. Solar Radiation Management (SRM) - Earth’s thermostat and radiation balance, Greenhouse chemistry and the greenhouse effect, Radiative forcing and feedback of the climate system, SRM strategies – space reflectors and stratospheric aerosols, SRM strategies – cloud whitening, albedo modification, SRM strategies - other geoengineering techniques

  4. Decarbonization of Energy Systems and GHG Removal - Decarbonization - Effective utilization of coal and natural gas, Decarbonization – Implementation of nuclear power, Decarbonization – Utilizing wind and solar power, Decarbonization – Harnessing hydropower, Decarbonization – Electrifying transportation with batteries and fuel cells, Introduction to carbon dioxide and other GHG removal, Carbon capture techniques – Post-combustion, oxyfuel, and pre-combustion, Carbon capture from air and seawater, Carbon sequestration – mineralization and deep sea injection, Carbon recycling – Renewable and green chemicals

  5. Adapting to Climate Change, its Economics, and Policies, Adapting to changing ecosystem – deforestation, agriculture and food, International climate policy and emissions trading, Implementation of climate policy – Kyoto Protocol, international carbon action partnership, Economics of climate change – carbon tax, regulating emissions, Preparing for the future

CHE 321: Chemical Reaction Engineering (Spring 2019, Fall 2020, 2021)

Chemical Reaction Engineering (CRE) is central and unique to the chemical engineering discipline. The elements of CRE are used in almost all the chemical industries and manufacturing, namely, petrochemicals, biopharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, polymers, fragrances, flavors, food additives, dyes and chemicals, ceramics, explosives and many more. The heart of these manufacturing processes is a chemical reaction, which converts raw materials or precursors to the molecule of interest. The objective of chemical engineers is to maximize the yield and conversion of the final product in the most energy- efficient and cost-effective manner. This course will teach fundamental concepts in CRE, provide step-by-step instructions on the evaluation of the performance of the chemical reactor and its optimization.

  1. Chemical Kinetics and Ideal, Isothermal Homogeneous Reactors - Define the rate of chemical reaction. Apply the mole balance equations to a batch reactor (BR), continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR), plug flow reactor (PFR), and packed bed reactor (PBR), Define conversion and space time. Write the mole balances in terms of conversion, Determine reactor sizes (volume, catalyst weight), Understand rate laws and the Arrhenius equation, Describe homogeneous, heterogeneous, elementary, nonelementary and reversible reactions, Apply reaction stoichiometry to relate molar and volumetric flow rates of a species with the conversion, Describe the CRE algorithm to solve chemical reaction engineering problems, Apply this algorithm to design isothermal reactors.

  2. Experimental Analysis of Reaction Rates - Determine reaction order and rates from the experimental data obtained from batch or flow reactors, Understand integral and differential methods to identify rate parameters.

  3. Ideal, Non-Isothermal Reactors - Describe yield and selectivity. Apply CRE algorithm to design the reactor with multiple reactions for maximal selectivity, Modify CRE algorithm to design non-isothermal reactors (adiabatic and non- adiabatic) and optimize the reactor staging, Analyze multiple steady states and optimal operation of reactors.

  4. Catalytic Reactions and Heterogeneous Reactors - Define a catalyst, derive a catalytic reaction mechanism and rate-limiting step, Obtain rate expressions from quasi-equilibrium hypothesis, Understand catalyst deactivation mechanism, Analyze heterogeneous catalytic reactors – CSTR and PBR.

  5. Non-ideal Reactors - Define residence time distribution (RTD) and obtain RTD functions for ideal and non-ideal reactors, Predict conversion from RTD functions, Evaluate non-ideal reactor models.

CHE 445: Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering (Fall 2016, 2017, 2018)

This is one the most comprehensive courses on applied mathematics focused on the formulation and analytical solutions of the chemical engineering problems. In this course, students will learn analytical techniques to solve linear and non-linear equations, ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, Integral equations, Integrodifferential equations and stochastic differential equations. Following topics are covered in this course-


  1. Linear Algebra - Determinants, Matrix theory, Dimensional Analysis, Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors, Solution of Linear Systems, Analysis of First-Order Reactions, and Distillation Columns

  2. Optimization - Linear Programming, Simplex Method, KKT Conditions, Quadratic Programming, Steepest Descent, Conjugate Gradient, Newton's Method, Geometric Programming, Least Square Method, Sequential Quadratic Programming

  3. Differential Equations - Method of Series, Method of Frobenius, Bessel's Equation, Hypergeometric Differential Equation, Strum-Liouville Theory, Finite Fourier Transform, Method of Superimposition, Integrating Factors, Method of Variation of Parameters, Green's Function, Infinite Fourier Transform

  4. Complex Analysis - Cauchy-Riemann Conditions, Cauchy's Theorem, Residues, Jordan's Lemma, Laplace Transform, Inversion Integral

  5. Theory of First-Order Linear PDEs - Method of Characteristics

  6. Theory of Non-Linear PDEs

  7. Non-Linear Dynamics - Stability Analysis, Phase Portraits, Lyapunov Stability, Bifurcation

CHE 494: Solar Fuels Engineering (Spring 2017)

Solar fuels engineering involves design and implementation of processes and systems for efficient utilization of solar energy to produce chemicals and fuels. Such systems are referred to as a solar fuels generators, which are made of five components such as- i) light absorber – a semiconductor material that absorbs sunlight to produce electrons and holes, ii) oxidation catalyst – an electrocatalyst that uses holes from light absorber to oxidize hydrogen-donor such as H2O to produce H+ and O2, iii) electrolyte – liquid or ionomer material to transport H+ for the reduction reaction, iv) fuel forming catalyst – an electrocatalyst that uses electrons from the light absorber and H+ from the electrolyte to produce fuel, and v) separator - an ionomer membrane to prevent crossover of the fuel to the oxidation catalyst. This course will provide the underlying physics, thermodynamics and transport characteristics of individual components of solar fuels generators. A major objective is to teach a course such that undergraduate and graduate students can understand the subject matter. This will require explanation of unfamiliar topics, such as the physics of holes and electron transport in solids, n-p junctions, charge collection under illumination, electron transfer reactions at the catalysts interface, ion transport in concentrated electrolyte, multiphase transport, and reaction to the students with chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemistry and physics who often do not have the required background knowledge.

  1. Thermodynamics of Solar Energy Conversion and Electrochemical Processes - Energy production and consumption, solar economy, solar energy spectrum, black body radiation, thermodynamic limit of solar energy conversion to work, solar thermal conversion, Shockley-Queisser limit of multijunction light absorbers, thermodynamics of electrochemical cells, thermodynamic limit of solar fuel generators.

  2. Kinetics and Transport Processes in Photo/electrochemical Cells - Energy losses in electrochemical cells, kinetics of charge transfer reactions, Butler-Volmer reactions, Marcus theory of electron transfer, ion transport in dilute and concentrated electrolytes, ion transport in ionomers, electron and hole transport in semiconductors, photon absorption and transport in semiconductor, double layer, and liquid junctions.

  3. Experimental Techniques in Electrochemistry - Cyclic voltammetry, chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry, polarography, and impedance spectroscopy.

  4. Modeling, Simulation, and Scaleup of Photo/electrochemical Cells - Modeling and simulation of primary current distribution, secondary current distribution, and tertiary current distribution; integrated models for photo/electrochemical cells; scale-up of the electrochemical plant.

CHE 494: Biopharma Process Dev. and R&D (Spring 2021, 2022)

Biopharmaceutical process development and manufacturing (BPDM) is central and unique to the chemical engineering discipline. The core elements of BPDM are – 1) drug substance (active pharmaceutical ingredient) polymorph screening, process development and scale up and 2) drug product process development and scale up, with underlying safety and cleaning considerations in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Some of the techniques covered in these elements of BPDM are also used in other process chemical and allied industries, namely, agrochemicals, polymers, fragrances, flavors, food additives, dyes and chemicals, ceramics, explosives and many more. The goal of chemical engineers in BPDM is to consistently achieve the desired quality with maximum yield of the final product in the most safe and efficient manner by developing robust drug substance and drug product processes. This course will teach fundamental concepts in BPDM, provide practical advice on the process development, optimization and scale-up using pertinent enabling tools and technologies.

  1. Introduction to Biopharmaceuticals Process Development and Manufacturing - Drug discovery-development-manufacturing cycle, Dosage forms, Introduction to combination products, Role of chemical engineers and pharmaceutical scientists, Analytical chemistry tools and technologies, Chemical and physical stability, Drugdissolution, cGMP Considerations: SOPs, Documentation, Regulatory Filing, Engineering challenges and opportunities

  2. Drug Substance (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients)s Development - API-solid form screening and selection, Essentials of small molecue API process development, Reaction engineering, Separations, Extraction, Distillation, Crystallization, Filtration, washing and drying, Essentials of biologics process development, Bioreactorprocessing Purifications, TFF, Chromatography, API Process Scale-up (Dr. Nandkishor Nere)

  3. Drug Product Development - Formulation screening and selection, Essentials of small molecule drug product development, Blending, Direct compression, Roller compaction, Wet granulation, Hot melt extrusion, Milling, Tabletting, Coating, Essentials of bioogics drug product development, Solutions-mixing, shear, Lyophilization, Freezing and thawing, Filling Drug Product Process Scale-up

  4. Enabling Technologies in Biopharmaceutical Industry - Continuous processing, Applications of Predictive Modeling, Molecular modeling, Computationalfluiddynamics, Discreteelementmethods, Fluid-structire interaction modeling, Emerging technologies, Electrochemistry, Photo-chemistry, Biocatalysis, Mechanochemistry

  5. Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing - Safety, Cleaning, Key considerations in the manufacturing of small molecules, Key considerations in the manufacturing of biologics molecules, Closing Summary

CHE 527: Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering (Spring 2020, 2021, 2022)

Chemical reaction engineering, almost exclusively the domain of chemical engineers, has been an area of particularly vigorous research activity. It comprises a complex medley of different disciplines and there is little wonder that widely varying treatments are available of the subject. Broadly, however, the behavior of chemical reactors is intimately related to the interplay of physical and chemical rate processes in various reactor settings. The investigation of chemical reactors involves a synthesis of information pertaining to the chemical reacting system such as kinetics (reaction rate expressions), thermodynamics (equilibrium compositions, heat of reaction etc.) and those relating to pertinent physical rate processes (momentum, heat and mass transfer). The basic conservation principles (conservation of mass, momentum and energy) appended by appropriate phenomenological descriptions of physical processes (e.g., Fourier's law of heat conduction) and economic considerations will govern suitable mathematical models often admixed with some empiricism and by profuse applications of relevant mathematical techniques.

A unified treatment of chemical reaction engineering is complicated by at least two sources of divergent behavior. Naturally, the diversity of chemically reacting systems would be inherited by the reactors in which reactions are carried out. Furthermore, reaction equipment in themselves cover a wide variety such as stirred tank, packed bed, moving bed, fluidized bed, trickle bed and other types of reactors in which the relative role of physical and chemical rate processes may be profoundly different. In the face of such diversity, it should be evident that general results on reactor behavior or design prescriptions are not to be found. However, the divergent features of chemical reaction engineering have been presented in a proper perspective by Aris. The student is urged to develop an appreciation for this "morphological view" of the subject to understand clearly the roles and relationships of the different forms of activity in reaction engineering.

  1. Basic Concepts in Chemical Kinetics

  2. Kinematics of Reaction

  3. Dynamic Modeling of Chemical Reactors

  4. Biochemical Reaction

  5. Enzyme-Substrate Kinetics

  6. Polymerization Kinetics

  7. DeDonder Analysis of Reaction Mechanism

  8. Microkinetic Modeling and Reduction of Mechanism

  9. Lumping of Rate Expressions

  10. Fundamental Theories of Chemical Reactions

  11. Experimental Estimation of Rate Parameters

  12. Review of Experimental Methods to Measure Rate Parameters

  13. Microscopic Balances, Transport Effects in Hetrogeneous Catalysis

  14. Transport Effects in Non-Catalytic Reactors- Solid-Gas and Gas-Liquid Reactors

  15. Averaged Macrscopic Balances of Chemical Reactors

  16. Residence Time Analysis

  17. Stability Analysis of Chemical Reactors

  18. Advanced Reactor Modeling

  19. Multiphase Reactors- Precipitation Reactors, Electrochemical Reactors, Fluidized Bed Reactor