Akash Anand

Doctoral Candiate
PhD in Chemical & Petroleum Engineering (Chemical focus - In Progress)
Primary office:
4142 Learned Hall


Summary

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, from Anna University, India. Currently, I am pursuing PhD under the guidance of Dr. Laurence R. Weatherley. Our research focus is on biocatalysis and biotransformation. Apart from research, I enjoy teaching and playing sports. I work as a GTA and the thing I like most about teaching are my students. I love interacting with them, learning from them, helping them understand the content of any course I teach. I also had the privilege of being one of the founders of the first ever cricket club in our university called “Jayhawks Cricket Club”. Upon graduation, I would pursue postdoctoral research. 

Research

With increasing carbon footprint, chemical industries of 21st century intends to produce very complex reaction products in a sustainable way to give solutions to the public demands concerning pharmaceutical, food, and fine chemistry companies. One such cleaner and sustainable approach is through deployment of enzymes as industrial biocatalysts. The use of microbial lipases for the hydrolysis of natural oils such as triglyceride esters is a green alternative to conventional high temperature, high pressure steam-based technology. However, lipase when used in aqueous form, exhibit low thermal stability, activity limited by narrow pH range, and sensitivity to higher shear forces are factors which contribute to less than favorable process economics for lipase-based fat splitting processes. My research focuses on the study and deployment of lipases by immobilizing them onto polymer supports and ion exchange resins by making use of adsorption techniques. I also investigate the effect of presence of chemical modifiers and surface functional groups with respect to lipase stability and possible performance enhancement. Another novel aspect of my research plan is to study the influence electrostatic forces on the performance of aqueous lipase and immobilized lipase. This could lead to possible changes in enzyme structure due to the electrical field, modification of the nature of the enzyme binding at the liquid-liquid interface, or possibly intensification of local transport rates of substrates and reaction products close to the interface. The latter could involve phenomena such as electro-kinetic transport or electro-osmosis.

Selected Publications

Weatherley, Laurence, and Akash Anand. "The Performance of Microbial Lipase Immobilized onto Ion Exchange Resins and onto the Natural Zeolite Clinoptilolite." International Journal of Chemical Separation Technology 2, no. 2 (2016): 24-32.

Anand, Akash, and Laurence R. Weatherley. "The performance of microbial lipase immobilized onto polyolefin supports for hydrolysis of high oleate sunflower oil." Process biochemistry 68 (2018): 100-107.

Anand, Akash, Jay Hattemer, Priyadarshini Gnanasekaran, Andrew Jaeschke, Nneoma Ezichi, Emily Harmsen, and Laurence Weatherley. "Enhanced Lipase-Catalyzed Hydrolysis and Modification of Fats and Oils." In 2018 AIChE Annual Meeting. AIChE, 2018.

Anand, Akash, Priyadarshini Gnanasekaran, Alan M. Allgeir, and Laurence Weatherley. "Immobilization and kinetic studies of a microbial lipase from the fungal organism Candida rugosa on methacrylate polymer resins." In 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting. AIChE, 2019.

Anand, Akash, Priyadarshini Gnanasekaran, Alan M. Allgeir, and Laurence Weatherley. "Study and deployment of methacrylate-base polymer resins for immobilized lipase catalyzed triglyceride hydrolysis." Food and Bioproducts Processing (2020)


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