I have been involved in basic and applied research in the areas of Homogeneous & Heterogeneous Catalysis, C-1 Chemistry, biomass conversion and Chemical Reaction Engineering, the most significant ones being in Kinetic Modeling, Multiphase Reactor Engineering and Catalysis for reactions such as Carbonylation, Hydroformylation, Oxidative Carbonylation, Hydrogenation and Oxidation. I have been responsible for establishing a school in Homogeneous Catalysis Research at NCL, which has provided a base for developing new generation technologies via Carbonylation and hydroformylation. This expertise has also led to major contract research projects at NCL under my leadership from multinational as well as Indian industries. I have supervised 35 Ph. D. students, who worked in Chemical Reaction Engineering and Catalysis.
I have been involved in development of several innovative processes on a laboratory and pilot plant scales. Completed contract research projects sponsored by DuPont, USA, GE, USA, ICI Polyurethanes, Huntsman Polyurethanes, Belgium, Invista, UK and projects financed by EEC, IFCPAR, KFA (Germany) and Volkswagen Foundation (Germany). Collaborated with Rhone Poulenc, France; ENSIGC, Toulouse; LGPC, Lyon; University of Venice, Italy; University of Erlangen, Germany etc. Worked as Consultant on R & D & Process Improvement for several companies.
Developed research programmes on biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals with a focus on fundamental research in catalysis and multiphase reactor engineering. Specific projects on hydrogenolysis of polyols, syngas conversion to alcohols, coupling of linear alcohols and bio-oils upgrading are in progress. An important achievement is the development of a process for hydrogenolysis using insitu generated hydrogen.
An industrial project funded by ADM is also in progress. A major project funded by DOE/USDA (5.9 million dollars) is in progress in collaboration with ADM on: "Green Technologies for Product Diversification in an Integrated Biorefinery".
A recently funded project by NSF-EPA (4.4 million dollars) is focused on fundamental research on Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing Processes involving a team of researchers in which I will contribute to fundamentals of catalysis, kinetics and mechanism and reaction engineering. The proposed processes are technologically relevant with a goal to eliminate use of toxic and hazardous raw materials for large scale commodity products. Some of the key achievements are summarized below:
1. Development of a new concept of hydrogenolysis of biomass feedstocks using insitu formed hydrogen: The contribution relates to catalyst design, kinetic studies and economics of hydrogen usage.
2. Sustainable development of catalysts for biomass to chemicals: Developed catalysts which showed for the first time that atom efficient conversion of polyols to useful industrial products is possible at low temperatures and high selectivity.
3. A concept of lattice match engineering is illustrated to show that nano-Cu catalysts can give high activity and selectivity for conversion of polyols to lactic acid, an useful industrial product. This work done in collaboration with Professor Shenqiang Ren revealed that a particular surface configuration of nano metal catalysts has unique properties as catalysts to give high activity and selectivity.
4. Developed methodology for investigation of kinetics of multistep catalytic reactions involved in hydrogenolysis of biomass based feedstocks.
5. A novel nano-filterable hydroformylation catalyst developed for effective catalyst-product separation for an industrial process.
- Chemical Reaction Engineering
- Multiphase Reactors
- Kinetic Modeling
- Homogeneous & Heterogeneous Catalysis
- Heterogenization of Homogeneous Catalysts
- Biomass Conversion to Chemicals & Fuels
Selected Awards & Honors
National Academy of Inventors
2017 - Present
Engineering Conferences International (ECI), 32 Broadway, Suite 314, New York, NY 10004
2016 - Present
Petrochemistry 2016, http://petrochemistry.madridge.com/themes.php
2016 - Present
Multiphase Catalysis & Reaction Engineering, Homogeneous & Heterogeneous Catalysis, Kinetic Modeling and Immobilization of metal complexes.
- Deputy Director & Head, Homogeneous Catalysis Division, National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune,India, 1995-2006
- Deputy Director, Chemical Engineering Division, NCL, Pune, India, 1990-1995
- Visiting Scientist at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan,(Invited by JSPS), 1999
- Scientist, Chemical Engineering Division, NCL, Pune, India, 1976-1995
- Visiting Professor (Directeur de Researche) at Rhone-Poulenc-CNRS Laboratory, Decines, France, (1990-1991)
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Chemical Engineering Department, University of Edinburgh, Scotland,UK (1974-1975)