Center for Alternative and Renewable Energy Research

Center for Clean and Renewable Energy Research

The Center for Clean and Renewable Energy Research in the Department of Chemical Engineering was established in 2007 with the purpose of improving organizational cohesion and enhancing public recognition of the role of chemical engineering in this important area. For decades, the department has been involved in teaching courses in energy and environment related areas such as ChE 410 Energy and Environment, ChE 705 Fossil Fuels, ChE 712 Nuclear Engineering, ENE 709 – ChE 809 Air Pollution Control, and ENE 772 – ChE 872 Physicochemical Processes for Water and Air Quality. Currently, the department has clean and renewable energy research activities in three laboratories. In Rm. 103 Morse Hall, Prof. I. Farag has many undergraduate students working on his biodiesel project. Prof. Teng is conducting research on fuel cells in Kingsbury S335. He is directing the research of 1 M.S. and 1 PhD student and 2 undergraduate students. Prof. P. T. Vasudevan has 1 PhD and 1 MS thesis project on biofuels in Kingsbury Rm. S333.

Current Projects
Microalgal oil extraction and in-situ oil transesterification (Ihab Farag) - Morse 104

Ihab Lab

Algae

 

Enzymatic transesterification of waste oils and non-edible sources (P.T. Vasudevan) - Kingsbury S333

We are focusing on enzymatic tranesterification of waste oils to produce biodiesel. The effect of different solvents and different acyl acceptors on the transesterification of waste vegetable oils as well as non-edible sources is being investigated. We are also carrying out scale-up studies.

Biodiesel

Novel immobilized enzymes for cellulosic ethanol (P.T. Vasudevan)

We are investigating the use of immobilized cellulases prepared by a novel technique to degrade cellulose.

Cellulose

 

Study of Gas Diffusion Layers in Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (X. Teng)

Fuel Cell