Professors Milad Abolhasani, Jan Genzer, and Fanxing Li are co-authors of articles in the inaugural “Futures” Issue of the AIChE Journal (July 2018). Professors Abolhasani’s and Genzer’s article is the issue cover article.
Preceding the technical content, the editor states, ‘The “Futures” issue parallels the annual “Founders” issue that honors an eminent chemical engineering scholar with a group of contributions from colleagues, former students, and collaborators. While the “Founders” issue celebrates the scholarly legacies of the greats from our profession, the “Futures” issue recognizes the scholarly potential of new researchers from our profession. Indeed, I am hopeful and expect that a future Amundson, Bird, Prausnitz, Sargent, or Jackson is among the contributors to this inaugural “Futures” issue!’
He also explains how articles for the issue were selected: ‘The only criterion is that the prospective author be seven or less years removed from her or his initial appointment as an academic, industrial, or national lab researcher.’
The Abolhasani-Genzer article, “Microfluidic synthesis of elastomeric microparticles: A case study in catalysis of palladium‐mediated cross‐coupling,” describes the results of collaborative research performed by members of their research groups. Jeffrey Bennet, a Ph.D. student in the Abolhasani lab; Andrew Kristof, an undergraduate at NC State; Vishal Vasudevan, a visiting undergraduate at NC State; and Jiri Srogl, a CBE adjunct associate professor, are the other co-authors.
About 70 percent of pharmaceuticals are manufactured using palladium-driven catalytic processes that are either fast or efficient – but not both. The two groups developed a green chemistry method that combines aspects of both types of processes to improve manufacturing efficiency with a minimal cost of processing time.
The research is described in more detail in a previous CBE news article. Professor Abolhasani will deliver an invited talk about the work in a special Futures session at the 2018 Annual AIChE meeting.
Ethylene and propylene, two essential chemical building blocks with a combined global production of 220 million metric tons in 2012, are typically produced on industrial scales using cracking and dehydrogenation processes. That production consumes approximately 8% of total primary energy use in the chemicals sector. Also, the combined processes emit pollutants such as carbon dioxide and undesirable nitrous oxide compounds.
A relatively new alternative process for production of the two olefins, oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH), offers excellent potential to reduce the primary energy consumption and pollutant emissions, and is inherently safer to operate. Efficient ODH operation requires the use of chemical catalysts designed to produce desirable operating conditions and product yields.
Professor Li’s article, “Manganese-Containing Redox Catalysts for Selective Hydrogen Combustion Under a Cyclic Redox Scheme,” describes several highly-efficient ODH catalysts his group developed. Graduate students Ryan Dudek and Yunfei Gao, and (then) postdoctoral researcher Dr. Junshe Zhang are co-authors of the article.
Congratulations professors Abolhasani, Genzer and Li!