Investigators - Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Faculty members pursuing energy-related research, who are affiliated with the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering ( follow.   Click on the person's name to view a brief description of their research interests or click on the web site for more information. Click on an e-mail address to correspond. You may also find additional information by clicking at the left on the 'Research/Publications' category.

Xinhua Liang,,

Doug Ludlow,,

Fateme Rezaei,

Ali Rownaghi,

Joseph Smith,,


Dr. Xinhua Liang is an assistant professor in Chemical Engineering. His research focuses on rational and directed design of nanostructured materials for efficient reactions and separations technologies. Atomic/Molecular Layer Deposition (ALD/MLD) thin film coating technique will be used for this research program. ALD/MLD is a thin film growth technique based on sequential, self-limiting surface chemical reactions and allows for precise deposition of ultra-thin, highly conformal coatings over complex 3D topography structures, with excellent control over stoichiometry and properties. His current active research directions include lithium-ion battery cathodes with enhanced performance and nanostructured size-selective catalysts.

Keywords: atomic layer deposition (ALD), surface science and catalysis, nanostructured films and devices, energy and environmental applications

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Dr. Doug Ludlow is a chemical engineer with almost two decades of research and expertise in the characterization of porous powders, including catalysts, fluidized coal, fly ash, adsorbents, and activated carbon.  He has worked on environmental technology projects including fly ash removal with fabric filters, mercury gettering using fly ash, simultaneous removal of NOx and particulates using catalytic fabric filters with SCR technology, and removal of fuel oxygenates from ground water using activated carbon.  He has worked on a project dealing with biomass conversion of creating activated carbon from soy bean hulls.  He has ongoing research in the development of carbon nanotubes with palladium nanoparticles that can be used to adsorb hydrogen with a potential application as a low weight hydrogen storage material.

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Dr. Fateme Rezaei's research focus broadly lies at the interface of chemical, materials science and environmental engineering, where the general goal of his work is to develop advanced materials and processes for clean energy and sustainable chemical processes. In particular, our research relates to fundamental and applied aspects of adsorption, separations, and reaction. The research activities include: 1) structured adsorbents in gas separation processes; 2) modeling and simulation of cyclic separation processes such as PSA, TSA, VSA; 3) development of hybrid materials for separation and reaction applications; 4) liquid phase adsorptive separation and purification.

Keywords: Keywords: Adsorption, Energy Efficient Separation Processes, Process Design, Modeling and Optimization, Chemical Reactions.  

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 Dr. Ali Rownaghi research program is focused on creating, understanding, and rationally engineering advanced materials for catalysis and membrane applications through innovative and scalable processing strategies. He works on challenging problems relating directly to renewable/clean energy and chemical production. He has over 10 years experience in the Sustainable Energy (CO2 capture and utilization, Upgrading of biomass and natural gas, Biofuels, Solid waste recycling); Catalysis Heterogeneous catalysts (zeolites, supported metals, noble metals,mixed metal oxides and organometallics), Interface of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts (Composite hollow fiber-supported molecular catalysts), and Separations (Metal organic framework mixed matrix membranes, Composite hollow fiber membranes, Membranes for in-situ reaction and separation). Follow the links below for more information on his current research projects:

Keywords: Catalysis and Reaction Engineering; Membrane-Based Gas Separations, and Membranes for Separation and Reaction.¿

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Dr. Joseph D. Smith currently holds the Laufer Endowed Energy Chair in the Biological and Chemical Engineering department at Missouri University of Science and Technology (MS&T). His research program is focused on developing and evaluating novel Hybrid Energy Systems to improve energy security and enhance rural economic development. Dr. Smith also conducts research on reducing the environmental impact of using unconventional hydrocarbon resources. He has over 25 years experience in the Fossil-Fired Power Industries with a specialty in the application of comprehensive CFD analysis of coal combustion and gasification aimed at reducing CO/NOx emissions, minimizing fouling and slagging, and improving combustion efficiency by lowering Carbon in Ash. Dr. Smith serves as an expert witness in cases involving gas flaring and other combustion technology.

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