Raghunath Vitthal Chaudhari

Raghunath Chaudhari
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor

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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.

Research interests:

  • Chemical Reaction Engineering
  • Multiphase Reactors
  • Kinetic Modeling
  • Homogeneous & Heterogeneous Catalysis
  • Heterogenization of Homogeneous Catalysts
  • Biomass Conversion to Chemicals & Fuels

Selected Publications

Liu, Dupeng, Raghunath V Chaudhari, and Bala Subramaniam. “Enhanced Solubility of Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide in Propane and Propylene Expanded Liquids.” Journal Articles. AIChE Journal  , September 16, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aic.15988.
Jin, Xin, Chun Zheng, Wenjuan Yan, Pallavi Boba, Honghong Shi, Prem S Thapa, Bala Subramaniam, and Raghunath V Chaudhari. “Effects of Anisotropic Growth Induced Lattice Distortion and Electron Charge Coupling in Exceptional Enhancement in the Activity of Bimetallic PtMn Nanocatalysts.” Journal Articles. Applied Catalysis-A General 534 (2017): 46–57.
Zhu, Hongda, Anand Ramanathan, Raghunath V Chaudhari, and Bala Subramaniam. “Effects of Tunable Acidity of Nb-KIT-6 Catalysts on Ethanol Dehydration: Experiments and Kinetic Modeling.” Journal Articles. AIChE Journal 63, no. 7 (2017): 2509–3242.
Jin, Xin, Raghunath V Chaudhari, Richard Dronskowski, Shinichi Kikkawa, and Andeas Stein. “Hydrogenation by Metals (Invited).” Book Chapters. In Hydrogenation by Metals (Invited), 6:336–92. Wiley-VCH, 2017.
Jin, Xin, Zeng Chun, Thapa Prem S, Bala Subramaniam, and Raghunath V Chaudhari. “Phase Transformed PtFe Nanocomposites Show Enhanced Catalytic Performances in Oxidation of Glycerol to Tartronic Acid.” Journal Articles. Ind. Eng. Chem. Research    56 (2017): 13157–64. http://DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.7b01473.
Ramachandran, Palghat  A, and Raghunath V Chaudhari. “Sustainable Reactor Design.” Book Chapters. In In Encyclopedia of Sustainable Technologies, Ed. Martin Abraham,  Elsevier (2017) 525-540, edited by Martin Abraham, 525–40. Elsevier, 2017.
Song, Ziwei, Xin Jin, Yongfeng Hu, Bala Subramaniam, and Raghunath V Chaudhari. “Transesterification of Propylene Carbonate with Methanol over CaO Catalyst: Effect of Catalyst Pre-Treatment.” Journal Articles. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 5 (2017): 4718−4729.
Nandiwale, Kakasaheb Y, Andrew M Danby, Anand Ramanathan, Raghunath V Chaudhari, and Bala Subramaniam. “Zirconium Incorporated Mesoporous Silicates Show Remarkable Lignin Depolymerization Activity                                                                                              .” Journal Articles. ACS Sust Chem & Eng 5 (2017): 7155−7164.
Jin, Xin, Prem S Thapa, Bala Subramaniam, and Raghunath Chaudhari. “Kinetic Modeling of Hydrogenolysis of Sorbitol Using Bimetallic RuRe/C Catalyst .” Journal Articles. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, Special Issue on: Building on 25 Years of Green Chemistry and Engineering for a Sustainable Future 4 (2016): 6037–47.
Jin, Xin, Meng Zhao, Muzzammil Vora, Jian Shen, Wenjuan S Yan, Prem S Thapa , Bala Subramaniam, and Raghunath V Chaudhari. “Oxidation of Glucose to Glucaric Acid Using Bimetallic PtPd/TiO2 Nanocatalysts: Substrate Inhibition and Structure Dependent Activity and Selectivity  .” Journal Articles. Ind. Eng. Chem. Research 55, no. 11 (2016): 2932–45.
Jin, Xin, Meng Zhao, Chun Zheng, Wenjuan Yan, Ziwei Song, Prem S Thapa, Bala Subramaniam, and Raghunath V Chaudhari. “Oxidation of Glycerol to Dicarboxylic Acids Using Cobalt Catalysts .” Journal Articles. ACS Catalysis (2016) 6, 4576−4583 6 (2016): 4576–83.
Jin, Xin, Meng Zhao, Jian Shen, Wenjuan Yan, Liming He, Prem Thapa, Shenqiang Ren, Bala Subramaniam, and Raghunath  V Chaudhari. “Exceptional Performance of Bimetallic Pt1Cu3/TiO2 Nanocatalysts for Oxidation of Gluconic Acid and Glucose with O2 to Glucaric Acid.” Journal Articles. J of Catalysis 330 (2015): 323–329.
Wan, Haijun, Audrey Vitter, Raghunath  V. Chaudhari, and Bala Subramaniam. “Kinetic Investigations of Unusual Solvent Effects during Ru/C Catalyzed Hydrogenation of Model Oxygenates.” Journal Articles. Journal of Catalysis 309 (2014): 174–184.

Selected Presentations

Bobba, P., Subramaniam, B., & Chaudhari, R. V. (10/30/2017). Kinetics of Carboxylation of Propylene oxide. AIChE Annual Meeting 2017. Minneapolis
Bobba, P., Subramaniam, B., & Chaudhari, R. V. (8/21/2017). Carboxylation of Propylene oxide to Propylene carbonate. 254th ACS National Meeting. Washington, DC
Chaudhari, R. V. (4/21/2017). Catalysis and Kinetics of Hydrogenolysis and Oxidation Reactions in Biomass Conversion to Chemicals. Invited Lecture at Binghamton University, USA to Graduate Students. Binghamton University, USA
Chaudhari, R. V. (3/17/2017). Tuning Surface Structure and Catalytic Performance of Bimetallic Catalysts for Biomass Conversion to Chemicals. Invited Lecture at Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research. U. of Louisville, USA
Song, Z., Ramanathan, A., Subramaniam, B., & Chaudhari, R. V. (2/22/2017 - 2/22/2017). Transesterification of Propylene Carbonate with Methanol to Dimethyl Carbonate using Supported Alkali Metal Oxides Catalysts. International conference on catalysis and chemical engineering. International conference on catalysis and chemical engineering, Feb 22nd, 2017, Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore, Maryland
Chaudhari, R. V. (3/13/2016). Design of bimetallic nano-catalysts for biomass conversion to chemicals. 251st ACS National Meeting. San Diego

Awards & Honors

Chaired a session on "Development of Sustainable Chemical Processes" at ACS 2016 meeting at San Diego
Fellow of national Academy of Inventots
National Academy of Inventors
2017 - Present
Member International Scientific Committee of Congress on "Green Process Engineering" to be held at Quebec, Canada
Engineering Conferences International (ECI), 32 Broadway, Suite 314, New York, NY 10004
2016 - Present
Member Organizing Ciommittee of "International Conference on Oil, Gas and Petrochemistry" to be held in December 5-7, 2016 at UAE
Petrochemistry 2016, http://petrochemistry.madridge.com/themes.php
2016 - Present