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Research Interests:

Process intensification has been receiving increased attention and importance because of its potential to obtain innovative and more sustainable process alternatives. Novel catalysts development or improvement of the existing catalysts is one of the key elements of application of process intensification at the early stage of novel process development or retrofitting of the existing processes. My research initiates with conducting techno-economic, process safety, process energy and exergy efficiencies, environmental impact analyses of different value-added products production routes. These analyses provide a benchmark for the catalyst performance targets and are used to guide catalyst development efforts. Also, these analyses are conducted periodically to track the progress of the process development. The catalyst development and testing phase includes the use of machine learning approach (e.g., Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model) to extract valuable information regarding catalyst type requirements from the previous literature, catalyst synthesis, catalyst characterization using various techniques, including X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) technique, catalytic activity testing, deployment of machine learning techniques to establish the catalyst structure-activity relationship, understanding the reaction mechanism of the selected catalysts (screened through machine learning techniques) using in-situ operando Raman or Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) techniques and utilization of six sigma approach to optimize the reaction process parameters and detailed reaction kinetics development.

CO2 emissions into the atmosphere is a global concern and responsible for global warming and climate change. The CO2 levels should not exceed 15 gigatons annually in order to limit the temperature increase within 2°C by 2050. Comparing the CO2 generation vs. utilization scenario, the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is no longer adequate to mitigate the CO2 generation challenge and the CCS has to replace with CO2 utilization. Thermodynamic analysis indicates that using only CO2 as a reactant is more energy demanding than used as a co-reactant with another substance that has higher Gibbs free energy, such as methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6) and hydrogen (H2). My research interests include development and retrofitting of the existing processes for dry reforming of methane and ethane (using CO2) to produce syngas, CO2 hydrogenation to produce methanol and oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of ethane to produce ethylene by using CO2 as a soft oxidant. At Idaho National Laboratory (INL), I am working on oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of ethane to produce ethylene by using CO2 as a soft oxidant. The project involves novel catalysts development, understanding the reaction mechanism using in-situ operando Raman technique, optimizing the process, and conducting techno-economic, process safety, process energy and exergy efficiency, and gate-to-gate life cycle analysis. I am leading this project as the Principal Investigator (PI) and this project yielded a provisional patent based on the novel catalyst composition within eight months of starting the project.

The current increase in global energy demand, as well as the negative impact petroleum-based energy sources are having on the environment, has led to a renewed interest in renewable energy resources. My research interests include conversion of second and third generation of biomass feedstock (e.g., waste grade vegetable oils, microalgae, fat, oil, grease (FOG)) into green diesel and biodiesel through hydrodeoxygenation, hydrocracking, hydrothermal liquefaction, transesterification (in presence of expandable gas solvents) routes. During my Ph.D., I have worked on heterogeneous catalyst development for biodiesel production from Green Seed Canola (GSC) oil (waste grade canola oil). The research involved development of an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model based on the literature review for pattern recognition of different catalysts and their activities in biodiesel production, novel catalysts development, characterization of the catalysts using various techniques including XAFS, testing the catalytic activities, reaction process parameter optimization using Response Surface Methodology (RSM), reaction kinetics development and integration of biodiesel and glycerol to value added products production processes using the same catalyst. I have concluded my Ph.D. research by conducting techno-economic, process safety, energy efficiency and environmental impact analyses of my developed processes. My Ph.D. research led eight journal papers and forteen conference presentations.

Successful proposal:

Chinmoy Baroi (PI), Frederick F. Stewart, Rebecca Fushimi, John Klaehn, Chris Orme, “Production of Ethane to Ethylene using Carbon dioxide as a soft oxidant” research proposal submitted and approved from US Department of Energy (DOE) funded Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project office, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) August, 2017

Selected publications:

Patent:

Chinmoy Baroi, Harry W. Rollins, “Catalyst structures, methods of forming catalyst structures and methods of oxidizing hydrocarbon”, Patent application no. 62/683,425, 11 June, 2018

Peer-reviewed journal papers:

Chinmoy Baroi, Anne M. Gaffney, Rebecca Fushimi, “Process economics and safety considerations for the oxidative dehydrogenation of ethane using the M1 catalyst,” Catalysis Today, 298, 138-144, (2017)

Soe Lwin, Weijian Diao, Chinmoy Baroi, Anne M. Gaffney, Rebecca Fushimi, “Characterization of MoVTeNbOx Catalysts during Oxidation Reactions Using In Situ/Operando Techniques: A Review,” Catalysts, 7 (4), 109, (2017)

Chinmoy Baroi, Ajay K. Dalai, “Process sustainability of biodiesel production process from Green Seed Canola oil using homogeneous and heterogeneous acid catalysts”, Fuel Processing Technology, 133, 105-119, (2015)

Chinmoy Baroi, Ajay K. Dalai, “Review on Biodiesel Production from Various Feedstocks Using 12-Tungstophosphoric Acid (TPA) as a Solid Acid Catalyst Precursor”, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 53, 18611 – 18624, (2014)

Teaching Interests:

I strongly believe knowledge is far more valuable when shared. One of my passions is teaching. In my view, a great teacher is like a great artist who uses basic tools to transform raw materials into valuable assets of society. My teaching experience in the university (during M.Sc. and Ph.D.) as a teaching assistant has not only helped me to develop my teaching skills, but also have encouraged me to pursue my teaching as a part-time course instructor at the “Saskatchewan Polytechnique (Canada)” consecutively for three years with a very good reputation. After completing my Ph.D., I taught “Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics” as a course instructor for a semester at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. In addition, I have mentored two Ph.D. students, two master students, four undergraduate students in conducting Ph.D. and master thesis research, novel and green process design, simulation and techno-economic analysis projects using Aspen HYSYS and Aspen Plus. Now that I am equipped with the knowledge of fundamentals of Chemical Engineering as well as research experience at the catalysis, reaction engineering, process simulation in the green process and natural gas processing areas.

I am flexible and open-minded in teaching courses. I would like to teach chemical engineering process design projects, chemical engineering laboratories, catalysis, chemical engineering thermodynamics, heat transfer, mass transfer, fluid mechanics, unit operations, and reaction engineering courses for both undergraduate and graduate students.