Department of Chemical Engineering
IIT Madras






Research Areas

The research focus has always been to improve the performance of a particular Chemical Engineering Equipment or to develop new Equipment for high performance after understanding the basic hydrodynamics, transfer processes and kinetics of the system.

The Major field of research is application of Fluidization to solve Environmental Engineering problems covering Gas-Solid, Liquid-Solid and Gas-Liquid-Solid systems. In Gas-Solid fluidization, as M.S. Thesis was completed on the studies of SO2 removal from flue gases using Calcium Oxide as solid reactant. The aim of the study was to get the kinetic information in terms of controlling steps like inter and intraphase diffusion ad chemical kinetics.

The removal of color from Wastewater effluents has been one of the challenging problems. One of the most efficient techniques for this purpose is fluidization in which fine solid (adsorbents) particles provide large external and internal surface area. A multistage liquid-solid fluidized bed was designed and fabricated to study the effect of various geometric and process parameters on the removal of color from Wastewater.

The flue gases from the thermal power plants contain dust, SO2 and NOx gases. The dust and pollutant gases can be simultaneously removed in a single equipment called ?Turbulent Bed Contractor? (TBC). Basic studies have been conducted to obtain information on hydrodynamic parameters such as flooding, phase holdups, pressure drop and bed height. At present, the focus is on the studies of dust removal in TBC operating in Type II mode which gives more liquid holdup.

While TBC is operated in gas continuous regime, Inverse Fluidized Bed (IFB), another 3-phase fluidized contacting, uses liquid as continuous regime. This relatively new type of contactor for Chemical Engineering applications has not been well understood for typical processes such as biological Wastewater Treatment. The aid of investigations in IFB is to understand the flow behavior of phases and their fraction?s occupying the column.

At the end of the above studies, the philosophical question to be answered is ?Can we develop a unified theory for 3-phase co-and counter current fluidized beds??

Research Topics

Biological Waste Water Treatment in Inverse Fluidized Bed
Dust Removal from Flue Gases using Turbulent Bed Contactor
Color Removal from Waste Water through Adsorption in Fluidized Bed.

Sponsored Projects

Flow Mapping of TBC MHRD ( 3 years) 5.0 (lakhs) Dr. P.S.T. Sai (Co-ordinator).

Countries visited Abroad

Country Period From To Purpose
University of Karlsruhe May 1985 July 1986 Research
University of Karlsruhe July 1991 Sept. 1991 Research
Institute Sultan Iskandar Dec. 7, 1993 Dec. 9, 1993 To give lectures in Workshop
University of Tekn. Malaysia
Johor Bahru, Malaysia