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University of Connecticut School of Engineering Process Design Simulation & Optimization Laboratory

Georgios (George) M. Bollas Research Group

The Process Design Simulation and Optimization Laboratory (PDSOL) is performing research on processes that address the growing energy crisis and the environmental impact of energy production. Our research approach integrates experimentation and model-assisted experimental design, process scaling and control. Our current research portfolio includes model-based comparisons of processes for chemical-looping combustion with an emphasis on the scale-up of existing pilot plants to power plant capacities; experimental and theoretical studies of biomass pyrolysis, gasification, and catalyst deactivation during biomass catalytic processing; and identification of unit-independent catalyst selectivity rankings by modeling bench-scale fixed and fluidized bed reactors and pilot risers for fluid catalytic cracking.

Group News

August 2012: Group welcomes Ameya Akkalkotkar
Ameya Akkalkotkar, a graduate of the Maharashtra Institute of Technology of the University of Mumbai, will work on the conversion of biomass tars into valuable gases using a one step catalytic process.
July 2012: Group receives NSF funding for research on tar conversion
A new NSF-sponsored project (Julia Valla PI) titled "Turning Tars into Energy: Zeolites with Hierarchical Pore Structure for the Catalytic Cracking of Tars" will start on August 15 2012. This project aims at conversion of waste tars compounds in synthesis gas derived from biomass gasification, into valuable gases using one step catalytic process (more).
July 2012: Cody Unger's work gets funding from NSF REU
Cody Unger will work on Aspen Plus flowsheets and experimental validation of novel concepts for the Processing of Waste CO2 to Solid Carbon and Liquid Fuels or Hydrogen.
Jun 2012: Shoucheng Du participates in Joule Fellows outreach program
Shoucheng Du will work with Ms. Diane Pintavalle, a teacher at the Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury-CT, on the comparison of char and coke from fast and slow catalytic and non-catalytic pyrolysis of pine sawdust and biomass model compounds (glucose and cellulose).
May 2012: Ari Fischer receives Dean Choi's Fellowship
Ari Fischer will work with Lu Han and Zhiquan Zhou over the summer on the optimal design of a high-pressure fixed-bed chemical-looping combustion reactor for synthesis gas. His work will be supported by a fellowship by School of Engineering's Dean, Mun Choi.
April 2012: 4 groups of undergraduate students present at ACS-CVS undergraduate conference
The results of Ari Fischer's undergraduate research study and the design projects of Cody Unger, Honorio Valdes, Tulsi Patel, Ryan Catania, Chelsey Oliveria, Amelia Edward, Ray Richardson, Nathan Willbanks, and Fabio Poretti will be presented at the ACS-CVS Undergraduate Research Symposium in Spriengfield, MA (link)
April 2012: Lu Han receives NSF GK-12 Fellowship
Lu will participate in the NSF-sponsored GK-12 program of the University of Connecticut. The GK-12 program aims to provide teaching resources (in the form of graduate students in the engineering sciences) to classrooms in the state of Connecticut Technical High School System. (more)
April 2012: Joshua Lansford joins group's NSF REU site
Joshua Lansford, third year chemical engineer at the University of Virginia, was accepted into the University of Connecticut's NSF-sponsored REU program. Josh will work with Monica Navarro on the development of independent reaction networks for zeolites and matrix for FCC catalysis (project co-sponsored by W.R. Grace & Co.) (more)
March 2012: Bollas gives invited talk at ACS 2012 Spring Meeting
Our work in collaboration with Julia Valla was presented as an invited talk at the 2012 ACS Spring Meeting in San Diego CA. (more)
March 2012: Bollas and Navarro present at ACS 2012 Spring Meeting
Our work on unit-independent Fluid Catalytic Cracking modeling and Reaction Networks for Chemical-Looping Combustion was presented at the 2012 ACS Spring Meeting in San Diego CA. (more)
Jan 2012: Group collaborates with Richard Parnas' group
The work carried out by Shoucheng Du and M.Sc. student Fabio Poretti will focus on the gasification of the brown grease residue after extraction of biodiesel via Parnas' thermal treatment (more).  
Nov 2011: Bollas gives plenary talk on H2 production options
George Bollas was invited to discuss current options and future challenges in the production of H2 and the corresponding CO2 footprint. (more, abstracts, coverage)
Sep 2011: Group welcomes Lu Han
Lu Han, a graduate of the University of Connecticut will work on the optimal design and scale-up of chemical-looping processes.
Jul 2011: Shoucheng Du participates in Joule Fellows outreach program 
Shoucheng Du will work with Mr. Darpan Patel, a teacher at the Big Picture High School, Bloomfield-CT, on thermogravimetric gasification experiments for the characterization of char and coke after biomass catalytic pyrolysis.
Feb 2011: Group collaborates with Connecticut Center for Advanced Technologies
The objective of this work is to study advanced Coal-Biomass-to-Liquid (CBTL) systems configurations and efficiency analysis: Systems optimization with emphasis on incorporation of advanced fuel cells and intermediate temperature carbon and sulfur capture technologies. (more)
Jan 2011: Group welcomes Julia Valla
Julia Valla a former employee of Rive Technology Inc. joined the University of Connecticut as a Research Assistant Professor. (more)
Dec 2010: Bollas wins UConn Intermediate Equipment Competition
This grant will support the constriction of a spouted-bed conical catalytic reactor for biomass pyrolysis.
Nov 2010: Bollas wins NSF CAREER Award
George Bollas wins prestigious NSF CAREER Award. The research objective of this grant is to simulate and design chemical-looping combustion and reforming processes. (NSF link, coverage)
Nov 2010: Group welcomes Monica Navarro
Monica will work with W.R. Grace on the optimization of FCC selectivity through detailed modeling of catalyst evaluation experiments and the contributions of catalyst components.
Oct 2010: Group collaborates with W.R. Grace & Co.
The objective of the collaborative research project is to study the optimization of FCC selectivity through detailed modeling of catalyst evaluation experiments and the contributions of catalyst components.
Sep 2010: Group welcomes Shoucheng Du and Zhiquan Zhu
Shoucheng Du will work on project focusing on enhancing deoxygenating and reducing catalyst deactivation in biomass catalytic pyrolysis. Zhiquan Zhu will work on  the simulation and design of chemical-looping combustion and reforming processes.
Jul 2010: Bollas elected chair of the Applied Chemical Technology Subdivision of the American Chemical Society 
George Bollas was elected the Chair of the ACT subdivision of the ACS for 2011 (I&EC link)

Contact Info

George M. Bollas
Address Office: UTEB-268,
191 Auditorium Road, Unit 3222,
Storrs, CT 06269-3222, USA
Lab Center for Clean Energy Engineering,
44 Weaver Rd., Unit 5233,
Storrs, CT 06269-5233, USA
Phone +1-860-486 4602
Web PDSOL (this page)