476145 Leveraging Systems-Based Assessment to Understand Research and Development Needs for Emerging Energy Processes

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Continental 4 & 5 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Asad H. Sahir, National Bioenergy Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

The evaluation of an emerging energy process is often driven by the development of models which utilize process science and engineering fundamentals. The objective of process models is to facilitate an understanding of research and development opportunities, and to prepare a framework for analyzing experimental information. The evaluation scenarios are often characterized by limited data availability owing to their exploratory nature, and leveraging synergies from analogous processes is often valuable in formulating the first steps. In research and development organizations these activities are often categorized as research guidance, process evaluation and planning, or as exploratory research.

Research Interests:

Conceptual process design in combination with techno-economic and infrastructure integration analysis is a robust methodology which helps in understanding critical initiatives for fostering research and development. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Bioenergy Center, I have worked on the development of process models catering to various bioenergy processes of interest enabled by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office. These include co-conversion of natural gas and biomass to fuels, catalytic fast pyrolysis of biomass, co-processing of petroleum refinery intermediates and bio-based feedstocks in hydroprocessing, and blending of petroleum and bio-based intermediates. These efforts are significantly important as the bioenergy industry is focusing on the near-term development of conversion pathways from biomass feedstocks to infrastructure-compatible fuel blendstocks. One of the inspirations to contribute towards on-going infrastructure integration analysis efforts emerged from my industrial research and development experience in India (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited).

My doctoral research at the University of Utah was focused on the development of conceptual process design principles for a 200 kWth process development unit for Chemical-looping with Uncoupling (CLOU). CLOU is a high temperature gas-solid fluidized bed process for solid fuel combustion to facilitate carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS). The results of my research served as one of the foundational steps in facilitating an understanding of CLOU process fundamentals. The research was funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (under Award No. DE-NT0005015).

Teaching Interests:

In addition to my interests in research in energy and sustainable transportation (bioenergy, petroleum and solid fuels), I am highly interested in chemical engineering education. During my post-doctoral research at NREL, I have mentored students, and was awarded an Outstanding Mentor Award by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program in 2014. During my doctoral degree, I had served as a Teaching Assistant Scholar towards developing a framework for undergraduate students titled “Inspirations for Innovation” – (http://ctle.utah.edu/tas/projects/asad-sahir.php) with a perspective on product and process design, and have mentored undergraduate students for research. I have also organized workshops at the University of Utah namely “Exploring the Human Dimension as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in the STEM Classroom” in 2013 and “International Graduate Learning, Teaching and Research (IGLTR) Workshop” in 2012.

This poster is a showcase of my research and academic interests which are driven by formulating an understanding the initial knowledge deficiencies associated with the design of an emerging energy process, and subsequently developing bridges through process modeling and chemical engineering principles. As a prospective faculty candidate, I intend to leverage my unique research experience at a national laboratory, industry and during my doctoral degree to help students appreciate core chemical engineering principles, and subsequently inspire and enable them to chart out a course in energy innovation for their community.

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