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Professor Jaew W. Lee awarded $1.2 million for Process Intensification Study
Start: 01/24/08
End: 01/31/10

STX Co. Ltd., a South Korean energy conglomerate, has awarded $1.2 million to Dr. Jae W. Lee, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering in The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY), for a five-year research assignment.

Professor Lee will investigate “Process Intensification by Integrating Reaction and Separation.” Process intensification is a sustainable engineering method for simplifying complex processes. It can generate dramatic economic savings and yield environmental benefits such as reductions in emissions and use of volatile organic compounds.

“We want to simplify a complex process with many tasks including mixing, separation and reaction,” Professor Lee said. “If we are able to combine the tasks into one unit, we can get a synergistic effect. But, to achieve synergies we first need to understand the thermodynamic and kinetic principles behind the tasks.”

Professor Lee plans to conduct computer simulations to develop hypotheses about how multiple separation and reaction tasks behave in combination. He will also conduct experiments with different equipment configurations to confirm the simulation results.

“The goal is to develop a fundamental algorithm that can identify synergies,” he said, adding, however, that combining multiple reactions and separations is “mathematically very difficult.”

Professor Lee, whose area of expertise is Reactive Separation and Gas Hydrate Separation and Storage, has taught at CCNY since Fall 2001. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Seoul National University in South Korea and earned his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2000.

Prior to joining the CCNY faculty, he was an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow from 2000 to 2001 at Aachen Technical University in Germany. In addition, he was a research engineer with S-Oil Refining Co. in South Korea from 1992 to 1997.

A member of the American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers, he has authored or co-authored more than 40 articles for engineering journals to date.
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