Research Activity

Transport Phenomena & Rheology

Several Faculty members are engaged in experimental, computational and physical aspects of convective heat transfer and fluid dynamics relevant to a wide range of engineering applications of such phenomena. Examples of specific topics addressed by the group are: convective heat transfer, numerical methods in heat transfer and fluid flow, heat transfer in complex geometries, development of rheological equations of state for non-Newtonian liquids, problems involved in heat and mass transfer in Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, turbulent flow and heat transfer, two phase flow, membrane processes, and separation technologies.

 

Water Treatment and Pollution Control

Water is a valuable resource in the central plateau of Iran and the continuing industrial and agricultural developments in the region is an ever growing challenge for the researchers concerned with the conservation and protection of water resources. Increasing the efficiency and improvement of the industrial water producing facilities in the major process plants of the region, monitoring and modelling dispersion of hazardous chemical wastes in Zayandeh-Rood and the development of processes for manufacturing the major water treatment chemicals utilized by the region's industries are among the goals of this research group.

 

Nanofluid Research Group

Conventional heat transfer fluids play an important role in a number of industries such as power generation, chemical processes, etc, but these fluids are inadequate for high heat flux applications due to restrictions of their thermal properties. Development of high performance heat transfer fluids has been a subject of numerous investigations in the past few decades. One way of improving the thermal performance of fluids is to suspend small particles in them. Early studies used suspensions of milli- or micrometer sized particles which faced problems such as abrasion and channel clogging. In recent years, modern technologies have permitted the manufacturing of particles of nanometer scale. Fluids with nanoparticles suspended are called nanofluids and have shown potential to resolve some disadvantages associated with the suspensions of large particles.

The aim of this research group is to identify and understand thermal behavior and flow features of nanofluids.

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Supercritical Fluid Technology: Principles and Applications

 Over the past two decades supercritical fluid processing has shown great promise in addressing many of the technical challenges faced by scientists and engineers. The principles and practice of supercritical fluid technology and their diverse applications in nanotechnology, separation, reaction, extraction, and purification are the research subjects of this group. As nanoparticle design is presently a major development in supercritical fluids applications, mainly in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetics and specialty chemical industries, the following two techniques are currently used to manufacture nanoparticles (nanocatalysts), nanocapsules, liposomes or other dispersed materials like microfibers. RESS (Rapid Expansion from Supercritical Solution) and SAS (Supercritical Anti-Solvent) process. Interconnecting the fundamentals of supercritical fluid technology to controll drug delivery in medical applications is another important research activity of this group. In addition, Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) is the process of separating one component from another (the matrix) using supercritical fluids as the extracting solvents. In the field of extraction processes, using supercritical fluids such as CO2 overcomes many drawbacks linked to the use of liquid organic solvents such as liquid hexane. In this context, supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, as an efficient extraction method, has attracted much attention during the last two decades due to its advantages including being non-explosive, non-toxic, and available in high purity with low cost and non-solvent residues. Besides, the extraction by supercritical CO2 omits the unit operations such as distillation in comparison with classical processes using hexane. Another field is focused on the studies associated with using supercritical carbon dioxide to extract a wide variety of contaminants from environmental matrices. This includes the remediation of soils contaminated with polyaromatic hydrocarbons, extraction of metals from water via chelation in supercritical carbon dioxide, supercritical regeneration of activated carbon adsorbents and extraction of trace contaminants from aqueous waste solutions.

The research subjects of this group include:

(1) Experimental Techniques in High-Pressure Studies

(2) Process Operations

(3) Industrial Applications

(4) Supercritical Fluid Process Development Studies

(5) Polymer and Monomer Processing

(6) Processing Pharmaceuticals, Natural Products, Specialty Chemicals, and Waste Streams

(7) Chemical Reactions in Supercritical Fluids

(8) Nanoparticles (i.e., nanocatalysts) Size Design via RESS and GAS/SAS/ASES/SEDS/PGSS

(9) Reactions in Supercritical Media Leading to Nanoparticle Formation

 

Corrosion and Electrochemical Engineering

 Many aspects of corrosion and electrochemical engineering are addressed by this group. The development and characterization of organic and inorganic inhibitors, evaluation of corrosion behavior of coatings on metals, cathodic protection of steel in soils and concrete, corrosion in water and petroleum, corrosion of steel in polymer impregnated concrete and investigating the stability of passive films by DC and AC techniques are among the subjects being investigated.

The group is undertaking kinetic studies in corrosion by applying the AC-Impedance technique. Different electrochemical methods are to be applied in the production of organic and inorganic substances. Furthermore, electrochemical models are to be developed for enhancing the separation of impurities in solutions.

Distillation & Separation Processes

 A diverse set of separation processes are under investigation by members of this group examples of which are: simulation as well as experimental studies in tray type and packed distillation columns, separations based on the use of surface active agents, novel techniques on the basis of fundamental surface studies e.g. the apron flotation, electrodialysis and other membrane based separation techniques.

Polymer Technology

 

The activities of this group are focused on polymerization, polymer processing, polymer degradation and radiation chemistry, composites, nanocomposites and biopolymer and biocomposites. The effect of different additives on polymer structures is investigated by applying different techniques. In the area of radiation chemistry, an x-ray source is used for chemical modification of polymers. Investigating the degradability of polyolefins for producing life-controlled polymers is an integral part of the program pursued by this group.

 In addition to research activities cited, the faculty members are involved in diverse research activities on fluid mechanics, coupled transport processes, chemical reaction engineering, process simulation and process control.

Biotechnology

 Industrial biotechnology is an interesting and growing branch in Chemical Engineering Department. Different research activities and projects are currently performed in this group including: Bioenergy, Bioethanol, Biogas, Sustainable Resources, Environmental Biotechnology, Enzyme purification, and Bioprocesses.

Biotechnology is one of three major fields of undergraduate study in this Department for students to gain the required and useful skills for advanced studies and investigations. These students take 10 credits of elective courses and 2 specialized Labs.

Educational laboratories 

The following laboratories are functional for learning and  educational purposes. Each lab has pilot plants and/or equipment described below.

· Unit Operations lab

· Heat Transfer lab

· Process Control lab

· Fluid Mechanics lab

· Petroleum Lab

· Physical and chemical properties of polymers

· Polymer Lab

· Microbiology lab

 
 

Research laboratories 

The department has also few research laboratories for graduate students:

 

· Biotechnology lab

· Supercritical fluid lab

· Chemical engineering reaction lab

· Fluid Dynamic lab

· Thermodynamic lab

· Separation lab

· Polymer technology lab

· Material analysis lab

· Nanofluids and nanomaterials lab

· Nanocatalysts lab