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Academic Biography

Dr. Venkatesan Venkata Krishnan (Venkat) got his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, in the US, in 1996, after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in the same subject from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D), INDIA, in 1988. Subsequently he worked as Postdoctoral Fellow/ Associate at the Universities of Southern California and Pennsylvania, and at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (New Jersey).

Venkat left for India in 2004, working at IIT Delhi as Assistant Professor, followed by a stint as Principal Engineer at Bloom Energy India (subsidiary of Bloom Energy Corp, Sunnyvale, CA) in Mumbai, and at Non-Ferrous Materials Technology Development Centre in Hyderabad, before finally moving to Teesside University in February 2016.

Venkat’s experience has straddled the academic domain, industrial R&D and product development, in areas of Chemical Engineering viz., Catalysis and Reaction Engineering, in Solid State Electrochemistry (primarily Solid Oxide Fuel Cells), in Process Design and in Ceramics processing. He has 2 US Patents in the area of heterogeneous catalysis and 3, in the area of hydrocarbon separations, from his work at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering.

He has considerable experience in teaching Chemical Engineering Modules, both from his stint as an academic at IIT Delhi (2004-10), and at Teesside University, since Feb 2016. He also supervised the doctoral dissertation of 3 PhD students (one student in full, and two in part), with funded research in catalysis and fuel cells, while at IIT Delhi. He is also currently supervising the PhD work of an NSIRC funded student in the broad area of Chromium Chemistry related to welding fumes, in collaboration with TWI, Cambridge.

Venkat is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, since 2019.

Summary of Research Interests

Venkat’s interests are broadly towards developing high efficiency energy conversion devices, and towards renewable hydrogen production. Within this framework, there are excellent opportunities for CO2 utilization and mitigation that he hopes to bring in, into his research projects. Some of his key areas are as follows -

  • High Temperature Electrochemistry – towards Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) and Solid Oxide Electrolyzers (SOECs) –

i. Studies of degradation mechanisms in SOECs (steam and/or CO2-flue gases), and enhancing stability

ii. High throughput Manufacturing, viz., Plasma Spray Techniques, for Metal Supported SOFCs/ SOECs (MSCs) – to enable lower cost of manufacturing with continued high level performance

  • Heterogeneous Catalysis

a. Developing Catalytic Membrane Reactor Technologies for Hydrogen production, with local SME engagement - £1.75 Million ERDF funded project (2018-23)

b. Investigations on Selective Hydrogenation and Hydro-deoxygenation of furfural towards aviation fuel grade products, using bi-functional catalysts (Funded by THYME, £50,000, 2021-22)

  • Mathematical Modelling – Interpreting Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Data on Fuel Cells and Batteries.

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Venkat has worked in the past with industry-led projects, such as – Decomposition of water using the sulfur-iodine cycle, with Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), in India, wherein his team at IIT Delhi setup a laboratory for investigating the decomposition of HI to I2 and H2, a key element of the 3-reaction scheme for water decomposition.

Furthermore, with his work on product development in the industry (with ExxonMobil and Bloom Energy) he has a strong feel for industrial needs and is interested in working with industrial groups to enhance their productivity and effect key improvements in their processes and catalysts.

Over the past few years, he has also been a co-founder and mentor for a Silicon Valley based company called Planet Hydrogen, whose interest is to commercialize hydrogen using high temperature electrolysis at scale.

In Teesside, Venkat continues to interface with local SMEs like Micropore, X-Heat, Green Lizard Technologies, and EnAcumen, in a bid to enhance their technologies towards the hydrogen economy.

Patents:

  • 'A method and apparatus for Manufacturing of solid oxide fuel cell’; – Krishnamurty Balasubramanian, Nirmal Panda, Venkatesan Venkata Krishnan, M. Govindaraju and Nitin Kanoongo; PCT Application filed on June 19th, 2014 [Number PCT/IB2014/001113)]; Full Filing for Indian Patent completed, June 19th, 2014 [Indian Patent Application number 2660/CHE/2013]
  • ‘Separation of Methanol, Ethanol and/or Dimethyl Ether from Hydrocarbon mixtures’, US Patent # 6,984,765 B2 (01/10/2005); Sebastian C. Reyes, Venkatesan V. Krishnan, Gregory J. DeMartin, John H. Sinfelt, Karl G. Strohmaier, Jose Guadalupe Santiesteban.
  • ‘Separation of Propylene and Dimethylether from Hydrocarbon mixtures’, US Patent # 6,733,572 (05/11/2004); Sebastian C. Reyes, Venkatesan V. Krishnan, Gregory J. DeMartin, John H. Sinfelt, Karl G. Strohmaier, Jose Guadalupe Santiesteban.
  • ‘Separation of Propylene from Hydrocarbon mixtures’, US Patent # 6,730,142 B2, (05/04/2004); Sebastian C. Reyes, Venkatesan V. Krishnan, Gregory J. DeMartin, John H. Sinfelt, Karl G. Strohmaier, Jose G. Santiesteban.
  • ‘Method for making Bulk Catalyst’, US Patent # 6,143,688, (11/07/2000); Mark E. Thompson, Venkatesan V. Krishnan and Alexandre G. Dokoutchaev.
  • ‘Method for Catalytic Production of Hydrogen Peroxide and Catalyst therefore’, US Patent # 5,976,486, (11/02/1999); Mark E. Thompson, Venkatesan V. Krishnan, Alexandre G. Dokoutchaev, Feras Abdel-Razzaq and Shannon C. Rice.

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Venkat has taught and continues to teach engineering modules relating to Heat Transfer, Elements of Mass Transfer and Particle Technology/ Mechanics, Hetereogeneous Catalysis and Electrochemical Principles. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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