Welcome to CCL!

Group Picture, April 2013

The Combustion and Catalysis Lab is directed by Professor Marco J. Castaldi. The main focus is the thermal and catalytic conversion of carbon based material to desired products. For example, municipal solid waste and biomass to synthetic fuels, liquid fuels to hydrogen and greenhouse gases (carbon-based) to fuels.

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Aidan Datene presents work from CCL

Aidan Datene is a junior at the Hendrick Hudson High School. Over the past year, he has been working in the CCL on a unique WtE ash utilization project. A description of his work is given here. The work was in collaboration with the high school science research program.

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Congratulations to Jeffrey LeBlanc

Jeffrey LeBlanc finished his 2nd doctoral qualifying exam at the City College of New York. He is now working on his dissertation topic focused on coke production from coal.

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Dr. Kohn receives Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dr. McKenzie P. Kohn received a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship from the United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF) to do research at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. The fellowship will begin this September for 20 months. Fulbright fellowships are highly competitive, merit-based grants for international education exchange of scholars founded by Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946. During the fellowship, she will conduct research on solar powered water and carbon dioxide electrolysis to produce syngas, a
precursor to synthetic fuel.
For more information, see the Fulbright website,



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Stephen Crowley wins first NICChE poster session!

CCNY PhD students, Steve Crowley, Archit Dani, Kunal Savaji, Lake Kubilius, and Swanand Tupsakhare presented at the first New York Intercollegiate Conference for Chemical Engineers (NICChE) at Columbia Univesity on March 14th. Steve Crowley placed first in the poster competition and won a $300 Amazon gift card!

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CCL participates in H2CU program

A student from Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italy joined the CCL research team in January 2014. Giacomo Rossetti will be completing experiments for his thesis work at CCL in New York City. Giacomo visit is supported by H2CU.

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CCL host two visiting researchers on Conacyt fellowship

Two Ph.D students from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León joined the CCL research team in December 2014. Ladislao Sandoval will be occupying a position at CCNY for 1 year and Carolina Solis for 6 months. Each student has their own respective project dealing with catalysis. More information on their research can be found on their CCL personal webpages.

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CCL Hosts Visiting Research Assistant from Brazil

Flavia Albuquerque joined the CCL group within EEC|CCNY in October 2013, through the WTERT-Brazil connection, as a visiting research assistant and is currently working on a project aimed to understand the impact of different types of fuel on pollutant emissions from cement industry.
Due to high temperatures required in cement kilns, cement industries demand high energy consumption. Most of the energy is still supplied by fossil fuels (mainly coal and petroleum coke), contributing significantly to the production costs, which could be reduced by using alternative fuels with adequate calorific values. In this scenario, refuse derived fuel (RDF) is being widely studied as an alternative fuel and can have a major role in diverting waste currently going to landfill.
Based on the most common fuels in this industry, especially the ones used by those concerned with the environment, a comparison of the pollutants concentrations evolved from the combustion process will be presented, as well as a sensitivity analysis of the influence of the temperatures on emissions and an overall analysis of the kiln and calciner indicating the profile of emissions throughout each unit.
Through experiments with RDF, real data from operating cement plants, Aspen Plus simulation and kinetic modeling based on the GRI mechanism – which was upgraded to consider sulfur and chlorine reactions – this research will provide helpful data in the decision making process in terms of fuel selection for the cement industry.

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