Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources


To create a transformative engineered system to convert light hydrocarbons from shale resources to chemicals and transportation fuels in smaller, modular, local, and highly networked processing plants.

Baseline Cistar Process

Baseline CISTAR Process. Source: T. Ridha et al., “Valorization of Shale Gas Condensate to Liquid Hydrocarbons through Catalytic Dehydrogenation and Oligomerization”, Processes, vol. 6, no. 9, p. 139, 2018.

Thrust 4: Process Synthesis and Design, and Economic and Environmental Systems Analyses

We are excited to contribute to the dynamic Thrust 4 CISTAR team. Our collaborators include:

CISTAR Thrust 4 Team

Oligomerization Reactor Modeling and Optimization

In recent years, microkinetic modeling has grown in popularity as a means to elucidate surface catalytic reactions. The molecular-level detail embedded in these mechanisms suggests microkinetic models can facilitate reaction engineering, equipment design, and process intensification. However, despite their great promise, microkinetic models of catalytic processes have yet to play a major role in industrial reactor modeling and scale-up. This absence of impact is, in part, due to the inherent difficulty of developing kinetic schemes, determining model parameters, validating resulting kinetic models, and integrating the key features into high-order reactor models.

In this work, we explore the importance of microkinetic model reduction in providing bottom-up and top-down systems analysis for novel shale gas processing technologies. We seek to establish strong feedback loops between catalysis, separations, and systems engineering researchers by extracting kinetic insights and setting reactor-scale selectivity, conversion, and operating condition targets. We then want to explore application of the model reduction strategy to oligomerization reactor design as part of a modular gas-to-liquids system. We are developing multi-scale optimization frameworks for detailed reactor optimization and intensification that leverages microkinetic modeling, process synthesis, and systems analysis with CISTAR collaborators to systematically help guide catalyst research and development.


Related Presentations

Kanishka Ghosh* and Alexander W. Dowling. Beyond R2: Cautionary Tales Using Reduced-Order Kinetic Models for Reactor Optimization, AIChE Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November 10, 2021. [link]

Kanishka Ghosh* and Alexander W. Dowling. Reduced-Order Kinetic Models and Reactor Optimization for Modular Shale Gas Utilization. AIChE Annual Meeting, November 18, 2020. [link]

Kanishka Ghosh* and Alexander W. Dowling. Reduced-order Kinetic Models and Reactor Optimization for Oligomerization in CISTAR. AIChE MRC, Chicago, IL, March 11, 2020. Oral Presentation. [link]

Kanishka Ghosh* and Alexander W. Dowling. Microkinetic Model Reduction for Ethylene Oligomerization Reactor Optimization and Design.  AIChE Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, November 12,  2019. Poster. [link]

Kanishka Ghosh* and Alexander W. Dowling. Microkinetic Model Reduction in Reactor Optimization for Oligomerization Reaction using CISTAR Technology. FOCAPD, Copper Mountain Resort, CO, July 14, 2019. Poster.

Support from NSF award Engineering Research Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources – CISTAR EEC-1647722 and University of Notre Dame Office of Research.

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Prof. Rakesh Agarwal, Purdue University

Prof. David Allen, University of Texas at Austin

Prof. Mark Stadtherr, University of Texas at Austin

Prof. Linda Broadbelt, Northwestern University