Raghunath Vitthal Chaudhari

School of Engineering - Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor
Primary office:
Learned Hall
Room 4141C
University of Kansas
1530 West 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045


Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Bombay University, Chemical Engineering Division of National Chemical Laboratory

B.Sc., Chemistry, Bombay University


I have been involved in basic and applied research in the areas of Homogeneous & Heterogeneous Catalysis, C-1 Chemistry, biomass conversion and Chemical Reaction Engineering, the most significant ones being in Kinetic Modeling, Multiphase Reactor Engineering and Catalysis for reactions such as Carbonylation, Hydroformylation, Oxidative Carbonylation, Hydrogenation and Oxidation. I have been responsible for establishing a school in Homogeneous Catalysis Research at NCL, which has provided a base for developing new generation technologies via Carbonylation and hydroformylation. This expertise has also led to major contract research projects at NCL under my leadership from multinational as well as Indian industries. I have supervised 35 Ph. D. students, who worked in Chemical Reaction Engineering and Catalysis.

I have been involved in development of several innovative processes on a laboratory and pilot plant scales. Completed contract research projects sponsored by DuPont, USA, GE, USA, ICI Polyurethanes, Huntsman Polyurethanes, Belgium, Invista, UK and projects financed by EEC, IFCPAR, KFA (Germany) and Volkswagen Foundation (Germany). Collaborated with Rhone Poulenc, France; ENSIGC, Toulouse; LGPC, Lyon; University of Venice, Italy; University of Erlangen, Germany etc. Worked as Consultant on R & D & Process Improvement for several companies.

Developed research programmes on biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals with a focus on fundamental research in catalysis and multiphase reactor engineering. Specific projects on hydrogenolysis of polyols, syngas conversion to alcohols, coupling of linear alcohols and bio-oils upgrading are in progress. An important achievement is the development of a process for hydrogenolysis using insitu generated hydrogen.

An industrial project funded by ADM is also in progress. A major project funded by DOE/USDA (5.9 million dollars) is in progress in collaboration with ADM on: “Green Technologies for Product Diversification in an Integrated Biorefinery”.

A recently funded project by NSF-EPA (4.4 million dollars) is focused on fundamental research on Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing Processes involving a team of researchers in which I will contribute to fundamentals of catalysis, kinetics and mechanism and reaction engineering. The proposed processes are technologically relevant with a goal to eliminate use of toxic and hazardous raw materials for large scale commodity products. Some of the key achievements are summarized below:

1. Development of a new concept of hydrogenolysis of biomass feedstocks using insitu formed hydrogen: The contribution relates to catalyst design, kinetic studies and economics of hydrogen usage.

2. Sustainable development of catalysts for biomass to chemicals: Developed catalysts which showed for the first time that atom efficient conversion of polyols to useful industrial products is possible at low temperatures and high selectivity.

3. A concept of lattice match engineering is illustrated to show that nano-Cu catalysts can give high activity and selectivity for conversion of polyols to lactic acid, an useful industrial product. This work done in collaboration with Professor Shenqiang Ren revealed that a particular surface configuration of nano metal catalysts has unique properties as catalysts to give high activity and selectivity.

4. Developed methodology for investigation of kinetics of multistep catalytic reactions involved in hydrogenolysis of biomass based feedstocks.

5. A novel nano-filterable hydroformylation catalyst developed for effective catalyst-product separation for an industrial process.

Research Interests

  • Chemical Reaction Engineering
  • Multiphase Reactors
  • Kinetic Modeling
  • Homogeneous & Heterogeneous Catalysis
  • Heterogenization of Homogeneous Catalysts
  • Biomass Conversion to Chemicals & Fuels

Selected Publications

Jin, X., Zheng, C., Yan, W., Boba, P., Shi, H., Thapa, P. S, Subramaniam, B., & Chaudhari, R. V (2017). Effects of Anisotropic Growth Induced Lattice Distortion and Electron Charge Coupling in Exceptional Enhancement in the Activity of Bimetallic PtMn Nanocatalysts . Applied Catalysis-A General, 534, 46.

Jin, X., Zhao, M., Vora, M., Shen, J., Yan, W. S, Thapa, P. S, Subramaniam, B., & Chaudhari, R. V (2016). Oxidation of Glucose to Glucaric Acid Using Bimetallic PtPd/TiO2 Nanocatalysts: Substrate Inhibition and Structure Dependent Activity and Selectivity . Ind. Eng. Chem. Research , 55(11), 2932-2945.

Jin, X., Zhao, M., Zheng, C., Yan, W., Song, Z., Thapa, P. S, Subramaniam, B., & Chaudhari, R. V (2016). Oxidation of Glycerol to Dicarboxylic Acids Using Cobalt Catalysts . ACS Catalysis (2016) 6, 4576−4583, 6, 4576-4583.

Jin, X., Thapa, P. S, Subramaniam, B., & Chaudhari, R. (2016). Kinetic Modeling of Hydrogenolysis of Sorbitol Using Bimetallic RuRe/C Catalyst . ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, Special Issue on: Building on 25 Years of Green Chemistry and Engineering for a Sustainable Future, 4, 6037-6047.

Jin, X., Zhao, M., Shen, J., Yan, W., He, L., Thapa, P., Ren, S., Subramaniam, B., & Chaudhari, R. V (2015). Exceptional Performance of Bimetallic Pt1Cu3/TiO2 Nanocatalysts for Oxidation of Gluconic Acid and Glucose with O2 to Glucaric Acid . J of Catalysis, 330 , 323–329.

Wan, H., Vitter, A., Chaudhari, R. V., & Subramaniam, B. (2014). Kinetic investigations of unusual solvent effects during Ru/C catalyzed hydrogenation of model oxygenates. Journal of Catalysis, 309, 174–184.

Selected Presentations

Chaudhari, R. (03/13/2016). Design of bimetallic nano-catalysts for biomass conversion to chemicals. 251st ACS National Meeting . San Diego

Selected Awards & Honors

Member Organizing Ciommittee of "International Conference on Oil, Gas and Petrochemistry" to be held in December 5-7, 2016 at UAE
Petrochemistry 2016, http://petrochemistry.madridge.com/themes.php
2016 - Present

Member International Scientific Committee of Congress on "Green Process Engineering" to be held at Quebec, Canada
Engineering Conferences International (ECI), 32 Broadway, Suite 314, New York, NY 10004
2016 - Present

Chaired a session on "Development of Sustainable Chemical Processes" at ACS 2016 meeting at San Diego


  • B. Sc., Bombay University, India, 1968
  • Ph.D., Bombay University, India, 1974

Research Interests

Multiphase Catalysis & Reaction Engineering, Homogeneous & Heterogeneous Catalysis, Kinetic Modeling and Immobilization of metal complexes.

Work Experience

  • Deputy Director & Head, Homogeneous Catalysis Division, National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune,India, 1995-2006 
  • Deputy Director, Chemical Engineering Division, NCL, Pune, India, 1990-1995 
  • Visiting Scientist at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan,(Invited by JSPS), 1999 
  • Scientist, Chemical Engineering Division, NCL, Pune, India, 1976-1995 
  • Visiting Professor (Directeur de Researche) at Rhone-Poulenc-CNRS Laboratory, Decines, France, (1990-1991) 
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Chemical Engineering Department, University of Edinburgh, Scotland,UK (1974-1975)

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Upcoming Events and Deadlines

Upcoming Events

April 6th​: Cory Berkland Inaugural Lecture Event | 5:30 | Jayhawk Room, Kansas Union (RSVP LINK)

April 11th: Graduate Seminar with Damon Talbott from KU office of Graduate Studies (FLYER)

April 18th: Graduate Seminar with George Hirasaki from Rice University

April 25th: Graduate Seminar with Rick Stroman from the US Naval Research Lab (FLYER)

April 28th: Open tour of the Shiflett Lab | 2-4PM | 2444 LEEP2 (LINK)


May 2nd​: Graduate Seminar with Michael J. Aziz from Harvard University (FLYER)

May 13th: School of Engineering Recognition Ceremony 8AM in Allen Fieldhouse and

Doctoral Hooding Ceremony | 7:30PM | Lied Center

{Looking for Graduate Workshops? Check out THIS link!}