Sathish Ponnurangam

Assistant Professor

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Postdoctoral Fellow

Center for Particulate and Surfactant Systems, Columbia University, 2012-2015

PhD - Earth and Environmental Engineering

Columbia University, 2012

MSc - Chemical Engineering

Indian Institute of Science, 2002)

BTech - Chemical Engineering

University of Madras, 1999

Contact information

Location

CNRL Engineering Complex : ENB 204G

Research

Research areas

  • Sustainable recovery of minerals, oil and gas
  • Renewable reagents
  • Conversion of CO2 to fuels using alternative energy
  • New industrial wastewater treatment methods
  • Mineral processing
  • Catalysis and electrocatalysis
  • Quantum chemical and atomistic modeling of adsorption
  • Synthesis and characterization of inorganic and organic nanoparticles

Activities

Environmentally sustainable reagents and processes for mineral processing, oil and gas industries

Mineral processing and oil and gas operations utilize many toxic or hazardous reagents which may have adverse health effects in the workplace and pollute the environment after disposal in tailing ponds. We confront this problem by developing economically and environmentally sustainable renewable surfactants (e.g. collectors and regulators in flotation) as an alternative to the currently used toxic reagents. To accelerate the search for renewable surfactants, we use first-principles methods (density functional theory) combined with spectroscopic and a range of experimental methods (adsorption, wettability, calorimetric, titration/zeta potential, and surface tension studies, as well as flotation tests). In particular, we employ this interdisciplinary approach to model and understand (a) specific adsorption of renewable surfactants on minerals, as well as, (b) properties of renewable surfactants at liquid-liquid and air-liquid interfaces.

The expected major practical outcomes are a) cleaner ore processing technologies for mineral industry with less impact on the environment, b) guidelines for employing renewable surfactants in other industries such as oil and gas recovery.

CO2 capture and utilization

Significant cuts of CO2 emissions can be achieved by shifting to clean alternative energy (solar, wind, and tidal). However, this energy is irregular by nature, and hence requires storage. A preferable solution to this problem is to convert the renewable energy during its abundant availability to chemical energy by converting CO2 to fuels.

Our research focuses on developing electrocatalytic and thermocatalytic processes for this conversion. We aim to improve the selectivity, robustness and sustainability of heterogeneous CO2 reduction by employing earth-abundant metals and semiconductors as catalysts as well as through developing new non-toxic polymer promoters.

In this research, we use preparative electrolysis, electrochemical characterization, high temperature and pressure thermochemical experiments, surface characterization (surface area, thermogravimetry, surface composition and structure), as well as density functional theory (DFT) calculations.

The expected major practical outcomes are a) a viable energy storage solution that allows wide-scale deployment of renewable energy, (b) polymer-based new approaches to control product selectivity and robustness of electrocatalysts.


Publications

Publications

Ponnurangam, S., Chernyshova, I. A. & Yun, C. M. Robust Electroreduction of CO2 at a Poly(4-vinylpyridine)–Copper Electrode. ChemElectroChem, accepted (2015).

Hasty, J. K., Ponnurangam, S., Turn, S., Somasundaran, P., Kim, T. & Mahajan, D. Catalytic synthesis of mixed alcohols mediated with nano-MoS2 microemulsions. Fuel, Accepted, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2015.09.039 (2015).

Ponnurangam, S., O'Connell, G. D., Hung, C. T. & Somasundaran, P. Biocompatibility of polysebacic anhydride microparticles with chondrocytes in engineered cartilage. Colloids Surf B 136, 207-213, doi:10.1016/j.colsurfb.2015.08.040 (2015).

I. V. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, & P. Somasundaran, Electrocatalytic activity of pyridinium cation in electroreduction of CO2 and hydrogen evolution within the ‘flat-lying radical’ model, submitted (2015).

S. Ponnurangam, G. D. O’Connell, I. V. Chernyshova, K. Wood, C. T. Hung, P. Somasundaran, Beneficial Effects of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles in Development of Chondrocyte-Seeded Hydrogel Constructs and Cellular Response to Interleukin Insults, Tissue Engineering: Part A, 2014.  DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2013.0592  

Vilinska, A., S. Ponnurangam, I. V. Chernyshova, P. Somasundaran, D. Eroglu, J. Martinez, & A. West, Stabilization of Silicon Carbide (SiC) micro- and nanoparticle dispersions in the presence of concentrated electrolyte, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 423(0): 48-53, 2014.

I.V., Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, & P. Somasundaran, Linking interfacial chemistry of CO2 to surface structures of hydrated metal oxide nanoparticles: hematite. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 15, 6953-6964, 2013.

S. Ponnurangam, I. V. Chernyshova, and P. Somasundaran, Rational design of interfacial properties of metal (hydr)oxide nanoparticles by adsorption of fatty acids from aqueous solutions, Langmuir 28, (29), 10661-10671, 2012

S. Ponnurangam, et al., Effect of Coadsorption of Electrolyte Ions on the Stability of Inner-Sphere Complexes, J. Phys. Chem. C, 114 (39), 16517–16524, 2010.

I. V. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, P. Somasundaran, Tailoring (Bio)chemical Activity of Semiconducting Nanoparticles: Critical Role of Deposition and Aggregation. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 133 (24), 9536-9544, 2011.

I. V. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, P. Somasundaran, Effect of nanosize on catalytic properties of ferric (hydr)oxides in water: Mechanistic insights, J. of Catalysis, 282, 25-34, 2011.

I. V. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, P. Somasundaran, Adsorption of Fatty Acids on Iron (Hydr)oxides from Aqueous Solutions, Langmuir, 27 (16), 10007-18, 2011.

B. Rai, S. Ponnurangam, J. Tanwar, Pradip, K. S. Moon, & D. W. Fuerstenau, A molecular dynamics study of the interaction of oleate and dodecylammonium chloride surfactants with complex aluminosilicate minerals, J. Colloid Interface Sci., 362, (2), 510-516, 2011

I. V. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, P. Somasundaran, On the origin of an unusual dependence of (bio)chemical reactivity of ferric hydroxides on nanoparticle size, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 12 (42), 14045, 2010.

P. Somasundaran, X. Fang, S. Ponnurangam B. Li, Nanoparticles: Characteristics, Mechanisms and Modulation of Biotoxicity, Kona powder and particle journal, Issue: 28   Pages: 38-49, 2010

P. Somasundaran, P. Patra, I. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, and P. S. Purohit, Similarities and Dissimilarities in Florida Phosphate Ore Types, XXV International Mineral Processing Congress, Brisbane, Australia, 6 – 10 September 2010)

A. K. Gupta, P. K. Banerjee, A. Mishra, S. Ponnurangam, & Pradip, Effect of alcohol and polyglycol bubble size and ether frothers on foam stability, coal flotation, International Journal of Mineral Processing, 82, 3, 126, 2007

B. Rai, S. Ponnurangam, C. P. Malhotra, Pradip, & K. G. Ayappa, Molecular dynamic simulations of self-assembled alkylthiolate monolayers on an Au(111) surface, Langmuir, 20, 8, Pg: 3138-3144, 2004.

Pradip, B. Rai, and S. Ponnurangam, Rational design of dispersants for colloidal processing of barium titanate suspensions by molecular modeling, Ferroelectrics, 306, Pg: 195-208, 2004.

Pradip, B. Rai, and S. Ponnurangam, “Rational design of dispersants in colloidal processing for advanced ceramics application by molecular modelling”, Kona, 2004.
 

Book chapters

S. Ponnurangam, I. V. Chernyshova, and P. Somasundaran. ‘Interfacial processes at metal electrodes: Basics and recent advances as applied to CO2 reduction’ . In P. Somasundaran (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Surface and Colloid Science, 3rd Edition, Taylor&Francis, NY. In Press, to be published in May 2014.

I. V. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, and P. Somasundaran. ‘Electrochemical properties of metal nanoparticles: Size and shape effects’ . In P. Somasundaran (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Surface and Colloid Science, 3rd Edition, Taylor&Francis, NY. In Press, to be published in May 2014.
 

Patents

Ponnurangam, S., et. al., P. Polymers with N-heterocyclic functionalities as novel catalysts of CO2 conversion into chemicals, applied for USA patent (2015).

Pradip; B. Rai ; S. Ponnurangam, et al., Fluoride-containing hydraulic cement production by forming a mixture comprising fluoride source e.g. spent pot lining, calcium oxide source and silicon oxide, and preparing fluoride-containing clinker from mixture, Patent Number(s): US2008041277-A1; CA2596813-A1,

Pradip; B. Rai; S. Ponnurangam, et al., Selective separation of phosphate minerals from other minerals using alkylimino-bis-methylenephosphonic acid based depressants, Patent Number(s): IN200500133-I3; IN238197-B, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd

Pradip; B. Rai; S. Ponnurangam, et al., Selective separation of phosphate minerals from other minerals, using aminotris (methylenephosphonic acid), and diethylenetriamine pentakis (methylenephosphonic acid) as depressants, Patent Number(s): IN200500132-I3; IN227499-B, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd
 

Conference presentations

S. Ponnurangam, I.V. Chernyshova, & P. Somasundaran, “Challenges in identifying the chemical structures of adsorbed carbonate and carboxylates and ways to address them” American Chemical Society National Meeting, March 25 - 29, 2012, San Diego

I. V. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, & P. Somasundaran, “New insights into adsorption properties of metal (hydr)oxide nanoparticles: Electrochemical effects” American Chemical Society National Meeting, March 25 - 29, 2012, San Diego

S. Ponnurangam, I.V. Chernyshova, & P. Somasundaran, “Dependence of aggregation/deposition properties of metal oxide nanoparticles on their size in the presence of fatty acids.” American Chemical Society National Meeting, August 28, 2011, Denver

S. Ponnurangam, I.V. Chernyshova, G. D. O’Connell, C. T. Hung, & P. Somasundaran, “Acrylate copolymeric nanogels for tissue engineering of articular cartilage” American Chemical Society National Meeting, August 28, 2011, Denver

I. V. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, & P. Somasundaran, “Tailoring (bio)chemical activity of semiconducting metal (hydr)oxide nanoparticles: critical role of deposition and aggregation.” American Chemical Society National Meeting, August 28, 2011, Denver

S. Ponnurangam, I.V. Chernyshova, & P. Somasundaran, “Aggregation-deposition properties of metal oxide nanoparticles in the presence of fatty acids: Effect of nanoparticle size”, American Chemical Society Colloids Symposium, June 19-22, 2011, Montreal

I. V. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, & P. Somasundaran, “Tailoring (bio)chemical activity of ferric (hydr)oxide nanoparticles: Role of nanosize and crystallinity”, American Chemical Society Colloids Symposium, June 19-22, 2011, Montreal

S. Ponnurangam, I.V. Chernyshova, & P. Somasundaran, “Characterization of acid-base and redox properties of metal oxide nanoparticles in water using probe-molecule FTIR spectroscopy”, American Chemical Society National Meeting, August 22-26, 2010, Boston

I. V. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, & P. Somasundaran, Contributed to “Revision of oxidative catalytic reaction mechanism of hematite nanoparticles and related size-effects”, American Chemical Society National Meeting, August 22-26, 2010, Boston

I. V. Chernyshova, S. Ponnurangam, & P. Somasundaran, “How size and crystallinity of metal oxide nanoparticles affect their chemical activity in water? Acid-base properties and adsorption of oxy-anions and fatty acids”, American Institute of Chemical engineers, Nashville, November 8-13, 2009, Nashville

S. Ponnurangam, I.V. Chernyshova, & P. Somasundaran, “Effect of nanoparticle size on the adsorption of surfactants in relation to the problem of fines in flotation”, Society of Mining Engineers, February 2009, Denver

S. Ponnurangam, I.V. Chernyshova, & P. Somasundaran, “Determination of Adsorption Modes of Alkyl Hydroxamates on Titania Minerals - a DFT Study”, Society of Mining Engineers, February 2009, Denver

S. Ponnurangam, I.V. Chernyshova, G. D. O’Connell, C. T. Hung, & P. Somasundaran, “Nanogels in tissue engineering of cartilages”, American Chemical Society Colloids Symposium, June 19-22, 2011, New York

S. Ponnurangam, I.V. Chernyshova, C. Ravishankar & P. Somasundaran, “Determination of adsorption modes of alkyl hydroxamtes on TiO2”, American Chemical Society Colloids Symposium, June 19-22, 2011, New York

S. Ponnurangam, I.V. Chernyshova, G. D. O’Connell, C. T. Hung, & P. Somasundaran, “Nanogels in tissue engineering of cartilages”, American Chemical Society, Polymers topical group, Oct.29, 2009, Rutgers University:

S. Ponnurangam, & P. Somasundaran,  “Reagent Adsorption on Pentlandite-Chrysotile System”, Society of Mining Engineers, February 2008, Salt Lake City