Assistant Professor

Dr. Karthik Rajendran

Department of Environmental Science

Interests

  1. Techno-economic analysis
  2. Sustainability metrics and indicators
  3. Waste management and bioenergy systems

Education

2009

Anna University
India
Bachelors

2011

University of Boras
Sweden
Masters

2015

University of Boras
Sweden
Ph. D.

Experience

  • 06/2017 – 04/2019, Senior Researcher | University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  • 07/2016 – 05/2017, Postdoc RA | Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA
  • 03/2016 – 06/2016, Postdoc RA | University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, USA
  • 11/2013 – 12/2014, Consultant | FOV Fabrics AB, Sweden
  • 09/2011 – 12/2015, RA & TA | University of Boras, Sweden

Research Interest

  • My recent works include process design, techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessments on bioenergy and biochemicals production such as biomethane, ethanol, ethyl acetate, ethylene and advanced biofuels. I have performed numerous simulations using Superpro Designer and Aspen Plus to assess the profitability of a plant, technical feasibility and environmental impacts. Worked closely with industries in understanding their requirements and translating it to commercial solutions.
  • Developed textile digesters for developing countries in collaboration with FOV Fabrics AB (Sweden) which has been translated as a commercial product in India and other Asian markets (www.fovbiogas.in). Handled digester up to 100 m3 and provided technical solutions in design and scale up. Conducted successful trials in the laboratory on a wide range of substrates including cellulosic textile wastes, organic fraction of municipal wastes, food processing wastes, and forest residues. Comparison between single- and two-stage anaerobic digestion (AD) from our studies indicated that two-stage fermentation could reach high loading (>10 kgVS/m3/day) at lower retention times (<6 days). In addition to AD, I was curious in understanding pretreatments of lignocelluloses using dil. acid, organosolv methods. Recently, we had developed a process design tool for bioenergy and biochemical production that helps in reducing the research cycle of a product from the laboratory to commercialization. This involves a combination of laboratory experiments, which was followed by a preliminary simulation and optimising the process back in the laboratory and finding the niche for commercialization.
  • Future research ideas include understanding how process design could be simplified for a laboratory process without hassling complex simulations by developing a neural framework on a simplistic level that governs the profitability and design calculations. In addition, capturing CO2 in biogas, a coupled system is known as BECCS is a key area in my portfolio, which helps in fighting climate change through negative emissions. Upgrading biogas to biomethane is essential and employing next generation technologies such as micro-algae is where I would like to focus in the coming years. Moreover, using anaerobic digestion for high-value products such as organic acids or polymers has economic and environmental potential studying enzymatic hydrolysis for efficient sugar release will unleash it.

Awards & Fellowships

  • 2019, Editorial Board Member, Carbon Resources Conversion, KeAi Publishing
  • 2018, Director, Institute of Chartered Waste Managers, (ICWM-ISWA), India
  • 2018, Outstanding Reviewer, Energy Conversion and Management, Elsevier
  • 2017, Outstanding Reviewer, Bioresource Technology, Elsevier
  • 2011, Honors & University Topper University of Boras, Sweden

Memberships

  • Life Member – Biotechnology Research Society of India (BRSI)
  • Life Member – International Bioprocessing Association (IFIBIOP)

Publications

  • Awasthi, M. K., Sarsaiya, S., Wainaina, S., Rajendran, K., Kumar, S., Quan, W., ... & Zhang, Z. (2019). A critical review of organic manure biorefinery models toward sustainable circular bioeconomy: Technological challenges, advancements, innovations, and future perspectives. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 111, 115-131. (Link)
  • McDonagh, S., Deane, P., Rajendran, K., & Murphy, J. D. (2019). Are electrofuels a sustainable transport fuel? Analysis of the effect of controls on carbon, curtailment, and cost of hydrogen. Applied Energy, 247, 716-730. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., O'Gallachoir, B., & Murphy, J. D. (2019). The combined role of policy and incentives in promoting cost efficient decarbonisation of energy: A case study for biomethane. Journal of Cleaner Production, 219, 278-290. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Browne JD., Murphy JD., (2019). What is the level of incentivisation required for biomethane upgrading technologies with carbon capture and reuse? Renewable Energy, 133, 951-963. (Link)
  • Mathimani, T., Baldinelli, A., Rajendran, K., Prabakar, D., Pugazhendhi, A. (2019). Thermochemical processing of microalgae to biofuels and bioproducts: Knowledge gaps and future prospects. Journal of Cleaner Production, 208, 1053-1064. (Link)
  • Kadhum HJ., Rajendran, K., & Murthy, G.S. (2018). Optimization of Surfactant Addition in Cellulosic Ethanol Process Using Integrated Techno-Economic and Life Cycle Assessment for Bioprocess Design. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. In Press (Link).
  • Vo, T. T., Rajendran, K., & Murphy, J. D. (2018). Can power to methane systems be sustainable and can they improve the carbon intensity of renewable methane when used to upgrade biogas produced from grass and slurry? Applied Energy, 228, 1046-1056. (Link)
  • Prabakar, D., Manimudi, V. T., Sampath, S., Mahapatra, D. M., Rajendran, K., & Pugazhendhi, A. (2018). Advanced biohydrogen production using pretreated industrial waste: Outlook and prospects. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 96, 306-324. (Link)
  • Shanmugaprakash, M., Venkatachalam, S., Rajendran, K., & Pugazhendhi, A. (2018). Biosorptive removal of Zn (II) ions by Pongamia oil cake (Pongamia pinnata) in batch and fixed-bed column studies using response surface methodology and artificial neural network. Journal of Environmental Management, 227, 216-228. (Link)
  • AP Saravanan, T Mathimani, G Deviram, K Rajendran, A Pugazhendhi. Biofuel policy in India: A review of policy barriers in sustainable marketing of biofuel. Journal of Cleaner Production 193, 734-747. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Drielak, E., Varma, V. S., Muthusamy, S., & Kumar, G. Updates on the pretreatment of lignocellulosic feedstocks for bioenergy production–a review. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery, 8 (2), 471–483. (Link)
  • Sivamani, S., Selvakumar, S., Rajendran, K., Muthusamy, S. Artificial neural network-genetic algorithm-based optimization of biodiesel production from Simarouba glauca. Biofuels, In Press. (Link)
  • Truc, T.Q.V., Wall, D.M., Ring, D., Rajendran, K., Murphy, J. Techno-economic analysis of biogas upgrading via amine scrubber, carbon capture and ex-situ methanation. Applied Energy, 212, 1191-1202. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K. Effect of Moisture Content on Lignocellulosic Power Generation: Energy, Economic and Environmental Impacts. Processes, 5(4), 78. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., & Murthy, G. S. How does technology pathway choice influence economic viability and environmental impacts of lignocellulosic biorefineries? Biotechnology for biofuels, 10(1), 268. (Link)
  • Kadhum, H. J., Rajendran, K., & Murthy, G. S. (2017). Effect of solids loading on ethanol production: Experimental, economic and environmental analysis. Bioresource Technology, 244, 108-116. (Link)
  • Sawatdeenarunat, C., Nguyen, D., Surendra, K. C., Shrestha, S., Rajendran, K., Oechsner, H., ... & Khanal, S. K. (2016). Anaerobic biorefinery: current status, challenges, and opportunities. Bioresource technology, 215, 304-313. (Link)
  • Senthil, M., Visagavel, K., Saravanan, C. G., & Rajendran, K. (2016). Investigations of red mud as a catalyst in Mahua oil biodiesel production and its engine performance. Fuel Processing Technology, 149, 7-14. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Rajoli, S., & Taherzadeh, M. J. (2016). Techno-economic analysis of integrating first and second-generation ethanol production using filamentous fungi: an industrial case study. Energies, 9(5), 359. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Rajoli, S., Teichert, O., & Taherzadeh, M. J. (2015). Impacts of retrofitting analysis on first generation ethanol production: process design and techno-economics. Bioprocess and biosystems engineering, 38(2), 389-397. (Link)
  • Kabir, M. M., Rajendran, K., Taherzadeh, M. J., & Horváth, I. S. (2015). Experimental and economical evaluation of bioconversion of forest residues to biogas using organosolv pretreatment. Bioresource technology, 178, 201-208. (Link)
  • Aslanzadeh, S., Rajendran, K., & Taherzadeh, M. J. (2014). A comparative study between single-and two-stage anaerobic digestion processes: Effects of organic loading rate and hydraulic retention time. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 95, 181-188. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Kankanala, H. R., Martinsson, R., & Taherzadeh, M. J. (2014). Uncertainty over techno-economic potentials of biogas from municipal solid waste (MSW): a case study on an industrial process. Applied Energy, 125, 84-92. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Kankanala, H. R., Lundin, M., & Taherzadeh, M. J. (2014). A novel process simulation model (PSM) for anaerobic digestion using Aspen Plus. Bioresource technology, 168, 7-13. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Aslanzadeh, S., Johansson, F., & Taherzadeh, M. J. (2013). Experimental and economical evaluation of a novel biogas digester. Energy conversion and management, 74, 183-191. (Link)
  • Aslanzadeh, S., Rajendran, K., Jeihanipour, A., & Taherzadeh, M. J. (2013). The effect of effluent recirculation in a semi-continuous two-stage anaerobic digestion system. Energies, 6(6), 2966-2981. (Link)
  • Jeihanipour, A., Aslanzadeh, S., Rajendran, K., Balasubramanian, G., & Taherzadeh, M. J. (2013). High-rate biogas production from waste textiles using a two-stage process. Renewable energy, 52, 128-135. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Björk, H., & Taherzadeh, M. J. (2013). Borås, a zero-waste city in Sweden. Journal of Development Management, 1(1), 3-8. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Aslanzadeh, S., & Taherzadeh, M. J. (2012). Household biogas digesters—A review. Energies, 5(8), 2911-2942. (Link)
  • Vijayaraghavan, K., Karthik, R., & Nalini, S. K. (2010). Hydrogen generation from algae: a review. Journal of Plant Sciences, 5(1), 1-19. (Link)
  • Vijayaraghavan, K., & Karthik, R. (2010). Photohydrogen production by Consortium of Fresh Water Algal Biomass. eNREE, 7(1), 2-9.
  • Vijayaraghavan, K., Karthik, R., & Nalini, S. K. (2009). Hydrogen production by Chlamydomonas reinhardtii under light driven sulfur deprived condition. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 34(19), 7964-7970. (Link)
Patents:
  • Muthusamy, S., Rajendran, K., Manivel, R., Satyamoorty, G.L.  Gas Flow Measurement Tube. Indian patent (Granted).
Book Chapters:
  • Dhamodharan K., Ahlawat S., Kaushal M., Rajendran K. (2019). Economics and cost-analysis of waste biorefineries. In: Ramanujam P, Gnansounou E, Jegannathan KR, Gurunathan B. (eds). Refining Biomass Residues for Sustainable Energy and Bioproducts. Elsevier (In Press).
  • Rajendran K., Lin R., Wall D., Murphy JD. Influential aspects in waste management practices. In: Taherzadeh MJ, Bolton K, Wong J, Pandey A. (eds). Sustainable Resource Recovery and Zero Wastes approaches. Elsevier (In Press).
  • Rajendran K., Sudharsan Varma V., Mahapatra D.M., Kondusamy D. Economics of Solid Waste Management. In: Singhania R., Agarwal R., Kumar R., Sukumaran R. (eds) Waste to Wealth. Energy, Environment, and Sustainability. Springer, Singapore, 259-275. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Surendra, K. C., Tomberlin, J. K., Khanal, S. K. Insect-based biorefinery for bioenergy and biobased products, In: Pandey A, Bhaskar T, Lee DJ, Khanal S, Mohan V (eds) Waste Biorefinery: Potential and Perspectives. Elsevier, 657 – 669 (Link).
  • Varma V.S., Muthusamy S., Rajendran K. Organic Waste and Pollutants Reduction through Composting. In: Varjani S., Gnansounou E., Gurunathan B., Pant D., Zakaria Z. (eds) Waste Bioremediation. Energy, Environment, and Sustainability. Springer, Singapore, 141-164. (Link)
  • Muthusamy S., Govindaraj D., Rajendran K. Phytoremediation of Textile Dye Effluents. In: Varjani S., Agarwal A., Gnansounou E., Gurunathan B. (eds) Bioremediation: Applications for Environmental Protection and Management. Energy, Environment, and Sustainability. Springer, Singapore, 359-373. (Link)
  • Mahapatra D.M., Varma V.S., Muthusamy S., Rajendran K. Wastewater Algae to Value-Added Products. In: Singhania R., Agarwal R., Kumar R., Sukumaran R. (eds) Waste to Wealth. Energy, Environment, and Sustainability. Springer, Singapore, 365-393. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Forgacs G. Biogas from Extremophiles. In: Sani R.K., Rathinam N.K. (eds) Extremophilic Microbial Processing of Lignocellulosic Feedstocks to Biofuels, Value-Added Products, and Usable Power. Springer, (Link).
  • Muthusamy S., Prabhakaran H., Rajendran K. Recent Trends in Biochar Production and Environmental Applications. In: Ibrahim EK., (eds) Advances in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Research India Publications, India, 211-221.
  • Taherzadeh M. J., Rajendran, K. Factors affecting development of waste management - experiences from different cultures. In: Ekström, K.M. (eds) Waste Management and Sustainable Consumption: The Problem of Post-Consumer Waste. Routledge, UK, 67-87. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Björk, H., Taherzadeh, M. J. Waste Recovery International Partnership: A Model to Transfer Technology and Create Local Development. In: Design, Waste & Dignity . CNPq, Olhares, Brazil, 295-305. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Taherzadeh, M. J. Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Materials. In: Bisaria VS, Kondo A (eds) Bioprocessing of Renewable Resources to Commodity Bioproducts. Wiley, USA, 43-75. (Link)
  • Aslanzadeh, S., Rajendran, K., Taherzadeh, M. J. Pretreatment of lignocelluloses for biogas and ethanol processes. In: Pandey A, Larroche C, Singh (eds) Advances in Industrial Biotechnology. IK International Publishing House, India, 125-150. (Link)
Books/Monographs
  • Rajendran, K. Book of Abstracts. MaREI Annual Symposium 2018. ISBN: 9781999624002. Cork, Ireland (Link)
  • Rajendran, K. Industrial Bioprocess Developments for Biogas and Ethanol Production. ISBN: 978918525711. University of Boras, Sweden. (Link)
  • Rajendran, K., Balasubramanian, G. Waste Textiles to Biogas. ISBN: 9783659699672. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany. (Link)
Newspaper Articles
  • Rajendran, K. Why should electric cars have all the fun? In: RTE Brainstorm, Ireland (Link)
Conferences
  • Rajendran, K., Murphy JD. Is two-stage AD commercially viable? BioSD-2018, Hyderabad, India.
  • Rajendran, K., Murphy JD. How different energy vectors affect the profitability and sustainability of biomethane systems? 2nd International conference Bioresource Technology for bioenergy, bioproducts and environmental sustainability. Sitges, Spain.
  • Rajendran, K., Murphy JD. Incentivizing Biomethane in Ireland: Economics & Avoided Emissions. Energy in Agriculture, Tipperary, Ireland.
  • Kadhum, H. J., Rajendran, K., Murthy, G. S. Effect of Polyethylene glycol (PEG) on adsorption with lignin for enhanced conversion of lignocelluloses to ethanol. ASABE Annual Conference, Spokane, WA, USA.
  • Rajendran, K., Murthy, G. S. Advanced biofuels and biochemicals from lignocelluloses: a systems analysis perspective. ASABE Annual Conference, Spokane, WA, USA.
  • Rajendran, K. Techno-economic potentials of biogas from municipal and forest waste. S-1041 Science and Engineering for a Biobased Industry and Economy Symposium, Albany, CA, USA.
  • Kabir, M. M., Rajendran, K., Taherzadeh, M. J., Horváth, I.S. Experimental and economical evaluation of bioconversion of forest residues to biogas using organosolv pretreatment, Annual SGC conference, Sweden.
  • Rajendran, K., Taherzadeh, M. J. Process simulation model for biogas production. Progress in Biogas III – Biogas production from agricultural biomass and organic residues, Germany.
  • Rajendran, K., Taherzadeh, M. J. Techno-Economic Evaluation of an Industrial Biogas Plant. Green Gas Research Outlook, Sweden.
  • Aslanzadeh, S., Rajendran, K., Taherzadeh, M. J. A comparative study between conventional and two stage anaerobic process: Effect of organic loading rate and hydraulic retention time. The Sixth Annual Conference on the Challenges in Environmental Science and Engineering, S. Korea.
  • Rajendran, K., Kankanala, H. R., Lundin, M., Taherzadeh, M. J. Process simulation model for biogas production. IPLA Global Forum 2013, Sweden.
  • Aslanzadeh, S., Rajendran, K., Jeihanipour, A., Taherzadeh, M. J. Waste textile processing into biogas using two-stage reactors. 13th World congress on anaerobic digestion, Spain.
  • Rajendran, K., Kankanala, H. R., Lundin, M., Taherzadeh, M. J. A new model for anaerobic digestion. International Conference on Solid Waste Management, Hong Kong.
  • Rajendran, K., Jeihanipour, A., Aslanzadeh, S., Balasubramanian, G., Taherzadeh, M. J. Could it be Possible to Convert Waste-Textiles to Biogas? Yes! International Conference on Industrial Biotechnology, India.

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