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Runxia Cai Wins AIChE Reaction Engineering Poster Award

Runxia Cai, a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Fanxing Li’s research group, is the first-place winner of the 2022 AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering (CRE) annual meeting poster award.

Out of a total of 238 posters, the AIChE CRE division leadership selected one first place winner in catalysis and one in reaction engineering. Cai won the reaction engineering category with his poster, “Chemical Looping Air Separation with an Advanced Perovskite Sorbent.”

Cai’s research focuses on mixed oxides in the context of hydrogen production, energy storage, oxygen separation, and catalytic applications and more specifically, chemical looping air separation (CLAS) for efficient O2 production from the air. This study aimed at optimizing the absorber/desorber operations and the separation process using a one-dimensional packed bed model with extensive experimental validation in a subpilot scale packed bed. The model-predicted O2 purity and productivity were consistent with experimental results, supporting its accuracy and applicability. The optimization results also highlighted that CLAS can potentially be more efficient than cryogenic distillation even when the required O2 purity is above 99%. The model is being used as an effective tool to guide the scaleup and optimization of CLAS.

Cai will receive an honorarium as recognition for his scholarship.

Cai obtained B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in thermal engineering from Tsinghua University, China. He has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at NC State under the supervision of Dr. Li since April 2020.