KAUST Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Carlos Grande
has been elected to the International Adsorption Society’s
(IAS) Board of Directors
for a six-year term. From a pool of 16 original candidates, Professor Grande was named among six newly elected board members. Most notably, he is the first IAS Board Director elected from the Middle East region.
“I was placed on the candidate list by a former president of the IAS, which is a great honor,” Grande noted. “I was very happy when my name was announced after the voting.”
According to the IAS, the society “brings together researchers [worldwide] working in industry, academia and government to advance the field of adsorption in areas ranging from the fundamental molecular thermodynamics of adsorption phenomena to the design of industrial separations processes to the applications of adsorption in nanotechnology.”
He firmly believes his recent move to KAUST played a crucial role in influencing his peers' decision to vote for him.
“I think that coming to a reputed university like KAUST had a big influence on the voting of my peers,” he emphasized. “Bringing this award to KAUST and the Middle East is a personal honor that comes with a big responsibility. I hope I can contribute to spreading the work and the activities of the IAS in the Kingdom and its neighboring countries.”
A top-to-bottom approach to adsorption processes
Grande’s research interests cover all aspects of adsorption processes, from the characterization, scale-up and formulation of new adsorbent materials to the process design, simulation and testing. In particular, he seeks to understand how digitalization can enhance industrial production processes, namely, how innovative equipment architectures and internals can help increase productivity.
A sustainable approach drives the research activities of his Laboratory of Intensification of Materials and Processes (IMAP). A number of the group’s projects focus on reducing energy-intensive separations, improving the efficiency of reacting systems and managing carbon emissions. Their overarching goal is to achieve an overall reduction in the carbon footprint of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
“In general, adsorption and 3-D printing, the two core technologies of our group, require more specialized training. However, our adsorption-based technologies benefit enormously from the excellent materials and personnel developed here at KAUST. We hope to help Saudi Arabia by producing highly skilled experts in these emerging technologies.
“We completely align with the long-term goals of the Kingdom that focus on sustainability. Our group has only existed for one year at KAUST; nonetheless, we will hopefully start materializing our vision very soon with publications and concrete translational research actions,” he concluded.