The University of Delaware has been tapped to lead major research projects in the new Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute, led by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

The U.S. Department of Energy announced RAPID as the newest and tenth member of the national network of Manufacturing USA Institutes on Dec. 9 at the U.S. Council on Competitiveness’ 2016 National Competitiveness Forum in Washington, D.C.

DEI will lead UD’s RAPID projects, focusing on catalysis and reactors, and also will be involved in other dimensions of RAPID’s research and development agenda led by other universities.

RAPID’s role is to develop breakthrough technologies and processes that will boost energy productivity and efficiency and decrease environmental impacts, especially related to chemical manufacturing. To tackle this work, RAPID already has enlisted 130 partners from companies, academic institutions including the University of Delaware, national and government laboratories and non-governmental organizations across the U.S. The institute will leverage $70 million in federal funding from the Energy Department over five years and an additional $70 million in private cost-share commitments from partners.

Research Projects

Intensified Microwave Reactor Technology

Focus area: Intensified process fundamentals
Personnel: Dion Vlachos (PI), Basudeb Saha, Raul Lobo
Partners/Collaborators: UTRC, Rutgers University, Leuven University

RAPID Reaction Software Ecosystem

Focus Area: Modeling and simulation
Personnel: Dion Vlachos (PI), Bingjun Xu, Marat Orazov, Michela Taufer, Sunita Chandrasekaran
Partners/Collaborators: PSE (gPROMS), Dow Chemical, University of Minnesota, University of Massachusetts

Sugars-to-Bioproducts Scalable Platform Technology

Focus Area: Renewable bioproducts
Personnel: Dion Vlachos, Basudeb Saha (PI), Raul Lobo
Partners/Collaborators: Rutgers University, Leuven University

Efficient Chemicals Production via Chemical Looping

Focus Area: Natural gas upgrading
Personnel: Bingjun Xu (PI), Dion Vlachos, Tunde Ogunnaike, Raul Lobo
Partners/Collaborators: Dow Chemical Company

Three-Way Catalytic Distillation to Renewable Surfactants via Triglycerides*

Focus Area: Renewable bioproducts
Personnel: Paul Dauenhauer (PI)
Partners/Collaborators: Sironix Renewables (Christoph Krumm), University of Delaware (Babatunde Ogunnaike)

*Awarded to the University of Minnesota

State Support

RAPID projects at the University of Delaware are made possible in part by funding provided by the State of Delaware. The Delaware Energy Institute gratefully acknowledges the support and partnership of the State of Delaware in furthering the essential scientific research being conducted through the RAPID projects.



Principal investigators

Paul Dauenhauer
University of Minnesota

Basudeb Saha
University of Delaware

Dion Vlachos
University of Delaware

Bingjun Xu
University of Delaware

Additional faculty and researchers

Stavros Caratzoulas
Associate Director, CCEI

Sunita Chandrasekaran
Assistant Professor, University of Delaware

Raul Lobo
Professor, University of Delaware

Bharat Medasani
Computational Scientist, University of Delaware

Marat Orazov
Assistant Professor, University of Delaware


Weiqing Zheng
Research Associate, University of Delaware

Postdoctoral researchers

Kostas Alexopoulos

Xiaoxia Chang

Leo DeRita

Himanshu Goyal

Udit Gupta


Lalit Gangurde

Ali Mehdad


Vivek Pinnamaraju

Sebastian Prodinger

Hilal Toraman

Graduate students

Sai Batchu

Casper Brady

Tai-Ying (Chris) Chen

Ziwei (Lily) Cheng

Max Cohen

Pierre Desir

Josh Lansford

Jonathan Lym

Eric Steinman

Hsuan-Lan (Sandy) Wang

Yifan Wang

Zhaoxing (Joe) Wang

Gerhard Wittreich

Education & Outreach

What is RAPID?

The Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute is focused on addressing modular chemical process intensification barriers to enable the development of breakthrough technologies to boost energy productivity and energy efficiency through manufacturing processes in industries such oil and gas, pulp and paper and various domestic chemical manufacturers. RAPID will leverage approaches to modular chemical process intensification (MCPI) — such as combining multiple process steps such as mixing, reaction, and separation into single more complex and intensified processes — with the goal of improving productivity and efficiency, cutting operating costs, and reducing waste.

To learn more about RAPID’s focus areas and its roadmap, click here.