Missouri S&T professor named AIChE Fellow

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On December 11, 2015
Professor Muthanna Al-Dahhan was named and American Institute of Chemical Engineers Fellow, the society's highest honor.

Missouri S&T professor Muthanna Al-Dahhan was named and American Institute of Chemical Engineers Fellow, the society’s highest honor.

Dr. Muthanna H. Al-Dahhan, chair and professor of chemical and biochemical engineering and a professor of nuclear engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has been elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the highest grade of membership.

The award was presented in November during AIChE’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City.

The honor reaffirms the esteem with which Al-Dahhan’s colleagues and peers view his distinctive professional achievements and accomplishments. Al-Dahhan has been a consultant to many U.S. and international companies and research centers, and he founded and chaired international conferences on gas-liquid-solid reactor engineering, bio-energy and catalysis in renewable products.

At Missouri S&T, he has developed a state-of-the-art industrial process imaging research laboratory, the only one of its kind in the world, to generate new knowledge and to advance the understanding, design and scale-up of various multiphase processes and reactors. This work focuses on conventional energy and products, environmental applications, bioenergy, renewable and clean and sustainable energy and products, including fourth-generation nuclear energy, small modular reactors and light water reactors.

Led by Al-Dahhan, Missouri S&T is developing novel approaches to understanding the natural circulation and heat transfer of prismatic block gas-cooled nuclear reactors and to benchmark thermal-hydraulic computations and models, a fourth-generation nuclear reactor. These reactors are filled with staggered pellets of tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) nuclear fuel particles.

Al-Dahhan also developed new techniques to understand how nuclear fuel pebbles, cooled gas and heat transfer would behave in a pebble-bed nuclear reactor, which is another type of fourth-generation nuclear energy. These reactors also house TRISO fuel particles in spheres the size of tennis balls instead of rods, and the cores are cooled by helium gas, not water. To assist in commercializing these reactors, Al-Dahhan led development of a mechanistic methodology to scale up the gas-solid spouted bed coaters to manufacture in a high fidelity these TRISCO nuclear fuel particles for commercial production.

In addition to advancing the knowledge and engineering science of many multiphase reactors for conventional and non-conventional industrial processes, Al-Dahhan also led projects to develop new methods to scale up these reactors that can be used in a vast range of industrial uses. He developed a novel approach to culture microalgae for bioenergy and feed production as well as wastewater and flue gas treatment.

“Many of my developments, results and findings have been used in industry and in academia,” Al-Dahhan says. “For example, Dow Chemicals adopted Al-Dahhan Cell for liquid-liquid and gas-liquid mass transfer and reactions, which is called DOW Al-Dahhan Cell. Many new technologies that are in practice have been studied in our laboratories.”


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