Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - University of Illinois

B.K. Sharma

Senior Research Engineer

One East Hazelwood Drive
Champaign, Illinois 61820
phone: 217-265-6810
fax: 217-333-8944
bksharma@illinois.edu

Dr. BK Sharma joined the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) in 2009 and is a Senior Research Engineer in the Applied Research on Industrial Environmental Systems Program (ARIES) Group at ISTC. BK's research areas are biofuels, biolubricants, and alternative fuels.

Education

  • B.S. in Chemistry and Biology (1988), Kurukshetra University (India)
  • B.S. in Education (1990), Kurukshetra University (India)
  • M.S. in Organic Chemistry (1992), Kurukshetra University (India)
  • Ph.D in Chemistry (1998), Indian Institute of Petroleum / H.N.B. Garhwal University (India)

Prior Professional Experience

  • Visiting Research Chemist at National Center for Agricultural Utilization-Agricultural Research Service-USDA, Peoria, IL and Penn State University (2002-2009) on developing biobased lubricants
  • Post-doctoral Researcher at State University of New York - College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse, NY (1999-2002) on petroleum base oil research
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate (1998-1999), Sr. Research Fellow (1995-1998), Junior Research Fellow (1993-1995) at Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, India

Research Interests

Bio-energy research

  • Alternative non-food feedstocks for 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels
  • Improving sustainability and extraction efficiency for oily feedstocks using greener solvents and improved methods
  • Thermo-chemical conversion of non-food, non-usable oleochemical feedstocks biofuels byproducts, waste biomass and products to form green diesel and bio crude oils
  • Bio crude oil characterization using various chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques Upgradation of bio-oils and biochar through catalytic process, extraction, and other processes

Biobased lubricant and additives development for industrial applications

  • Formulation of biobased lubricants with synergistic additive combinations
  • Chemical modification of vegetable oils for improving oxidation and low temperature properties
  • Biobased additives through modification of vegetable oils
  • Better understanding of low temperature and oxidation properties of base oils
  • Structure-property correlation development

Current Projects

  • Conversion of waste material, such as non-recyclable plastics, tires, waste lipids to liquid fuels using pyrolysis, hydrothermal liquefaction, and bio-oil upgradation
  • Recovery of Value-Added Products from Biooils, such as antioxidants
  • Correlating the compositional dependence of Miscanthus varieties on yield of polysaccharides and bio-oils
  • Polymer recovery from cellphone plastic cases
  • Application of Biochar as a Soil Amendment in Greenhouse
  • Conversion of waste lipids to biolubricants

Recently Completed Projects

  • “Feasibility study: Value addition of cell phone plastic waste” funded by HOBI Inc. (Feb 2013-Oct 2013)
  • “Screening Miscanthus germplasm for variation in cell wall composition using pyrolysis-GC-MS” IPBC-CABER funded project (Oct 2011-Sep 2013)
  • “Characterizing the Effects of Thermochemical Bioenergy Production Process on Emerging Contaminants and Wastewater Reuse Potential” HWRF funded project (Sep 2011-Aug 2012)

Analytical Skills

  • Thermo-chemical conversions of waste oleochemical materials: Developed method for pyrolytic cracking of oleochemical feedstock for synthesizing green diesels
  • Chemical modification of triacylglycerols of vegetable oils for improvement in oxidation and low temperature stability, and also for introducing functionalities that can be used as biobased lubricant additives. Discovered methods for the synthesis of sulfur containing hydroxy triacylglycerol as lubricant additive, and branched hydroxy esters as base oils; Developed chemically modified vegetable oils with improved performance as lubricant base oils
  • Formulation of biobased lubricants: Optimized a synergistic combination of additives for biobased lubricants; Developed biobased lubricant formulations for elevator hydraulic fluids, metal working fluids, bio-undercarriage oils (gear oils), bio-based greases
  • Developing new physical and chemical analytical methods for vegetable oils, lubricating base oils, petroleum heavy residues to provide technical problem solving such as better understanding of low temperature and oxidation properties of oils: Developed NMR and HPDSC methods for detailed analysis of lubricant base oils; Developed separation and characterization methodology to characterize petroleum heavy residue using HPLC, GC, TLC-FID, SEC, NMR and FTIR.
  • Correlation development of generated data with various important physico-chemical properties and performance properties of lubricating oils and property predictions using statistical and neural software.

Professional Affiliations

  • 1999-present, Member, American Chemical Society
  • 2003-present, Member, Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE)
  • 2003-present, Paper Solicitation Chair, STLE EFFTC
  • 2009-present, Chair, Environmentally Friendly Fluids Technical Committee (EFFTC)
  • 2003-2007, Paper Solicitation Chair, STLE LFTC
  • 2003-2009, Member, American Oil Chemists' Society
  • 2004-2007, Member, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society2007-2010, Vice-Chair, STLE Lubrication Fundamentals Technical Committee (LFTC)

Funded Grants

  • “Distributed production of ready to use gasoline from low value waste products” sponsored by EREF (Mar 2013-Feb 2015).
  • “Correlating the compositional dependence of Miscanthus varieties on yield of polysaccharides and bio-oils” IPBC-CABER sponsored project (Oct 2013-Sep 2014)
  • “Waste Biomass to Biochar and Cogeneration for Farms” sponsored by the Russell and Helen Dilworth Memorial Fund (Mar 2013- Nov 2013)
  • “Antioxidants from wood pyrolyzates (bio-oils)” sponsored by HWRF (July 2011-Mar 2014).
  • “Evaluate Feasibility of Sustainable and Economical Utilization of Biomass Gasification Byproducts” sponsored by HWRF (Jan 2013-Jan 2014)
  • “Agronomy of Perennial Energy Crop Production in Roadway Right-of-Way” (July 2012-June 2014) sponsored by IDOT.

Presentations and Publications

Citations for Dr. Sharma's most recent publications

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

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217-333-8940

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