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Clarkson University Grad Student Honored for Paper on Biodiesel from Vegetable Oil

Sriraam Ramanathan Chandrasekaran, a graduate student at Clarkson University, was recently presented with the VIKAL Award from the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE) for a research paper on the use of vegetable oil in producing biodiesel.

The paper, titled "Production of Biodiesel from Waste Vegetable Oil," was put together after more than two-and-a-half years of undergraduate research performed by Chandrasekaran and two of his colleagues under the guidance of Assistant Professor Selva Ilavarasi Panneerselvam. The research was conducted at Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, an affiliate of Anna University in India, where Chandrasekaran was a chemical engineering major.

"Considering the ill health effects of fossil fuel in India, we wanted to develop a feedstock for India that would enable our country to reduce its dependency on petroleum to a major extent," says Chandrasekaran.

At Clarkson, Chandrasekaran is working towards a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering and hopes to continue on for a doctorate. He is currently working on his thesis, titled "Thermal efficiency and emissions from advanced burners," under Professor Philip Hopke.

His other research interests include renewable energy, developing a sustainable alternative energy for the future, and reducing pollution effects on the environment.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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