CUNY Home CUNY energy website

Jae W. Lee

Jae W. Lee

The City College of New York

Phone: (212) 650-6688

Research Interest

Reactive separation and gas hydrate separation/storage.

JAE W. LEE is an associate professor of chemical engineering at The City College of New York. He has BS and MS degrees from Seoul National University and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2000-2001, he was the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow and in 1992-1997 he was a research engineer for S-Oil Refining Co.

His current research focuses on continuous reactive separation. The main advantage of reactive separation is the miniaturization of complex process units by combining reaction and separation simultaneously. To get desired reaction conversions as well as product purities in one piece of equipment, it is important to understand the interaction between reaction and separation. The previous research focused on how to superimpose chemical reaction on physical separation by visualizing reactive separation systems in the untransformed composition space. Now we are aiming at developing a general shortcut to predict reasonable reaction holdups and energy demands in a reactive separation column. From the shortcut results, we can get design insight into the optimal distribution of reaction zones in a column and evaluate the feasibility of reactive systems. This shortcut method can screen many design alternatives at the early stage of design, and its results may be served as the initializations for rigorous optimizations. Gas hydrate separation and storage gas hydrates are crystalline compounds of water and light hydrocarbon gases. It has the general formula of (H2O)nGas, where n is the hydration number. In a hydrate structure, gas molecules are captured in crystalline structures referred to as cavities. The size of a unit cavity for gas hydrates is 5 to 6.6 Å. One gas molecule is surrounded by n water molecules associated with hydrogen bonding between water molecules and van der Waals bonding between gas and water molecules. Since Hammerschmidt discovered that gas hydrates were responsible for the plugging of natural gas process and transportation lines, the research interest in gas hydrate has been focused on preventing their formation in gas transportation lines. Recently, the gas industry has paid more attention to gas hydrate formation because the hydrates can be used as a good gas storage medium – one unit volume of gas hydrate can store over 100 unit volumes of gas at the standard state. The gas hydrate formation is thermodynamically feasible but its rate is very slow. Using nano-materials, the rate is significantly accelerated. We focus on developing a new kinetics on gas hydrate formation under nano-materials and deriving gas separation/storage systems using gas hydrates.