Welcome to CCL!

The Combustion and Catalysis Lab is directed by Professor Marco J. Castaldi. The main focus is the thermal and catalytic conversion of carbon based material to desired products. For example, municipal solid waste and biomass to synthetic fuels, liquid fuels to hydrogen and greenhouse gases (carbon-based) to fuels.

CCL participates in EEC|CCNY WTERT 2022

The biennial meeting of the Waste-to-Energy Research & Technology Council took place in New York this year from October 12-14 at the City College of New York. All current members of the Combustion and Catalysis Lab attended the meeting, the 11th one to occur in the 18 years over which the WTERT Symposia Series has been held. The group chaired 4 sessions, presented 4 posters, a talk, and served on the organizing committee. Details about the conference events can be found here.

Marco Castaldi takes the lecture to give remarks on behalf of the council and thank plenary speakers Michael Van Brunt, Doug Wicks, and David Biderman (pictured left to right).

Lauren Creadore presents a talk titled ‘Quantitative Comparison of LCA of Advanced Recycling Technologies for End-of-Life Plastics’ in the Friday morning

Lauren Creadore and Golam Chowdhury graduate with Master’s degrees!

The Combustion and Catalysis Lab wishes congratulations to their 2 newest graduates, Lauren and Golam, after presenting their Master’s dissertations. Golam’s thesis, ‘Investigation of Recyclable Crude Oil from Biomass and Plastics’, details his work on pyrolysis and was submitted in completion of his Master’s in Chemical Engineering. Lauren’s, ‘A Study of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Performance of an Internal Combustion Engine Operating on Landfill Gas Blends as Fuel’, details her work in the area of combustion and was submitted in completion of her Master’s in Mechanical Engineering.

Both students have continued to conduct research post graduation, and Lauren has since begun work towards a doctoral degree in Chemical Engineering.

CCL Principal Investigator, Marco Castaldi, featured in CCNY monthly research publication, the RICC

Published in the August 2022 issue of The RICC, the Research and Innovation at City College electronic magazine, ‘Introducing CCNY Fulbright Scholars’ recognizes Dr. Castaldi’s work in Italy and France in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Titled ‘Turning Municipal Solid Waste Into Energy”, the article focuses on Castaldi’s reflections over the past 4 years with regard to the impact the experience has since had on his research career: “the Fulbright not only gave me that great opportunity over those four months that spanned over two years, but then led to a really unique idea that we were then able to get funded for.”

Curbed, New York Magazine’s globally-focused urban reporting arm, quotes CCL Principal Investigator in recent feature piece on garbage in NYC

In a piece titled ‘Voyage of the Gross’, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Justin Davidson, outlines the path and final destinations of the Big Apple’s refuse. Visiting the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station and Covanta’s Essex County Waste-to-Energy Plant, Davidson diligently charts the journey and seeks the opinions of experts along the way: responding to discussions about waste-to-energy’s emissions, Castaldi says “The data for modern waste-to-energy facilities that operate well should reassure people.”

Read the article here to learn more about the challenges of managing urban waste responsibly and how the Combustion and Catalysis Lab works to support debate in the space while relying on rigorous, scientific analyses.

CCL participates in WasteEng2022

The biennial meeting of the International Conference on Engineering for Waste and Biomass Valorisation took place in Copenhagen this year from June 27-30 at the Technical University of Denmark. 4 current members of the Combustion and Catalysis Lab and a visiting student attended the meeting, the 9th one to occur in the 17 years over which the Waste Eng Conference Series has been held. The group chaired 2 sessions, presented 6 talks, and served on the student presentation awards committee. The abstracts of the presentations and details about the conference events can be found here.

Lauren Creadore responds to questions after presenting a talk titled ‘A study of greenhouse gas emissions and performance of an internal combustion engine operating on landfill gas blends as fuel’ in the Monday afternoon Case Studies of Integrative Approaches session.

Rohit Borooah, visiting student from the Free University of Bolzano in Italy, presents a talk titled ‘Performance of a small-scale CHP generation system using low-cost biomass gasification’ in the Tuesday morning Thermochemical Conversions session.

A screenshot of Kaitlyn Lawrence’s presentation in the virtual conference space, ‘Activity of Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Ash in the Reduction of NOx’, given in the Tuesday afternoon Municipal Solid Waste session.

Marco Castaldi responds to questions after presenting a talk titled ‘Abiotic and anaerobic pyrolytic decomposition of municipal solid waste at elevated temperature landfill conditions’ in the Wednesday afternoon Bioprocessing Gaseous Compounds and Wastes session. This talk was co-authored by Tasnuva Moutushi.

CCL members, Lauren Creadore (right) and Kaitlyn Lawrence (left), pose for a photo in the scenic Tivoli Park after the WasteEng2022 Gala Dinner.

CCL members, Lauren Creadore (6th from left) and Kaitlyn Lawrence (7th from left), pose for a photo with other WasteEng2022 attendees after the HALOSEP technical tour at Vestforbraending in Glostrup, Denmark.

CCL members, Snehesh Ail, Kaitlyn Lawrence, and Lauren Creadore, chat about the future of waste engineering with CCL collaborators, Francesco Patuzzi and Marco Baratieri, of the Free University of Bolzano.

5th grader visits CCL on a mission to understand the potential of the 8 million tons of leaves that fall every Autumn!

Recently, Zachary Dorazio, of the 5th grade, visited CCL to answer his question, “Can we turn leaves into biofuels?”  Zack is the son of CCL Alumnus, Dr. Lucas Dorazio who received his Ph.D. in 2008 and is currently the lead of the Gasoil Technologies and Refinery Catalyst R&D Team at BASF.  CCL routinely hosts high school students to conduct research, and a few have made it to the semi-finals for competitions such as the Intel and Westinghouse Awards.  This is the first time we had an elementary school student come to CCL to obtain answers to some very complex questions that will surely be answered in the future.  It is clear Zach is well on his way to making a positive impact in a critical area of engineering and science, and the CCL team is sure he deserves an A+ on his project!  We look forward to hopefully seeing Zach during his high school years when he undertakes even more forward looking research.

CCL participates in NAM27

The North American Catalysis Society’s biennial meeting was held in New York, NY from May 22nd to 27th, 2022 at the Hilton Midtown. CCL principal investigator, Marco Castaldi, co-chaired the organizing committee along with CCL alumnus and current BASF Team Lead, Lucas Dorazio. The Combustion and Catalysis Lab had 6 current group members in attendance, who collectively chaired 2 sessions, presented 1 poster, presented 2 talks, and received a Kokes Award. The abstracts of the presentations and details about the conference events can be found here.

Marco Castaldi (left) and Lucas Dorazio (right) take the stage to give remarks on behalf of the organizing committee at the NAM27 Gala Dinner.

Golam Chowdury (left) fields questions from a conference attendee in the Tuesday evening poster session.

Snehesh Ail presents a talk titled ‘Investigations to Intensified Hydrogen Production Via Sorption Enhanced Water Gas Shift Reaction’ in the Tuesday morning Reverse Water Gas Shift Session.

Kaitlyn Lawrence presents a talk titled ‘NOx Abatement via Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Ash Catalysis’ in the Friday morning NOx Abatement Session.

CCL Principal Investigator, Marco Castaldi, talks to CNBC about Waste-to-Energy

In a recent climate piece published by CNBC, journalist Katie Schoolov quotes Marco J. Castaldi’s insights on the benefits of waste to energy in solving America’s waste challenges. Read the article and watch the broadcast here to learn more about the work Combustion and Catalysis Lab members are doing to support healthy debate in the climate space while relying on rigorous, scientific analyses.

CCL visits Westchester’s Material Recovery Facility

CCL members had the opportunity to tour Westchester’s Material Recovery Facility on April 6, 2022 where they learned about the recycling efforts underway in one of New York City’s neighboring communities. Students and researchers were able to view machinery in action as it separated, sorted, and prepared materials to be sold to third-party manufacturers. The facility staff were highly knowledgeable, and everyone in attendance found the experience incredibly enriching. Many thanks to Lou, George, and Melissa for their hospitality and expertise!