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Paul Ratnasamy, PhD
Emeritus Theme Leader, Biofuels

Paul Ratnasamy, PhD, is an Emeritus Theme Leader of Biofuels for the Conn Center where he was a central figure from 2009-2011.

He obtained his doctorate in Chemistry from Loyola College, Madras. After post-doctoral experiences in the US (1967-1969) and Belgium (1969-1972), he joined the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, in 1972. He transferred to the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune, India in 1979, where he started the Catalysis Division in 1980. He was the Director of NCL for 7 years (1995-2002). Between 2004 and 2009, he was honored as the Indian National Science Academy’s Srinivasa Ramanujan Research Professor at NCL. Among his awards are the Padma Shree (2001), a Third World Academy of Sciences Award in Technology (1994), the Viswakarma Medal by the Indian National Academy (1994), the Om Prakash Bhasin Award (1992), the K.G. Naik Gold Medal (1989), the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Engineering Sciences (1984), and a Vasvik Industrial Research Award (1982).

Paul is the author/co-author of 206 original research papers in refereed journals and holds more than 100 patents including 30 U.S. patents in the area of catalysis. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Catalysis, Applied Catalysis, Zeolites, Catalysis Letters, Topics in Catalysis, CATTECH, and Microporous and Mesoporous Materials and as a council member of the Internatinal Zeolite Association, from which he won the International Award for lifetime achievement in zeolite chemistry and catalysis research (2004). He is a founder-member of the Indian Catalysis Society (730 members) and past president of the Indo-Pacific Catalysis Association.

In the area of applied catalysis, he and his group have discovered, developed, and commercialized the following seven catalysts and catalytic processes in Indian chemical plants: Xylene isomerization; production of ethyl benzene from agro-ethanol and benzene (the first plant worldwide); toluene disproportionation; production of diethyl benzene, styrene, and formaldehyde; and the manufacture of TS-1 zeolites. In recognition of this feat, the President of India honored him with the Padma Shree Award in Science and Engineering, one of its highest civilian recognitions, in 2001. Paul has served as a consultant to a large number of Indian and foreign chemical companies in the area of industrial catalysis.