Rafael Hernandez

ElmoreAssociate Professor and Texas Olefins Professorship
Office: Swalm 348
Office Hours: M W F 10:00AM – 10:50AM
Email: rhernandez@che.msstate.edu
Phone: 662-325-0790
Vita: Pdf

Ph.D., Mississippi State University, 2002
M.S., University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, 1996
B.S., University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, 1993

Professional Memberships
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
American Chemical Society
American Society for Engineering Education

Professional Activities
Selected to participate in 2011-2012 Faculty Leadership Program Sponsored by the MSU Office of Research.

Workshop on Leadership Without Authority, 2010, American Chemical Society

Participated in the Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium (SECAC) Academic Leadership Program (ALDP), 2010

Teaching Philosophy
I have implemented innovative teaching techniques to motivate and facilitate the students’ learning process. I used teaching objectives based on the Bloom’s taxonomy, cooperative learning, one minute quizzes, and open-ended problems. For example, most of my course lectures include group (2 or 3) exercises (3-5 minutes). The in-class problems provide immediate feedback to determine if the course content is being understood and maintained the students involved in the class. In most of my courses, students plan and conduct laboratory experiments as part of a class project. Students become interested about the practical application of the class theoretical concepts. Many of the comments in student evaluations indicate an appreciation of the interactive manner in which class is conducted and the clarity of the objective and class goals.

Undergraduate Students Presentations
1.Jeffreys, T., and Thomas, M., April 2004“Plant Design Project: Biodiesel Production Using Acid-Catalyzed Transesterification of Yellow Grease,” Senior Presentation Competition, AIChE Memphis Chapter. The students won 1st prize.
2.Hairston, L., Hernandez, R., Zappi, M., “Effect of Corrosion Enhancing Agents on 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene Degradation via the Integration of Zero-Valent Metals and Advanced Oxidation Processes,” American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, November 2003, Awarded 3rd Place in Poster Competition.
3.Levell, H., Hernandez, R., Zappi, M. E., “Use of a Reductive/Oxidative Integrated Technology to Treat 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene Contaminated Water,” Southern States Annual Environmental Conference and Exhibition, Biloxi, MS, Student Paper Competition, Awarded 3rd Place, September 2003.
4.Tappi, R. Aufdenkampe, S., and Hernandez, R., May 2005, “Modeling, Sizing, and Economic Evaluation of an Azelaic Acid Production Facility,“ American Society for Engineering Education Southeast Conference, Chattanooga, TN.

Journal Publications (refereed)
Hernandez, R., 2011,” Petroleum Displacement Potential of Next Generation Biofuels Approaching Commercialization,” Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, Accepted for publication August 2011.
Andro H. Mondala, Rafael Hernandez*, W. Todd French*, Jorge W. Santo Domingo, Mark Meckes, Linda McFarland, Hodon Ryu, and Brandon Iker, 2011, “Enhanced Lipid and Biodiesel Production from Glucose-Fed Activated Sludge: Kinetics and Microbial Community Analysis” AIChE Journal, Published on-line May 6, 2011.
Revellame, E., *Hernandez, R., French, W.T., Holmes, W., and Alley, E., 2010 “Biodiesel from Activated Sludge via In situ Transesterification,”, Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Vol. 85, Issue 5, pp. 614-620
Sparks, D.L., Estevez, A, *Hernandez, R., and French, 2010, “Solubility of Small-Chain Carboxylic Acids in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide,” accepted for publication in the Journal of Chemical Engineering Data, Vol. 55, Issue 11, pp. 4922-4927.
G. Zhang, *French, WT., *Hernandez, R., Alley, E., and Paraschivescu, M., 2011
 “Effects of Furfural and Acetic Acid on Growth and Lipid Production from Glucose and Xylose by Rhodotorula glutinis,” Biomass and Bioenergy, Vol. 35, Issue 1, p. 734-740.
Sparks, DL, Estevez, LA, and *Hernandez, R., “Supercritical-fluid-assisted oxidation of oleic acid with ozone and potassium permanganate,” Green Chemistry, Vol. 11, No.7, Pages: 986-993.
Benson, TJ., *Hernandez, R., French, WT., Alley, E., and Holmes, WE., 2009, “Elucidation of the catalytic cracking pathway for unsaturated mono-, di-, and triacylglycerides on solid acid catalysts,” Journal of Molecular Catalysis A-Chemical, Vol. 303, No. 1-2, Pages: 117-123
Zhang, G., French, WT., Hernandez, R., Alley, E., and Paraschivescu, M., Lipid Production from Acid Hydrolysate of Lignocellulosic Biomass by Rhodotorula glutinis, submitted to Biomass and Bioenergy on June, 2009.
Mondala, A., *Hernandez, R., French, WT., McFarland, L., and Alley, E., Lipid accumulation in municipal sewage activated sludge microflora grown on high glucose content synthetic wastewater, submitted to the AIChE Journal on June 16, 2009.
Sparks, D., *Hernandez, R., and Estevez, L.A., 2008, Evaluation of density-based models for the solubility of solids in supercritical carbon dioxide and formulation of a new model, Chemical Engineering Science, Vol. 63, Issue 17, pp. 4292-4301.
Benson, T., *Hernandez, R., French, T., Alley, E., and Holmes, W., 2007, Reactions of Fatty Acids in Superacid Media: Identification of Equilibrium Products, Journal of Molecular Catalysis A, In Press

Research Reports
Hernandez, R., Sparks, D., Zappi, M., Blackwell, D., and Fleming, T., “Evaluation of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide and Propane as Solvents for the Extraction of Rice Bran Oil,” Report Submitted to AgraPure Corporation, Jackson, Mississippi, April 2005.
Hernandez, R. and Zappi, M., “An Evaluation of the Commercialization Potential for a Kenaf-Based Biosorptive Process for Treating Contaminated Aqueous Streams,” September 2004, EPA Contract EP-D-04-038.

•    U.S. Patent Disclosure No. 05-0811-175, filed 10/05
•    U.S. Patent Disclosure No. 05-0308-138, filed 4/05
•    U.S. Patent Disclosure No. 05-0114-130, filed 3/05
•    U.S. Patent Application, Docket No. 2343-187-27, Filed 10/4/2004, In Review

Honors and Awards
• Hearin Faculty Excellence Award (2011)

• State Pride Award (2011)

• Texas Olefin Professorship (2010)

• State Pride Award (2010)

• Hearin Faculty Excellence Award (2010)

• ECFC Research Award (2009)

• Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (2005)

• MSU Initiation Grant (2004)

Sponsored Research
Funded Proposals as Co-Principal Investigator
TITLE: Sewage Derived Biofuels: Phase 1
SPONSOR: General Atomics
INVESTIGATORS: Drs. Todd French, Rafael Hernandez, and Mark White
AMOUNT: $1,200,000
DATES: 7/09-10/10

TITLE: Conversion of Seafood Processing Waste into Triglycerides a Biodiesel Feedstock
SPONSOR: Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant
INVESTIGATORS: Drs. Todd French, Rafael Hernandez, Hossein Toghiani,
AMOUNT: $200,000
DATES: 1/08-1/09

TITLE: Characterization of Proprietary Hydrocarbon Liquids using the Quadra C – GC/MS Micro Reactor
INVESTIGATORS: Drs. Mark G. White and Rafael Hernandez
AMOUNT: $30,747
DATES: 8/07-12/07

TITLE: Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Ethanol Using Novel Processes
SPONSOR: DOE-Sustainable Energy Center
INVESTIGATORS: Drs. Todd French, Rafael Hernandez, Hossein Toghiani, Clifford George, Mark Bricka, Bill Elmore, James Warnock, Dwane Braasch, Yean-Sun Jung, Lewis Brown.
AMOUNT: $688,251
DATES: 1/06-5/07

TITLE: Use of Microorganisms to Reduce Improve Oil Production and Reduce Carbon Dioxide in the Biosphere.
SPONSOR: Department of Energy
DATES: 1/06-12/09
AMOUNT FOR: $200,000

TITLE: Mississippi State Biodiesel Production Project: Development and Optimization of Novel Biodiesel Production Techniques.
SPONSOR: Department of Energy
AMOUNT: $1,225,627
DATES: 8/04-8/05

TITLE: An Engineering Assessment of Key Unit Processes Associated with Biodiesel Production for Application Toward Mississippi Derived Bioproducts with Implications Toward Commercialization
SPONSOR: Mississippi Biomass Council
AMOUNT: $9851
DATES: 2/2003-5/2003
Submitted Proposal (Not Funded)

TITLE: Evolving Wastewater Treatment for Sustainable Production of Second Generation Biofuels and Power.
SPONSOR: European Union
INVESTIGATORS: Drs. Rafael Hernandez, Todd French, and Mark White
COLLABORATORS: Neste Oil, University of Hohenheim, Graz University of Technology, Growdiesel Climate Care Council, Tampere University of Technology, Jyväskylä University
DATES: 3/2009-8/2012
ROLE: Principal Investigator
AMOUNT: $5,700,000

TITLE: Tall Oil: An Alternative Source of Better Quality Biodiesel
SPONSOR: Environmental Protection Agency
INVESTIGATORS: Drs. Rafael Hernandez, Todd French, and Sandun Fernando
ROLE: Principal Investigator
DATES: 10/06-9/07
AMOUNT: $100,000

TITLE: An Innovative Syngas Based Biorefinery Concept: Development of a Biocatalyst for the Production of Biodiesel from Synthesis Gas
INVESTIGATORS: Drs. Todd French, Rafael Hernandez, Mark Bricka Dwaine Braasch
ROLE: Co-Principal Investigator
DATES: 6/06-6/09
AMOUNT: $736,140

TITLE: Integration of Electro Fenton’s Reaction and Biodegradation to Treat 1,2,3-Trichloropropane and 1,4-Dioxane Contaminated Groundwater
SPONSOR Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program
INVESTIGATORS: Drs. Rafael Hernandez, Mark Bricka, and Todd French
ROLE: Principal Investigator
DATES: 1/05-12/07

TITLE: Treatment of Contaminated Aqueous Streams Using Biobased Adsorbents
SPONSOR: US Department of Energy
INVESTIGATORS: Drs Rafael Hernandez and Mark Zappi
ROLE: Principal Investigator
DATES: 10/04-8/07

SPONSOR: National Science Foundation
INVESTIGATORS: Multiple Investigators (Oklahoma State University and MSU)
ROLE: Co-Principal Investigator
DATES: 10/05-9/10

Funded and Pending Proposals as Principal Investigator (Total Funded Amount: $7,125,441)

Title: Biocrude Pilot System Design and Operation
Sponsor: DOE SERC (Status-Pending)
Amount for: $2,300,000

Title: Wastewater as a Sustainable Source of Oil to Produce Biofuels
Sponsor: NSF (Status-Pending)
Amount for: $574,656

Title: Evaluation of Wastewater Containing Lignocellulosic Sugars as a Medium to Grow Oil Accumulating Microbes
Sponsor: NSF
Starting Date: October 2008
End Date: November 2009
Amount for: $99,979

Title: 2009 MSU Biofuels Conference: The Next Generation of Biofuels
Sponsor: NSF
Starting Date: June 2009
End Date: October 2009
Amount for: $10,000

Title: Production of Biocrude via Integration of Wastewater Treatment and the Sugar Platform for Producing Green Transportation Fuels
Sponsor: Department of Energy
Starting Date: January 2008
End Date: December 2010
Amount for: $2,305,702

TITLE: Novel Processes and Feedstocks for Producing Biodiesel
SPONSOR: Department of Energy
START DATE: June 2006
END DATE: June 2008
AMOUNT FOR: $2,065,670

TITLE: Propane Production from Syngas and Model Lipids
SPONSOR: Propane Education and Research Council
AMOUNT: $15,000
DATES: 9/07-12/07

TITLE: Conversion of Wastewater Treatment Facilities into Biorefineries
SPONSOR: Environmental Protection Agency
AMOUNT: $200,000
DATES: 10/1/2007-10/1/2009

TITLE: Development a Bioadsorbent for the Biodiesel Industry
SPONSOR: Mississippi Technology Alliance/Department of Energy
AMOUNT: $250,000
DATES: 8/1/06-3/31/08

TITLE: Novel Processes and Feedstocks for Producing Biodiesel
SPONSOR: Department of Energy
AMOUNT: $2,065,670
DATES: 6/1/06-11/1/08

Ph.D. Student Advising
•    Stephen Douglas Tolar, Adsorption of Water Contaminants onto Kenaf Fibers, Completed Thesis on July 2006.
•    J. Matthew Thomas, Single Step Treatment of 2,4-Dinitrotoluene via Zero Valent Metal Reduction and Chemical Oxidation, Thesis Completed on August 29, 2006
•    W. Jeffrey Horne, Evaluation and Optimization of Control Strategies for Management of Disinfection Byproduct Precursors Within the Northeast Mississippi Water District, Thesis Completed on August 2005. Student advised jointly with Dr. Mark Zappi, Dean of Engineering, University of Louisiana, Lafayette.
•    David Edward Neaves, Evaluation of Fatty Acid Fraction Derived from Tall Oil as a Feedstock for Biodiesel Production, Thesis Completed on March 2007.
•    Darrel Lynn Sparks, Ph.D., Oxidation of Lipids in a Supercritical-Fluid Medium, May 2008.
•    Tracy John Benson, Ph.D., Elucidation of Reaction Pathways for Catalytically Cracked Unsaturated Lipids, May 2008.
•    Stephen T. Dufreche, Ph.D., Effect of Phosphorus Poisoning on the Catalytic Cracking of Lipids for Green Diesel Production, May 2008.
•    Andro Mondala-Hernandez, Ph.D Student (In progress)
•    Emmanuel Revellame, Ph.D. Student (In progress)
•    J. Matthew Thomas, Ph.D. Student (In progress)
•    William Cherry, Ph.D. Student beginning Fall 2009
•    Adebola Coker, Ph.D. Student beginning Fall 2009

Masters Student Advising
•    Jaricus Antre Whitlock, MS Student (In Progress)
•    Scott David Crymble, MS Student (In Progress)

University and Public Service
• Member of the Editorial Board of Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering.

• In the last five years, I have organized the MSU Biofuels Conferences. The first conference (2006) attracted over 200 people from Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Arkansas who attended the workshop. Attendees considered it a great success. Speakers covered most aspects of biodiesel production: oil feedstock and refining, tax incentives, production technologies, by-product handling, and industrial success stories. The 2nd MSU Biofuels Conference took place on August 27, 2007, in the Bost Extension Building and the Hunter Henry Center at Mississippi State University. The conference included tracks on Biodiesel, Green Diesel, Biooil, and Ethanol. There were over 250 people, 50 research posters, and 28 corporate and academic sponsors (web site: Mississippi Biomass Council). The 3rd MSU Biofuels Conference took place on August 14-15, 2008 in MSU, and the 4th MSU Biofuels Conference (see www.biofuelsconference.msstate.edu) took place in Jackson, MS. Last year the conference took place on August 6-7 in Jackson, MS. Attendance and industrial sponsorship has grown every year since the conference inception. This year (October 6-7) the conference returns to Mississippi State University with the objective of highlighting the new biofuel pilot facility. The opening lecture will be offered by the Secretary of the Navy, Raymond Mabus.

• Served as a technical reviewer for the National Science Foundation, World Class University, US Civilian Research & Development Foundation, Bioresource Technology, Journal of Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science and Technology, Polymer International, and Chemosphere