CHBE 229

Research Summary

Clathrate (gas) hydrates: thermodynamics, kinetics, impact on climate change and technological applications; Optimization and machine learning in process engineering; Engineered paper from lignocellulosic fibres


University of Calgary, 1990, Ph.D.
University of Calgary, 1986, M.A.Sc.
National Technical University of Athens, 1981, B.Sc.

Research interests + projects

Clathrate (gas) hydrates.  Clathrate or gas hydrates are non-stoichiometric crystalline inclusion compounds formed by water and over one hundred other molecules at suitable temperature and pressure conditions. We have over 30 years of experience in this field and made important contributions to understanding of their phase behaviour and the kinetics of formation and dissociation.  We have utilized this fundamental knowledge to contribute to technological innovations such as the hydrate-based gas separations with applications to carbon dioxide capture. Other areas include the elucidation of the way in which antifreeze proteins inhibit hydrate crystal growth. We have also advanced our knowledge of the positive feedback processes to climate change due the uncontrolled dissociation of the earth’s methane hydrates.

Optimization and machine learning in process engineering. In the past 30 years we have developed nonlinear optimization methods for parameter estimation in various fields of chemical engineering.  This work is mainly based on the use of phenomenological models and the matching of these models with experimental data to extract parameter values and their statistical properties. The recent advances in computer processing speed and information storage density are increasingly exploited to extract patterns of behaviour from large experimental datasets using machine learning. We are also interested in evolving machine learning as a modelling approach for physical and chemical systems of interest in chemical engineering.

Engineered paper from lignocellulosic fibres. The use of paper has declined in recent years due to the increased use of digital media. While paper is still  widely used as a communications medium, new applications emerge. This is due to the fact that paper is a biodegradable material obtained from a renewable resource. We have been interested for some time to engineering paper and its surface in order to achieve desired barrier properties demanded in specialized packaging and  other new applications.

Awards and honours

Fellow, Canadian Academy of Engineering , 2009
Fellow, Tokyo Electric Power Company endowed Chair, Keio University , 1999
UBC Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Faculty Research Fellowship , 1997

Selected publications + presentations

Mirvakili, M.N., S.G. Hatzikiriakos, and P. Englezos, “Opaque and translucent films from aqueous microfiber suspensions by evaporative self-assembly ”, Physics of Fluids, 33(3), 032012 (2021).

Cendales, J., M. Yin, P. Englezos, Thermodynamics and kinetics of CO2 hydrate formation in the presence of cellulose nanocrystals with statistical treatment of data, Fluid Phase Equilibria, 529 (1), 112863,  2021.

Sharifi, H., Akio, Y., Takeya S., Ripmeester, J., and P. Englezos, “Superheating Clathrate Hydrates for Anomalous Preservation”, The Journal of Physical Chemistry  C, 122, 17019-17023, 2018,

Babu, P., A. Nambiar, T. He, I. Karimi, J.D. Lee, P. Englezos, and P. Linga, “A Review of Clathrate Hydrate Based Desalination to Strengthen Energy-Water Nexus”, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 6, 8093-8107, 2018.

Bagherzadeh, A., S. Alavi, J. A. Ripmeester, and P. Englezos, “Why Ice-Binding Type I Antifreeze Protein Acts as a Gas Hydrate Crystal Inhibitor”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 17, 9984-9990, 2015.