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Theo T Tsotsis

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Robert E. Vivian Chair in Energy Resources and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science


  • 1974, Bachelor's Degree, Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens
  • Doctoral Degree, Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Master's Degree, Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, 1978
M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, 1976
B.S., Chemical Engineering, National Technical University, Athens, Greece, 1974

Research Summary

* Reaction engineering , membrane Separation Processes

Specific Research Projects

* Transport and Reaction in Membranes and Catalysts

We are interested in the study of transport and reaction phenomena in membranes, adsorbents, and catalysts. Membranes are of interest because of their application in reactive separation applications (e.g., membrane reactors), but also because they serve as model systems for the study of such phenomena in other porous systems like adsorbents and catalysts. The studies are both of experimental and theoretical character. Our experiments involve carbon molecular sieve and SiC membranes. To model the transport phenomena, we use non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) techniques.

* High Temperature Reactions

We are interested in power generation applications involving chemical recuperation with the aid of high temperature non-reactive and reactive membrane separation processes. We utilize hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen permselective membranes. We study the combustion characteristics of the resulting natural gas (NG) mixtures, which contain large quantities of CO2 and H2. We also study the oxygen enhanced or oxy-fuel combustion of NG using oxygen transport membranes. The experiments are carried out in an experimental set-up, which allows us to measure the fluid mechanics, temperature, and composition of the reactive flows. Experiments are coupled to complete numerical simulations of 2-D and 3-D reactive flows involving full chemistry.

* Environmental Reaction Engineering

We are interested in the remediation of landfill sites. Our work involves the detailed modeling of landfill gas and leachate generation and transport in these sites. We also investigate the application of biofilters as an inexpensive and effective technology for the remediation of landfill gas.

In addition, we are interested in the development and use of novel adsorbent and membranes for the elimination of toxic pollutants from drinking water and industrial wastewaters. Our current project in this area involves the elimination of heavy toxic metals like As, Se, and Hg from power-plant effluents.


  • 2011 OCEC President's Award
  • 2009 Fellow of the AIChE
  • 2007 Teaching Award
  • 2005 Teaching Award
  • 1992 UOP Invitational Lectureship
  • 1986 Caltech Chevron Visiting Professor
  • 1983 USC Research Scholar
  • 1983 Welch Foundation Fellow
  • 1981 USC Chevron Young Faculty Award
  • 1980 Oak Ridge Associated Universities Fellowship
  • 1974 National Student Award of the Greek Chemical Engineers
  • - Greek Government Undergraduate Scholarship Award
  • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

  • HED 210
  • Hedco Pertroleum and Chemical Engineering Building
  • 925 Bloom Walk, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 1211

Contact Information
  • (213) 740-2069
  • tsotsis@usc.edu


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