A/Prof Akshat Tanksale completed his PhD at The University of Queensland in 2008 examining nanomaterials / chemical reaction engineering. This was followed by a postdoctoral position at UQ examining the conversion of biomass to liquid fuels and chemicals and hydrogen storage. Joining Monash University in 2011, A/Prof Tanksale leads the Catalysis for Green Chemicals group where his interest is in the field of heterogeneous catalysis for conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals using nanomaterials.
A/Prof Tanksale is the Chair of the Joint Victorian Chemical Engineers Committee (JVCEC) under the common umbrella of IChemE and Engineers Australia.
Petroleum reserves are rapidly depleting and there is no clear alternative as yet. A/Prof Akshat Tanksale believes that innovating new processes and designing novel heterogeneous catalysts at the nanoscale is the key for developing low carbon emission alternative fuels and chemicals. As group leader of the Catalysis for Green Chemicals group at Monash University, he is working in the field of nanomaterials to reduce human resilience on conventional fossil fuels, like petroleum, which are diminishing in amount and are also responsible for climate change through carbon dioxide pollution.
This research is very challenging. There is no easy route to achieve a long term sustainable renewable energy source. It involves a multi-disciplinary approach to find a solution. Apart from the fundamental chemical engineering principles, his research involves breakthrough science in the fields of nanomaterials and applied chemistry. This research is hugely important in the current socio-economic environment where renewable energy has become one of the top priorities of the very existence of human-kind. If a long-term solution to the energy crisis and climate change problem is not solved then in the near term we face global economic slowdown, and in the long term the rise in global temperatures.
A/Prof Tanksale makes his contribution towards this field through the development of new chemical pathways for conversion of biomass to liquid fuels and green chemicals. His group also designs novel catalysts based on nanomaterials. These catalysts enable the selective conversion of biomass, providing faster reaction kinetics and higher yield of the products.