Phone : +91-80-2293 2341
Email : kesava at iisc.ac.in
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- B.Tech., Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras (1977)
- M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Houston (1979)
- Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Houston (1982)


- CH 205 Chemical Reaction Engineering
- CH 244 Treatment of Drinking Water


Our major research interests concern engineering and design of processes and tools for treatment of water from various sources to make them compatible for human consumption or environmental release. One main theme has been defluo-ridation of drinking water where we have shown how column design and choice of adsorbents are critical to the output water quality. Our studies showed that the surface of the activated alumina pellets undergoes changes upon pre-soaking with deionzied water, possibly caused by a phase transition from boehmite to gibbstie. We demonstrated a strong effect of pre-soaking and column diameter on the volume of treated water obtained from column experiments.

On another front, we have demonstrated the use a solar still for the treatment of drinking water, rainwater harvesting, and efficient disposal of spent analytical reagent at the laboratory scale. Water samples distilled in an inclined-basin solar

still displayed successful reduction of total dissolved solids, total hardness, calcium hardness as well as fluoride levels to within the desirable limits for drinking water. Rainwater harvested from the upper surface of the still had water quality param-eters comparable to those of bottled water, but the amount of total dissolved sol-ids was much lower. Concerns with the water odour were successfully addressed by replacing sand layer with activated carbon. We are also interested in the reuse of greywater discharged from washing machines for flushing toilets.

Awards & Honors

- Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, 1992



1. Medina, A., Serrano, D.A., Gutierrez, G.J., Rao, K.K. and Vargas, C.A., On the mass flow rate from silos with lateral exit holes, Revista Mexicana de Fisica 59, 287-291, (2013).

2. Anjaneyulu, L, Kumar, EA, Sankannavar, R, and Rao, KK, Use of a solar still for defluoridation of drinking water and rainwater harvesting, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 51, 8040-8048, (2012).

3. Balakrishnan, R, Sankannavar, R, and Rao, KK, A mechanism for the occurrence of ions in distilled water, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 50, 13202-13209, (2011).

4. Rohit, Kanwar, L, and Rao, KK, A low-cost portable colorimeter for the estimation of fluoride in drinking water, Sensors and Actuators B, 149, 245-251, (2010).


1. Rao, KK, and Nott, PR, An Introduction to Granular Flow, Cambridge University Press (2008).