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Dr. George Anitescu


Dr. Anitescu is a research scientist working in the field of supercritical fluid (SCF) technologies applied to diesel and biodiesel fuels by exploring synergistics of fuel thermophysical properties and processing for environmentally clean and sustainable fuel/energy production. He holds PhD degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and has extensive industrial, research, teaching, and consulting experience. His early research at University of Bucharest was focused particularly on CO2 capture from gas mixtures in high-absorption capacity solvents, a topic which is of great interest today to mitigate global climate change. He also developed a method to extract flavored/fragrant natural compounds from biomass resources in SCFs. His research at Syracuse University was focused on PCB and PAH solubilities in SCFs and environmental applications in cleaning the PCB/PAH polluted sediments (e.g., SCF extraction and oxidation). Recently, Dr. Anitescu has worked on a new method of injecting SCfuels for cleaner and more efficient combustion in diesel engines. He also proposed a new method to produce biodiesel of superior quality from various lipid feedstocks at half manufacturing cost compared to conventional catalytic methods. Currently Dr. Anitescu is working in the Thermophysical Properties Division on a reference data infrastructure to support the manufacture, distribution, and end use of a variety of fuels, with emphasis on renewable biofuels.  George lives by the saying: "the happiest is not who has the most but someone who needs the least". Outside the lab, he enjoys reducing his dependence on fossil fuels by green and sustainable gardening (he is particularly proud of his giant sunflowers) and by working on his own house to diminish its energy/fuel consumption (e.g., designed and built a hybrid shingle-metal roof with minimal heat transfer).

Research Interests

Research areas of interest span several topics in the field of supercritical fluid (SCF) technologies and fuel properties. New investigative tools for fluid properties and phase transitions have been designed and constructed to accomplish this research. Among these tools are:high-P, high-T view cells; SC fuel injectors; high-P, high-T apparatus for the determination of fuel density and phase transitions; flow reactors for SC water oxidation and lipid transesterification; etc.

Biodiesel fuel production by supercritical transesterification of triglyceride feedstocks. 

In order to make alternative renewable fuels cost effective, a new method was proposed for fuel production from vegetable and algal oils as well as animal fats and waste greases. The method is a continuous process to produce biodiesel fuel at approximately half production cost compared to current catalytic methods (the glycerol decomposition products are included in fuel. Research to optimize SC transesterification(e.g., phase transitions, optimal reaction conditions, reactant and reaction product effect on process efficiency, glycerol decomposition, etc.) has been carried out.

Supercritical fuels for diesel engines. 

Recent work was devoted to a major project envisioned to inject fuels under near or SC conditions in diesel engines. The breakthrough method is expected to increase engine efficiency by 10% with a simultaneous ~80% NOx and PM emission reduction. Currently, scientists from academia, national research laboratory and industry work to implement this method.

Fluid solubility, extraction, and reactions in liquid and supercritical solvents.

Work on these topics was performed to develop a new quasistatic method to determine solute solubility in SCFs with both high productivity and superior accuracy of the dynamic and static methods, respectively. In a similar fashion, a was developed to determine the solubility of gases in liquids. In the field of reactions in SC water, a method was proposed to oxidize organic compounds via co-reacting solvents. In connection with this topic, reaction pathways and mechanisms for PCB and diesel fuel oxidation in SC water were determined.

Representative Publications

Marulanda, V.; Anitescu, G.; Tavlarides, L. L. Investigations on Supercritical Transesterification of Chicken Fat for Biodiesel Production from Low-Cost Lipid Feedstocks. J. Supercrit. Fluids (2010) 54, 53-60.

Deshpande, A.; Anitescu, G.; Tavlarides, L. L. Supercritical Biodiesel Production and Power Cogeneration: Technical and Economic Feasibilities. Bioresource Technology (2009), 6), 1834-1843.

Marulanda, V.; Anitescu, G.; Tavlarides, L. L. Biodiesel Fuels through a Continuous Flow Process of Chicken Fat Supercritical Transesterification. Energy & Fuels (2009), 24, 253-260.

Anitescu, G.; Tavlarides, L. L.; Geana, D. Phase Transitions and Thermal Behavior of Fuel-Diluent Mixtures.Energy & Fuels (2009), 23(6), 3068-3077.

Anitescu, G.; Deshpande, A.; Tavlarides, L. L. Integrated Technology for Supercritical Biodiesel Production and Power Cogeneration. Energy & Fuels 2008), 22, 1391–1399.

Anitescu, G.; Tavlarides, L. L. Supercritical Extraction of Contaminants from Soils and Sediments (invited review).J. Supercrit. Fluids (2006), 38(2), 167-180.

Anitescu, G.; Tavlarides, L. L.Oxidation of Aroclor 1248 in Supercritical Water: A Global Kinetic Study. Ind. & Eng. Chem. Res. (2000), 39(3), 583-591.

Anitescu, G.; Zhang, Z.; Tavlarides, L. L. A Kinetic Study of Methanol Oxidation in Supercritical Water.  Ind. & Eng. Chem. Res. (1999), 38(6), 2231-2237.

Anitescu, G.; Tavlarides, L.L. Solubility of Individual Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Congeners in Supercritical Fluids: CO2, CO2/MeOH CO2/n-C4H10.; J. Supercrit. Fluids (1999), 14(3), 197-211.

Anitescu, G.; Tavlarides, L. L. Solubilities of Solids in Supercritical Fluids - I. New Quasistatic Experimental Method for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) + Pure Fluids. J. Supercrit. Fluids (1997), 10(3), 175-189.

Anitescu, G.; Tavlarides, L. L. Solubilities of Solids in Supercritical Fluids-II. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) + CO2/Cosolvent. J. Supercrit. Fluids (1997), 11(1-2), 37-51.

Doneanu, C.; Anitescu, G. Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction of Angelica Archangelica L. Root Oil.J. Supercrit. Fluids (1998), 12(1), 59-67.

Gainar, I.; Anitescu, G. The Solubility of CO2, N2 and H2 in a Mixture of Dimethylether Polyethylene Glycols at High Pressures.Fluid Phase Equilibria (1995), 109(2), 281-289. 

Articles in technical magazines: 

Use of Supercritical Diesel Fuel for Improved Efficiency and Reduced Emissions, by Mike Millikin; Green Car Congress, Aug. 4, 2009.

Supercritical Fuel Injection: A Supercritical Diesel Engine Could Increase Efficiency and Cut Emissions by Duncan Graham-Rowe, Technology (MIT Review).  Aug. 11, 2009. 

Supercritical Fuel Injection Could Reduce Diesel Emissions, by Steven Ashley, Society of Automotive Engineers International, Aug. 26, 2009.; Rated #5 as readers' choice from Top Technology Stories of 2009. 

Supercritical Diesel Fuel Might Solve Problems, but Needs More R&D, by Jack Peckham, Diesel Fuel News, Sept. 21, 2009.

Supercritical Fuel, by Neil Canter; Tribology & Lubrication Technology; February 2010.


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Dr. George Anitescu practicing green gardening



Research Associate
University of Colorado at Boulder and
NIST/Division of Thermophysical Properties
Experimental Properties of Fluids Group
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305-3337


Telephone:  303-497-3553
Fax:  303-497-5044


Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Syracuse University, 2008; (Dissertation: Supercritical Technology Applied to the Production of Diesel and Biodiesel Fuels; with Prof. L. L. Tavlarides)

Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Bucharest, 1993; (Dissertation: Thermodynamic Studies of Gas-Liquid Phase Equilibria at High Pressures; with Prof. R. Valcu)

M.S., Physical Chemistry, University “Politehnica” of Bucharest, 1975;
(Thesis: Molecular Interactions in Gases at High Pressures; with Prof. R. Valcu)

B.S., Chemistry, University of Bucharest, 1974; (Thesis: Second Virial Interaction Coefficients in Pressurized CO2H2 Mixtures; with Prof. R. Valcu)