Chemical engineer apologizes for “deliberate lapse,” retracts two papers from Croatian journal

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering QuarterlyA professor of chemical engineering in India has retracted two papers after what he called a “deliberate lapse” of submitting the work without the knowledge of his co-author.

The two papers by Kailas L. Wasewar, then an associate professor in the Chemical Engineering department of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology in Nagpur, India — he appears to be at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee now — appeared in 2006 in consecutive issues of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Quarterly, the official journal of the Croatian Society of Chemical Engineers, Slovenian Chemical Society and Austrian Association of Bioprocess Technology.

The retraction notice appeared in the December issue, following a 27 November letter to the editor:

Dear Sir,

I regret to inform you that I did not take the consent/permission from the co-author in the two papers namely, Prof. V.G. Pangarkar formerly Professor and Head of Chemical Engineering Department, ICT, Mumbai.

Since this was a serious ethical misconduct I feel necessary to bring it to your notice.

In view of this, as the corresponding author and also being solely responsible for this deliberate lapse I am retracting the above referred two papers.

I request you to publish retractions of the above two papers in your journal in the immediate upcoming issue of the same. It is very important for my career.

Also kindly send a copy of the retractions to me as well as Prof. V.G. Pangarkar.

Thanking you,


Kailas L. Wasewar

The retracted papers are “Intensification propionic acid production by reactive extraction: Effect of diluents on equilibrium” and “Intensification of recovery of ethanol from fermentation broth using pervaporation: Economical Evaluation,” both by Wasewar and V. G. Pangarkar.

The journal said:

We offer apologies to our readers for not detecting the problem during the submission process.

Both papers have disappeared from the national journal’s database, Hrcak, where the journal houses its archive, with no mention of the retraction in place of the original articles. The journal’s website carries a line saying “withdrawn” in the two issues in place of the articles, but without stating which articles that refers to.

Interestingly, the journal also retracted another paper on 20 September, but the notice only appeared on its website, not in any of the two subsequent issues. The original article got deleted from the national database and the journal’s website (where it was marked as “withdrawn manuscript”), and no reason was given for the retraction. It reads:

Notification on removal of a manuscript

Hereby is notified, that based on the mutual consent of all the involved parties, the manuscript G. Hodaifaa and M. D. Romero Utilization of Immobilized Trypsin on Commercial Silica Gel as Catalyst which initially appeared in Chem. Biochem. Eng. Q. 26 (1) 7–14 (2012) has been removed.

Prof. Dr. Želimir Kurtanjek

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Q. journal, Editor in Chief

We’ve tried to contact the editors and authors, and will update with anything we learn.

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