John Blamey

john blamey Supervisor: Prof Nilay Shah
Current Research Project: BioSonic
Funding Source: EU FP7-SME
Research Interests:

  • Biomass fractionation.  On BioSonic, an EU FP7 funded project, investigating the fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass into hemicellulose sugars, lignin and cellulose.  Focus on lab-scale experimental design, process modelling and scale-up.
  • CaO looping cycles for CO2 capture.  Focus has been on the reactivation of spent sorbent using hydration, including a kinetics investigation of the reaction of CaO with steam.  Also experienced in the application of the hydration of CaO to systems involving the capture of CO2 from air and thermochemical energy storage.

Matthew Boot-Handford

matthew boot-hanford Supervisor: Prof Paul Fennell
Current Research Project: ASCENT (Advanced Solid Cycles with Efficient Novel Technologies)
Funding Source:  European Union Seventh Framework Programme FP7 under grant agreement n° 608512
Research Interests:

  • CO2 capture via high-temperature solid looping cycles including chemical-looping combustion (CLC) and calcium-looping (CaL) for highly efficient, decarbonised power production.
  • The development and testing of cheap, highly reactive and robust, O2/CO2 sorbents for applications in high-temperature, solid-looping CO2 capture systems.
  • Investigating the interactions between refractory liquids (tars) produced during the pyrolysis and gasification of biomass with O2/CO2 sorbents and tar cracking catalysts.
  • Pyrolysis and gasification of biomass and waste feedstocks for bio-oil production.

Mai Bui

Supervisor: Dr Niall Mac Dowell
Current research project: Opening New Fuels for UK Generation (ONF)
Funding source: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Countil (EPSRC) Awards
Research interests:

  • CO2 Capture and Utilisation
  • Dynamic and flexible operation of CO2 capture processes
  • Modelling and simulation of chemical/industrial processes
  • Biomass fuel combustion and co-combustion
  • Clean-up systems for emission reduction

Joachim Geske

joachimSupervisor: Prof Richard Green
Current research project: Business, Economics, Planning and Policy (BEPP) for Energy Storage in Low-Carbon Futures
Funding source: EPSRC Reference: EP/L014386/1
Research interests:

  • Energy Economics, esp. energy storage:
  • Developing models to calculate the value of storage deployment and operation in the context of the electricity system.
  • Implementation of this welfare maximizing operation: What policies are needed to ensure that storage can be economically viable when sensibly deployed and operated?

Miao Guo

miaoSupervisor: Prof Nilay Shah
Current research project: Bioenergy value chains: Whole systems analysis and optimisation
Funding source: EPSRC EP/K036734/1
Research interests:

  • Bioenergy system modelling and optimization for multi-system integration. Under current EPSRC project, bioenergy system model is configured to account for a range of conflicting issues across UK bioenergy value chains and the interaction between resource-competing systems ( bioenergy vs. non-energy), and  a wider ecosystem services, aiming to determine the optimal bioenergy supply chains contributing to a technologically and economically efficient and environmentally sustainable UK energy system.
  • Bioenergy system design for emerging economy, e.g. bioenergy value chain optimisation and model development under the context of South Africa or Asia.
  • Whole system modelling of resource recovery from waste including energy and chemical recovery from carbon-containing and nutrient-rich waste resources via thermochemical or biochemical routes.
  • Process-based agro-ecosystem modelling of biomass. Application of the process-based geochemistry models to simulate the 1G and 2G biomass dynamics and the agroecosystem cycles of carbon and nitrogen.
  • Sustainability assessments of the integrated biorefinery systems and value chains. Application of life cycle approach to  investigate the environmental and techno-economic perspectives of biorefinery systems and the associated biomaterials/biofuel/bioenergy value chains.

Salman Masoudi Soltani

salmanSupervisors: Prof Paul Fennell, Dr Niall Mac Dowell
Current research project: Opening New Fuels for UK Generation (ONF) and CO2QUEST
Funding source: EPSRC Awards
Research interests: 

  • Detailed Design of Industrial Chemical Processes
  • Separation Technologies
  • Carbon Capture & Utilisation Processes
  • Simulation & Modelling of Chemical Processes
  • Nanomaterial Synthesis, Functionalization, Characterisation and Application

Evgenia Mechleri

evgenia mechleri Supervisor: Dr Niall Mac Dowell
Current Research Project: (MESMERISE-CCS): Multi-scale Energy Systems Modelling Encompassing Renewable, Intermittent, Stored Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage
Funding Source: EP/M001369/1
Research Interests:

  • Flexible CCS networks: MESMERISE-CCS: Identification of the flexibility bottlenecks in the CCS chain and options for the development of resilient CCS systems. Development and integration of detailed mathematical models of each link in the CCS chain.
  • CCU(Carbon Capture and Utilisation): ACUTEC: Assessing CO2 Utilisation Technologies in the European Context.
  • Real time control and MPC (Model Predictive control): GAS-Facts: Real time control of gas power plants fitted with CCS. Decentralised control schemes and also centralised MPC scenarios have been applied to integrated power plants with capture plants.

Maria Teresa Mota Martinez

mayteSupervisor: Dr Niall MacDowell and Dr Jason Hallett
Current research project: Process-performance indexed design of task-specific ionic liquids for post-combustion CO2 capture.
Funding source: UKCCSRC
Research interests:

  • Integration of process modelling tools with physically-based molecular models in a multi-scale approach for CO2 capture process assessment.
  • Sensitivity analysis of the thermo-physical properties of solvents for CO2 absorption at conditions associated with post-combustion CO2 capture which are predominantly affecting the economics of the process.
  • Application of computer aided molecular solvent design (CAMD) methodology to design new solvents, e.g. ionic liquids, which will fit the purpose of CO2 capture.

Pedro Rivotti

pedro rivotti Supervisor: Prof Nilay Shah
Current research project: CO2QUEST
Funding source: EU FP7-ENERGY
Research interests:

  • Whole-system modelling of CCS networks. Development of source-to-sink models reflecting the range of carbon capture technologies, transportation networks, and sequestration sites expected in the UK. Within the context of CO2QUEST, the goal is to understand the risks and benefits associated with CO2 impurities and their impact on the optimal operation of CCS networks. The main activities include process modelling and optimisation.
  • Process control strategies for PCCC plants. Design of control strategies for post-combustion carbon capture plants coupled with power plants subject to flexible operation conditions. The focus is both on classical control solutions and on advanced process control strategies, such as model predictive control.

Jiafei Zhang

jiafei zhang Supervisors: Prof Martin Trusler, Prof Paul Fennell
Current research project: Gas - Future Advanced Capture Technology Systems (Gas-FACTS) 
Funding source: EPSRC Reference EP/J020788/1
Research Interests:

  • CO2 capture using chemical absorbents, e.g. conventional amine solutions, novel biphasic solvents and immobilised absorbents
  • Characterisation of absorbents in terms of net CO2 capacity, reaction kinetics, heat requirement, degradation and volatility 
  • Thermophysical properties of solvents: density, viscosity, surface tension, heat capacity, vapour-liquid equilibrium, etc.

Zili Zhang

Supervisor: Prof Paul Fennell
Current research Project: Chemical Looping for Low-cost Oxygen Production And Other Applications. UKCCSRC Call1
Advanced Sorbents for CCS via Controlled Sintering. UKCCSRC Call2
Low Cost Carbon Capture using an Endex Reactor. DECC and Calix Ltd.
Research interests:

  • Pressurised fluidised bed for carbon capture and clean energy (hydrogen) production processes including chemical looping combustion/gasification and sorption-enhanced reforming
  • Improved sorbent performances for carbon capture and hydrogen storage
  • Effect of contaminant from combustion and gasification of biomass, wastes and coal on performance of CO2 sorbent or oxygen carrying metal oxides.
  • Kinetics and mechanistic study of catalytic reaction and gas-solid reactions in fluidised bed reactor.

Liya Zheng

liya zheng Supervisor: Prof Paul Fennell
Current research project: REO Kiln; Reduced Emission Cement: Cradle to Grave Material Applications and Accounting
Funding source: G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral
Research interests:

  • Carbon Capture and Storage, post-combustion CO2 capture and oxygen combustion process for cement manufacture;
  • Synthesis and characterization of the CO2 sorbents and Oxygen storage materials, and improving the properties of the CaO sorbent