Sheffield researchers win Siemens PSE prize for carbon capture research

Research into modelling carbon capture processes has won the 2022 Siemens PSE Model-Based Innovation Prize.

Professor Meihong Wang smiles as he stands in the Engineering Heartspace
The department's Professor Meihong Wang.

Researchers from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering have been awarded the 2022 Siemens PSE Model-Based Innovation prize for their paper on carbon capture.

Published in the Applied Energy journal in 2021, the paper - titled Dynamic modelling based on surface renewal theory, model validation and process analysis of rotating packed bed absorber for carbon capture - has been awarded a €3,000 (£2,637) first place prize.

The 2022 Siemens PSE Model-Based Innovation Prize awards three different prizes totalling €5,000 for the best published papers describing the use of Siemens PSE’s gPROMS family products in an innovative way or in a novel area of application or technology.

Carbon capture technologies are becoming increasingly important due to the growing demand for industry decarbonisation to help tackle climate change.

The award-winning paper, which was led by the department’s Prof. Meihong Wang, looked at a new way of modelling rotating packed beds for post-combustion capture carbon capture through process intensification.

Carbon capture conventionally uses stationary packed bed columns, however rotating packed beds can reduce the equipment size and costs in solvent-based carbon capture, although modelling rotating packed beds has its challenges. 

The paper used Siemens PSE’s gPROMS modelling tool to produce a dynamic process model based on surface theory renewal for mass transfer, being the first in the world to use gPROMS to do so. A dynamic process model is necessary to understand how the carbon capture process behaves and responds to changes in the operation of a power plant or an industry process.

The modelling and the insights obtained through the process simulation carried out as part of the research will help promote rotating packed bed technology towards industrial deployment in large scale carbon capture.

Prof. Wang said: "This prize is a clear demonstration of our international leading research in intensified carbon capture using rotated packed bed at Sheffield. We hope that it will generate significant impact in industry for commercial deployment of the technology.”

Inspired by the late Professor Colin Ramshaw, the paper was produced in collaboration with the University of Sheffield’s Dr. Xiaobo Luo (postdoc researcher from 2016 to 2019, now lead systems engineer at Baker Hughes) and Newcastle University’s Dr. Jonathan Lee and Dr. James Hendry. It was created under the financial support of €3.2 million as part of the European Commission’s ROLINCAP project.

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