Dr Alasdair Campbell
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
+44 114 222 7573
Full contact details
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Pam Liversidge Building
I completed my undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambidge in 2003 and then subsequently read for a PhD in Chemical Engineering, which was awarded in 2007. This work was entitled, “The Effects of Natural Convection on Low Temperature Combustion,” and was awarded the Danckwerts-Pergamon Prize for the best dissertation produced in the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2007.
After the completion of my PhD, I was appointed as the Hertha Ayrton Research Fellow in Chemical Engineering at Girton College, Cambridge from 2007 until 2012. In 2011, I was awarded the Hinshelwood Prize by the Combustion Institute. This prize is awarded in recognition of meritorious work by a young scientist of the British Section of the Combustion Institute.
I was appointed as a Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Surrey in 2012, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2017. I joined the University of Sheffield as a Senior Lecturer in 2019.
- Research interests
My research interests are centred on buoyant, reactive flow. This work can be can be broadly split into work in two general areas, namely process safety (incorporating combustion, explosion and the dispersion of reactive chemicals) and the energy-water nexus, focussing on the use of low-cost technologies for the production of potable or irrigation water in arid regions.
My work has focussed on understanding the interaction of fluid mechanics and chemistry on a fundamental level using a combination of numerical and analytical techniques, coupled to simple experiments. My broad areas of interest are summarised below.
The heat released by combustion reactions can result in significant changes in the density, and thus can induce natural convection. This work has led to numerous publications in high ranking chemical engineering, combustion and interdisciplinary journals and involves a theoretical and numerical investigation of natural convection coupled with two combustion phenomena, namely cool flames, which are a feature of low temperature combustion, and thermal explosion.
I work on the development new integral models describing plumes in which a chemical reaction alters the density. Such plumes can arise in a variety of circumstances ranging from industrial accidents (e.g. the Gulf of Mexico oil spill) to volcanic eruption columns. The development of new models to describe such plumes is vital for designing effective responses to such events.
I am interested in the investigation and deployment of low cost methods of solar energy capture and storage. In particular, I work on solar ponds, where salinity gradients can be used to trap solar energy and industrial waste heat for use in driving desalination processes.
- Numerical simulations and experimental verification of the thermal performance of phase change materials in a tube-bundle latent heat thermal energy storage system. Applied Thermal Engineering, 194, 117079.
- The effect of mass transfer on corrosion in oilfield production processes by wastewater enriched with CO2: Computer-aided modeling and experimental verification. Case Studies in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, 2, 100030-100030.
- Finite element modelling of the thermal performance of salinity gradient solar ponds. Energy, 203, 117861-117861.
- Numerical investigation on the effect of fin design on the melting of phase change material in a horizontal shell and tube thermal energy storage. Journal of Energy Storage, 29, 101331-101331.
- Experimental study on the melting behavior of a phase change material in a conical coil latent heat thermal energy storage unit. Applied Thermal Engineering, 175, 114684-114684.
- Improved PCM melting in a thermal energy storage system of double-pipe helical-coil tube. Energy Conversion and Management, 203, 112238-112238.
- Direct contact evaporation of a single two-phase bubble in a flowing immiscible liquid medium. Part I: two-phase bubble size. Heat and Mass Transfer, 55(9), 2593-2603.
- Numerical study and experimental validation of the effects of orientation and configuration on melting in a latent heat thermal storage unit. Journal of Energy Storage, 23, 456-468.
- Numerical study on the effect of the location of the phase change material in a concentric double pipe latent heat thermal energy storage unit. Thermal Science and Engineering Progress, 11, 40-49.
- Experimental investigation of the thermal performance of a helical coil latent heat thermal energy storage for solar energy applications. Thermal Science and Engineering Progress, 10, 287-298.
- Convective heat transfer measurements in a vapour-liquid-liquid three-phase direct contact heat exchanger. Heat and Mass Transfer, 54(6), 1697-1705.
- Measuring the Overall Volumetric Heat Transfer Coefficient in a Vapor-Liquid–Liquid Three-Phase Direct Contact Heat Exchanger. Heat Transfer Engineering, 39(3), 208-216.
- Behaviour of a salinity gradient solar pond during two years and the impact of zonal thickness variation on its performance. Applied Thermal Engineering, 130, 1191-1198.
- New comprehensive investigation on the feasibility of the gel solar pond, and a comparison with the salinity gradient solar pond. Applied Thermal Engineering, 130, 672-683.
- Regeneration of dimethyl ether as a draw solute in forward osmosis by utilising thermal energy from a solar pond. Desalination, 415, 104-114.
- A comparative study of the performance of solar ponds under Middle Eastern and Mediterranean conditions with batch and continuous heat extraction. Applied Thermal Engineering, 120, 728-740.
- An analytical estimation of salt concentration in the upper and lower convective zones of a salinity gradient solar pond with either a pond with vertical walls or trapezoidal cross section. Solar Energy, 158, 207-217.
- Experimental analysis of the temperature and concentration profiles in a salinity gradient solar pond with, and without a liquid cover to suppress evaporation. Solar Energy, 155, 1354-1365.
- Heat transfer measurement in a three-phase spray column direct contact heat exchanger for utilisation in energy recovery from low-grade sources. Energy Conversion and Management, 126, 342-351.
- A comprehensive transient model for the prediction of the temperature distribution in a solar pond under mediterranean conditions. Solar Energy, 135, 297-307.
- Measuring the average volumetric heat transfer coefficient of a liquid–liquid–vapour direct contact heat exchanger. Applied Thermal Engineering, 103, 47-55.
- Heat transfer measurement in a three-phase direct-contact condenser under flooding conditions. Applied Thermal Engineering, 95, 106-114.
- New theoretical modelling of heat transfer in solar ponds. Solar Energy, 125, 207-218.
- Heat transfer efficiency and capital cost evaluation of a three-phase direct contact heat exchanger for the utilisation of low-grade energy sources. Energy Conversion and Management, 106, 101-109.
- Experimental measurements and theoretical prediction for the volumetric heat transfer coefficient of a three-phase direct contact condenser. International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 66, 180-188.
- A new model for the drag coefficient of a swarm of condensing vapour–liquid bubbles in a third immiscible liquid phase. Chemical Engineering Science, 131, 76-83.
- The effect of external heat transfer on thermal explosion in a spherical vessel with natural convection. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17(26), 16894-16906.
- Experimental measurements and theoretical prediction for the transient characteristic of a two-phase two-component direct contact condenser. Applied Thermal Engineering, 87, 161-174.
- When do chemical reactions promote mixing?. Chemical Engineering Journal, 168(1), 1-14.
- Turbulent plumes with internal generation of buoyancy by chemical reaction. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 655, 122-151.
- On the occurrence of thermal explosion in a reacting gas: The effects of natural convection and consumption of reactant. Combustion and Flame, 157(2), 230-239.
- Effects of natural convection on thermal explosion in a closed vessel. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 10(36), 5521-5521.
- Oscillatory and nonoscillatory behavior of a simple model for cool flames, Sal'nikov's reaction, P → A → B, occurring in a spherical batch reactor with varying intensities of natural convection. Combustion and Flame, 154(1-2), 122-142.
- A comparison of measured temperatures with those calculated numerically and analytically for an exothermic chemical reaction inside a spherical batch reactor with natural convection. Chemical Engineering Science, 62(11), 3068-3082.
- A Scaling Analysis of the Effects of Natural Convection, when Sal’nikov's Reaction: P→A→B Occurs, Together With Diffusion and Heat Transfer in a Batch Reactor. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 84(7), 553-561.
- The influence of natural convection on the temporal development of the temperature and concentration fields for Sal’nikov's reaction, , occurring batchwise in the gas phase in a closed vessel. Chemical Engineering Science, 60(21), 5705-5717.
- A scaling analysis of Sal'nikov's reaction, P→A→B, in the presence of natural convection and the diffusion of heat and matter. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 461(2059), 1999-2020.
- The behaviour of Sal’nikov’s reaction, P → A → B, in a spherical batch reactor with the diffusion of heat and matter. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 8(24), 2866-2878.
- Modelling of the Thermal Performance of SGSP using COMSOL Multiphysics, Computer Aided Chemical Engineering (pp. 2575-2580). Elsevier
Conference proceedings papers
- Numerical study of latent heat storage unit thermal performance enhancement using natural inspired fins. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, Vol. 1076. Diyala, Iraq, 16 December 2020 - 17 December 2020.
- Investigating the impact of internal and external convection on thermal explosion in a spherical vessel. Institution of Chemical Engineers Symposium Series, Vol. 2016-January(161)