Professor Rachael Rothman (née Elder)
MA MEng (Cantab), PhD, AMIChemE
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Professor of Sustainable Chemical Engineering
Director of Student Support
Associate Director Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures
Academic Lead for Sustainability
+44 114 222 7574
Full contact details
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
I was born and brought up in Teesside and graduated from the University of Cambridge with a first class MEng in Chemical Engineering. I spent a year in Sweden before embarking on my PhD at the University of Sheffield.
Following my PhD I was a postdoctoral research associate for two years, becoming a lecturer in 2009 and a senior lecturer in 2014. During this time I was the departmental Support Teaching Coordinator, 4th Year Tutor and Director of Student Support.
I led the department’s successful Athena SWAN silver award submission in 2013 and was the Faculty Director for Women in Engineering 2014 – 2017, leading the faculty's equality and diversity activities. I have twice taken a year of maternity leave following the birth of my sons.
As Director for Women in Engineering I led a team of people working to improve equality and diversity, with a particular focus on gender equality. We strive to be the number one place for women to work and study engineering and organise numerous outreach events and activities to increase the proportion of female staff and students and put in place long-lasting cultural changes.
I was a member of the British Orienteering team for 16 years, ran 7 world championships and have two gold medals from the World University Championships. I have now retired from international racing but still love to go orienteering and am actively involved in coaching local and university athletes and am a mentor on the University Elite Sports Performance Scheme.
- Research interests
My research is in the development and analysis of sustainable processes and clean energy systems. My interests lie in whole systems analysis, clean energy technologies and thermochemical and electrochemical cycles for hydrogen production and carbon dioxide utilisation.
Recent projects include:
- the EPSRC funded 4CU project, investigating utilisation of carbon dioxide to form fuel
- the European Framework 7 HycycleS project, looking at key components for the Sulfur Iodine and Hybrid Sulphur cycles for hydrogen production
- the KNOO (Keeping the Nuclear Option Open) project, investigating nuclear hydrogen production.
- Sustainable Processes
- Clean Energy Systems
- Thermochemical and Electrochemical Cycles
- Hydrogen Production
- Carbon Dioxide Utilisation
- Membrane Separations
- Whole System Analysis
- Photocatalytic Reduction of CO2 to CO in Aqueous Solution under Red-Light Irradiation by a Zn-Porphyrin-Sensitized Mn(I) Catalyst. Inorganic Chemistry, 61(34), 13281-13292.
- Engineering chemistry to meet COP26 targets. Nature Reviews Chemistry, 6(1), 1-3.
- Peer-to-peer electricity trading as an enabler of increased PV and EV ownership. Energy Conversion and Management, 245.
- Establishing the value of community energy storage: a comparative analysis of the UK and Germany. Journal of Energy Storage, 40. View this article in WRRO
- Reimagining the milk supply chain: Reusable vessels for bulk delivery. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 27, 1030-1046.
- Many happy returns: combining insights from the environmental and behavioural sciences to understand what is required to make reusable packaging mainstream. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 27, 1688-1702.
- Integrating life cycle assessment and environmental risk assessment: a critical review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 293.
- Graph theory applied to plasma chemical reaction engineering. Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing, 41(2), 531-557. View this article in WRRO
- Improving the feasibility of household and community energy storage : a techno-enviro-economic study for the UK. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 131. View this article in WRRO
- Life cycle assessment of bio-based and fossil-based plastic: A review. Journal of Cleaner Production. View this article in WRRO
- Techno-enviro-economic assessment of household and community energy storage in the UK. Energy Conversion and Management, 205. View this article in WRRO
- Utilising carbon dioxide for transport fuels : the economic and environmental sustainability of different Fischer-Tropsch process designs. Applied Energy, 253. View this article in WRRO
- Improving the efficiency of high-temperature electrolysis of carbon dioxide in a solid oxide cell. ECS Transactions, 91(1), 2623-2630. View this article in WRRO
- Low-temperature co-sintering for fabrication of zirconia/ceria bi-layer electrolyte via tape casting using a Fe2O3 sintering aid. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 37(13), 3981-3993. View this article in WRRO
- Nickel Impregnated Cerium-Doped Strontium Titanate Fuel Electrode: Direct Carbon Dioxide Electrolysis and Co-Electrolysis. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 163(11), F3057-F3061. View this article in WRRO
- Effects of particle size on CO2 reduction and discharge characteristics in a packed bed plasma reactor. Chemical Engineering Journal, 293, 55-67. View this article in WRRO
- Carbon dioxide utilisation for production of transport fuels: process and economic analysis. Energy and Environmental Science, 8(6), 1775-1789. View this article in WRRO
- Thermal imaging of solid oxide cells operating under electrolysis conditions. Journal of Power Sources, 280, 387-392. View this article in WRRO
- A unique approach to the vapour phase of the HI x feed of the sulfur iodine thermochemical cycle: A Raman spectroscopy study. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 40(4), 1657-1664.
- Carbon Capture and Utilisation: Application of Life Cycle Thinking to Process Design, 1457-1462.
- Voltage pulsing for performance recovery of yttria-stabilised zirconia membranes in oxygen/sulfur dioxide separation. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 39(28), 15670-15680.
- Erratum: Sulphur based thermochemical cycles: Development and assessment of key components of the process (International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (2013) 38 (6197-6204)). International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 38(20), 8478.
- Sulphur based thermochemical cycles: Development and assessment of key components of the process. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
- High temperature oxygen separation for the sulphur family of thermochemical cycles - Part II: Sulphur poisoning and membrane performance recovery. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
- Improved solvation routes for the Bunsen reaction in the sulphur iodine thermochemical cycle: Part III-Bunsen reaction in molecular solvents. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
- Improved solvation routes for the Bunsen reaction in the sulphur iodine thermochemical cycle: Part I - Ionic liquids. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
- Improved solvation routes for the Bunsen reaction in the sulphur iodine thermochemical cycle: Part II - Molecular solvent properties. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
- High temperature oxygen separation for the sulphur family of thermochemical cycles - part I: Membrane selection and flux testing. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
- HycycleS: a project on nuclear and solar hydrogen production by sulphur-based thermochemical cycles. International Journal of Hydrogen Production and Applications, 2(3), 202-226.
- Measurements of the solubility of sulphur dioxide in water for the sulphur family of thermochemical cycles. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
- Dewatering of HIx solutions by pervaporation through Nafion (R) membranes. INT J HYDROGEN ENERG, 34(15), 6129-6136.
- Nuclear heat for hydrogen production: Coupling a very high/high temperature reactor to a hydrogen production plant. PROG NUCL ENERG, 51(3), 500-525.
- The feasibility of membrane separations in the HI
xprocessing section of the sulphur iodine thermochemical cycle. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 34(16), 6614-6624.
- HYTHEC: An EC funded search for a long term massive hydrogen production route using solar and nuclear technologies. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY, 32(10-11), 1516-1529.
- The separation of HIx in the sulphur-iodine thermochemical cycle for sustainable hydrogen production. PROCESS SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, 83(B4), 343-350.
- System studies and understanding durability: general discussion. Faraday Discussions, 182, 437-456.
- Development of a diffuse reflectance infrared fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) cell for the in situ analysis of co-electrolysis in a solid oxide cell. Faraday Discussions, 182, 97-111. View this article in WRRO
- The History and Future of Plastics, Plastic Pollution in the Global Ocean (pp. 21-46). WORLD SCIENTIFIC
- High Temperature Electrolysis, Carbon Dioxide Utilisation (pp. 183-209). Elsevier
- List of Contributors, Carbon Dioxide Utilisation (pp. xi-xiii). Elsevier
- High Temperature Electrolysis, Carbon Dioxide Utilisation: Closing the Carbon Cycle: First Edition (pp. 183-209).
Conference proceedings papers
- Impact of household heterogeneity on community energy storage in the UK. Energy Reports, Vol. 6(Supplement 5) (pp 117-123). Southampton, UK, 9 July 2019 - 10 July 2019. View this article in WRRO
- Residential PV-BES Systems: Economic and Grid Impact Analysis. Energy Procedia, Vol. 151 (pp 199-208), 11 September 2018 - 12 September 2018. View this article in WRRO
- A Study of 8YSZ/GDC Bi-Layered Electrolyte: The Effect of 2 Mol% Fe2O3 Dopant on Sintering and Conductivity. ECS meeting SOFC-XIV (SOFC Electrolytes, Cells and Stacks)
- Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Data from Solid Oxide Cells Undergoing Co-Electrolysis: The Influence of Rig Inductance. ECS Transactions, Vol. 68(1) (pp 3417-3427)
- Methodology for Analysis of Solid Oxide Cells via Raman Spectroscopy. ECS Transactions, Vol. 68(1) (pp 2083-2092)
- Separation of sulphur dioxide and oxygen in thermochemical hydrogen production. Fuels and Petrochemicals Division 2013 - Core Programming Area at the 2013 AIChE Annual Meeting: Global Challenges for Engineering a Sustainable Future (pp 204)
- In-Situ Monitoring of Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells. ECS Transactions, Vol. 58(2) (pp 207-216)
- Developing tools for teaching chemical engineering unit operation design. EE 2012 - International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in Engineering Education, Conference Proceedings
- Developing tools for teaching chemical engineering unit operation design. Process Development Division - Core Programming Topic at the 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting (pp 147-148)
- HycycleS: Materials and components for hydrogen production by sulphur based thermochemical cycles - Summary of key results from the European collaborative project. Engineering Sciences and Fundamentals - Core Programming Topic at the 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting, Vol. 1 (pp 4)
- Application of nafion membranes to the sulphur iodine cycle. AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings
- Recent progress in EC funded project HYTHEC on massive scale hydrogen production via thermochemical cycles. 2007 AIChE Annual Meeting
- Improving the efficiency of the sulphur iodine thermochemical cycle for hydrogen production using membrane separations. AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings
- HYTHEC : Aims and first assessments of an EC funded project on massive scale hydrogen production via thermochemical cycles. 16th World Hydrogen Energy Conference 2006, WHEC 2006, Vol. 3 (pp 2031-2041)
- The separation of HIx in the sulphur iodine thermochemical cycle for sustainable hydrogen production. 7th World Congress of Chemical Engineering, GLASGOW2005, incorporating the 5th European Congress of Chemical Engineering (pp 50-51)
xin the Sulphur-Iodine cycle. AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings (pp 7744-7754) Use of membranes and reactive distillation for the separation of HI
- Tipping points in polymer life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, Research Square Platform LLC.
I currently hold two EPSRC Energy Feasibility grants, one looking at plasma and fluidic assisted electrolysis for carbon dioxide utilisation and one investigating solar fuels from sustainable feedstock using earth-abundant catalysts.
- Teaching activities
- CPE321: Design Project
- CPE2012: Chemical Engineering Design