Carbon Capture and Storage

The following are some of the projects that we can offer:

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CFD modelling and advanced burner designs

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Professor Derek Ingham

A substantial amount of current activity on oxyfuel combustion capture is still at the conceptual design stage, encompassing a broad range of fuels and power systems, including the development of alternative system configurations that maximize overall efficiency and minimize estimated capital and operating costs. Many of the designs include advanced component technologies, next generation burners and heat integration schemes that do not currently exist, but which illustrate the potential for process improvements. Next-generation combustors for oxyfuel are moving towards extreme conditions and novel combustion concepts are being developed that hold promise for even lower-cost capture systems.


The project will involve the design of novel hybrid burners for coal-biomass-air-oxy combustion flexibility in real plant operation. Prototype scaled burners at 250kW may be tested and validated alongside funded projects on experimental combustion test facilities.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Oxy-fuel Power plant design

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr W Nimmo

Conceptual designs for coal-fired power plants seek improved methods of heat and process integration to improve overall plant efficiency using conventional technologies for power generation and oxygen production. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure operating flexibility (to provide dispatchable power to meet the challenge of the intermittency of renewables3), fuel flexibility to use the cheapest fuels (including biomass to further reduce CO2 emissions), plant/component reliability and the production of consistent transport-ready CO2 are not compromised.
Areas for investigation include; System integration, Air separation unit integration, CO2 processing unit integration,
Energy integration, Efficiency, low grade heat integration, fuel drying potential.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Pilot plant experimental work - 250 kW PACT facility - zero emission strategies - coal- biomass and bio-CCS

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr W Nimmo

Fossil fuel will remain a significant contributor to power generation around the world as countries develop and realise their economic and social potentials through industrial growth and increase in people's standard of living. For example, coal remains a principal fuel for electricity generation (~40% of the world market) and contributes ~43% of CO2 emissions from the combustion of all fossil fuels. Therefore, in order to meet CO2 reduction targets, the urgency of developing, demonstrating, and deploying Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies is clear, supported by the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

Oxyfuel combustion is one of the front running technologies for CO2 capture in power generation and energy intensive industries, as recognised by the UK government’s recent announcement to fund the FEED study for the White Rose Partnership project as part of the £1bn DECC competition for CCS commercialisation. Displacement of coal by biomass with CCS is a method of gaining benefits from negative CO2 emissions.

The project will involve detailed experimental work performed on the 250kW combustion test facility associated with funded projects in the area of oxyfuel combustion. Coal and biomass fuels will be used and flame analysis methods will be employed; heat flux, temperature, chemical species and emissions. The effect of flue gas recycle conditions on flame characteristics and emissions will also be investigated

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Combined Cycle Gas Turbine – CCS; experiment and modelling

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

This project will combine an experimental and modelling study of a combined cycle gas turbine with CCS. A Turbec T100 gas turbine will be modified to allow the investigation of the effect of exhaust gas recycle and or steam injection on its performance, with measurement of power output and exhaust gas emissions. The exhaust is connected to a post combustion amine capture plant to remove CO2 from the exhaust gas stream, and the efficiency of this as a function of turbine operating conditions will also be investigated. This will be complemented by process simulation with the gPROMS or ASPEN software package to investigate the overall system performance and economics.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Kinetic Interactions of Pollutants in Oxy-Coal Combustion

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

Oxy-coal combustion with recycled flue gas is one of the key technologies considered for carbon capture. This research will investigate the impact of the change of oxidant environment on the gas-phase oxidation pathways and develop models to assess the importance of heterogeneous chemistry in mercury oxidation and sulphur species transformation. The predictive models will be validated against pilot-scale test results and will be applied to understand the physical and chemical properties of unburned carbon particles in coal fly ashes that promote mercury species adsorption and Hg(0) oxidation processes.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Advanced oxy-coal combustion modelling and optimisation

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

Oxy-coal combustion with recycled flue gas is an emerging technology for efficient carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) that can substantially reduce carbon emission from coal-fired power plants. Switching from air-firing to oxy-firing substantially alters the heat transfer and the combustion characteristics in the furnace. This project aims to improve the current understanding of the oxyfuel combustion processes through performing detailed computational fluid dynamics modelling of the oxy-coal combustion and experimental investigations in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the impact of oxy-coal combustion on the furnace operation. New knowledge will be obtained to provide guidelines to the power generation industry on their future design of new and/or retrofitting existing power plant with oxy-coal combustion technology.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Modelling post combustion amine CO2 capture plant

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an emerging near-zero emission technology that can applied to next generation gas turbine based power stations, new and retrofit, leading to a substantial reduction in carbon emission to the atmosphere. This project will develop novel performance assessment tools for simulating the CO2 absorption process in an amine plant. Plant process simulation software packages, such as gPROMs and Aspen will be employed with some complementary experimental investigations. The outcome from the project may be used in assisting future CCS power plant design optimisation.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Slagging and ash deposition prediction

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Professor Derek Ingham

Ash related problems such as slagging, fouling, and corrosions on the superheat-exchange tubes are significant problems of coal fired power plant, in particular when firing low grade coals, biomass and under oxyfuel conditions. Increased ash deposition in boilers would reduce system efficiency and also affect safe operation. An advanced ash deposition models will be developed in order to simulate the ash deposition processes that occur during combustion. The new model development will be based on an existing model that has previously been developed at Leeds and will be validated against measurement data. The successful outcome of this research will be very useful for fuel selection and combustion system optimization for future power generation plant.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Ash Melting Behaviour and Deposition in Oxyfuel Biomass Combustion

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

The combustion of biomass is proposed as a “carbon neutral” alternative to fossil fuel utilisation and even a “carbon negative” technology when combined with Carbon Capture and Storage technologies such as oxyfuel combustion (Bio-CCS). Biomass contains significant amounts of alkali metals, which modify ash melting, slagging, fouling and deposition behaviour within power plant equipment. This project will first investigate thermodynamically the ash melting behaviour of biomass/coal mixtures at oxyfuel conditions. The project will then focus on the chemical kinetic behaviour of alkali salts at oxyfuel conditions using kinetic modelling techniques such as chemkin. Finally the project will couple chemical kinetic models to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for the prediction of ash deposition inside power plant equipment under bio-CCS conditions.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Experimental and Modelling Study of Amine Degradation in the Post-Combustion CO2 Capture Process

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

Post-combustion capture of CO2 from fossil fuel derived flue gas using amines is one of the leading Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies. The amines used for post-combustion capture can degrade in the presence of oxygen and other flue gas compounds and an understanding of the nature of amine degradation is important for accelerating deployment of the technology. This project will conduct laboratory and pilot-scale experimental investigations into amine degradation in order to characterise the liquid phase reaction rates using GC-MS and HPLC and also simultaneously characterise the rate of evolution of gas-phase species using FTIR. The experimental results will be used to develop liquid-gas phase numerical chemical kinetic models which can be incorporated into process system simulation models of the post-combustion capture process such as Aspen.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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The Development of Models for Mercury Oxidation in Oxyfuel Combustion

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

Oxyfuel combustion is one of the leading technologies for Carbon Capture and Storage. Mercury is released to the gas-phase during oxyfuel combustion of coal and biomass and form trace species in flue-gas. Mercury compounds can pose corrosion problems for oxyfuel combustion power plants. Carbon in ash is believed to be a key driving force for reaction and absorption of mercury in power plants. A predictive model for mercury behaviour in oxyfuel power plants would help select suitable control strategies. This project aims to develop a heterogeneous chemical kinetic model for mercury reaction on carbon surfaces with the aid of molecular modelling tools such as Guassian, chemical kinetics programs like Chemkin and Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) codes such as Fluent.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Next generation CCS technology for combined cycle gas turbine system

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) from CCGT (combine cycle gas turbine) systems is an emerging near-zero emission technology that can applied to new and retrofit CCGT power plants, leading to a substantial reduction in carbon emission to the atmosphere in power generation industry. This project will model the performance and/or techno‐economic assessment for full scale power plants that employ the next generation CCS technologies. Plant process simulation software packages, such as the gCCS and Aspen will be employed as a platform to develop plant simulation tools. CFD simulations will be used for oxyfuel combustion modelling with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), and linked to the process modelling. The output from this project may be used for future CCS power plant design optimisation, demonstration and/or staff training.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Emissions and ash behaviour during the combustion of torrefied biomass

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

Torrefaction is a new technique of upgrading the quality of biomass as a fuel for power generation. The purpose of this research is to investigate the influence of the torrefaction on the combustion, pollutant emission and ash deposition of biomass. A range of different types of biomass will be torrefied under specific conditions. Then both the raw and torrefied biomass will be fired and compared in terms of gas emissions and ash compositions. Quantified data will be collected and analysed during the combustion. The outcomes of this project will improve our understanding of the potential of future large scale utilisation of torrefied biomass in the power generation industry

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling of free surface flows over packing materials in a CO2 absorber

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Dr Kevin Hughes and Prof Ingham

Power generation from fossil fuels still plays a central role in meeting our energy demand today and for the foreseeable future. They are at present the largest stationary sources of carbon dioxide emission. Post-combustion CO2 capture is a technique to capture the carbon dioxide that is emitted in the flue gas from these power plants. Chemical absorption using solvents (e.g. MEA) within packed columns is one of the most mature technologies for flue gas CO2 capture. The process to a great extent relies on the amount of the gas-liquid inter-facial area or films generated over the packing materials. This project will employ Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Techniques to simulate the formation of the free surfaces area between a gas and a liquid for a typical packing design. You are expected to have a good knowledge of fluid mechanics and preferably some experience of using a CFD software package.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Programme: Hybrid CFD and process simulation for process intensification of post-combustion CO2 capture

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Dr Kevin Hughes and Prof Ingham

This project will investigate the most efficient modelling strategy of simulating the CO2 capture process in a novel packed bed for process intensification. A combined computational, experimental and process modelling technique will be employed.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Particle size distribution in flue gases for carbon capture

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Karen N Finney

The UKCCSRC PACT Facilities are home to numerous combustion devices: natural gas-fired gas turbines and a pulverized fuel reactor burning coal and biomass, used for CCS applications either coupled with post-combustion capture or when operating under oxy-combustion conditions. This project will use differential mass spectrometry to compare submicron particulate emissions from the different reactors using different fuels and operating regimes. This will consider the particle size spectra, particle measurement programme-correlated number and gravimetrically-correlated mass in real-time. Particles can bypass collection systems, and therefore need to be assessed as they can interfere with downstream processes and have health implications. Based on the results, strategic mitigation methods can be devised for each condition/fuel combination. This will include evaluating the necessary measures to be taken to minimize impacts on flue gas cleaning, solvent-based carbon capture (to minimize degradation) and on CO2 stream treatment, transport and storage.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham.

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Integration of membranes at PACT for industrial testing with real/synthetic flue gases

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Karen N Finney
A pre-pilot-scale membrane module prototype will be installed for industrial testing at the UKCCSRC PACT) Facilities, integrated with a gas turbine and a solid fuel reactor for coal/biomass to test number of fuels and operating conditions. This focuses specifically on nano-material enhanced membranes for improved CCS applications. The developed pre-pilot membrane modules will be evaluated under a range of different industrially relevant conditions, with a number of different process relevant gases including real and fully synthetic flue gas. This will include flue gas emissions from any power plant operating under any given conditions and with any fuel(s), as well as representative emissions from industrial activities. The operation of the membrane will subsequently allow for extensive performance assessments, ensuring comprehensive characterization of the pilot module. Such testing will enable a wide variety of conditions and thus an array of industrially significant environments to be assessed.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham.

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Process modelling of biomass gasification systems integrated with CO2 capture

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Kevin Hughes, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Maria Elena Diego de Paz

Combination of energy generation from biomass sources and CO2 capture technologies (Bio-CCS or BECCS) is already recognized as a potential option to tackle climate change in most scenarios, as it is linked to the concept of negative CO2 emissions. This project will use process simulation tools such as Aspen Hysys or gCCS (gPROMS) to investigate these systems. A complete and rigorous model will be created and run for the gasification system, considering a range of biomass sources (including wastes) with different composition as raw materials. Several CO2 capture technologies will be then simulated and coupled to the gasification system (e.g., amines, Rectisol process, VSA, etc.) incorporating the latest advancements. A techno-economic analysis will be conducted and these options will be compared in terms of capture performance, energy consumption and cost.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham.

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Analysis of post-combustion CO2 capture from natural gas power plants using CFD and process co-simulation

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Kevin Hughes, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Maria Elena Diego de Paz

The use of natural gas as a fuel for electricity production is expected to gradually increase in the next decades. Since it is acknowledged that large CO2 emission cuts should be achieved in the near future, it seems plausible that these systems may have to be coupled to CO2 capture schemes. This research project focuses on combining computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and process simulation tools to study in detail the performance of an amine capture post-combustion plant coupled to a natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plant using the synergetic combination between Ansys Fluent and Aspen Hysys/gCCS (gPROMS) modelling tools. The idea is to replace the typical absorber and stripper blocks present in the process simulation flowsheet by more detail-designed units built using CFD tools. This will allow for a more accurate description of the system and better characterization of the performance of the key units of the capture process. Several NGCC variants will be studied and analyzed following this procedure, including conventional NGCC plants and those incorporating exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and selective exhaust gas recirculation (S-EGR) options. This is part of research activities that include virtual reality power industry plant simulation.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham.

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Dynamic simulation of load-following power plants integrated with CO2 capture technologies

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Kevin Hughes, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Maria Elena Diego de Paz

Flexible operation of fossil fuel power plants is becoming a hot topic in the energy generation sector due to the expected increase of intrinsically intermittent renewable technologies in the energy mix in the near future. This flexible operation mode of the energy systems is challenging, especially when these plants are coupled to CO2 capture technologies. This study aims at investigating the dynamic behavior of natural gas fired power plants integrated with a post-combustion amine CO2 capture system, using process simulation tools such as Aspen Hysys and/or gCCS (gPROMS). The performance of the whole system will be assessed under dynamic conditions. Different integration options between the power plant and the capture system will be studied and analysed from a techno-economic perspective.
For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham.

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Experimental optimization of post combustion carbon capture process for climate change mitigation

Supervisors: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Muhammad Akram

One of the leading climate mitigation technologies is carbon capture. Separation of carbon from power plant flue gases using advanced technology is a promising method to pave the way towards a sustainable world. Solvent based carbon capture is one of the most researched and close to commercialisation technologies which has the capability to be designed for new power plants or retrofitted to existing power plant fleet. The technology is based on temperature swing process and therefore involves use of energy and thus reduction power plant output. The reduction in the use of energy in the capture process is one of the main aims of the research.

The project involves using world class equipment at the PACT facilities (http://www.pact.ac.uk/) at the University of Sheffield to perform state of the art research. Energy and environmental performance assessment of the capture process under varying operational conditions will be assessed by using online and offline measurement techniques. The impact of different species in the flue gas such as CO, NOx, particulates, etc. on the solvent degradation and emissions from the capture process will be studied.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham.

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