Environmental

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

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Integration of algal biofuel and biogas production

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr W Nimmo and Professor Lin Ma

There is an increased international interest in the use of algae to sustainably produce liquid biofuels to meet future energy demands, however there are many technical challenges associated with this promising technology. Anaerobic digestion/biogas production is an ideal synergistic process to the algal biofuel production and could help to satisfy the local parasitic energy demand of the biofuel production process, in a similar way to how it is currently used in wastewater treatment. The potential synergies include nutrient recycling, residue valorisation, biogas upgrading to biomethane and reduced water use. This project will develop knowledge in the integration of these two technologies using a multi-disciplinary approach involving process, biochemical and CFD modelling supported by bench scale experimental work. The student will benefit from links with industry.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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CFD studies of interphase transfer models for non-spherical particles

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

Applications of dispersed multi-phase flows which involve irregularly shaped particles are becoming increasingly important. Examples of interest include wood chip particles in bio-mass combustion, and sedimentation of rocks of a wide range of irregular shape in geophysical flows. For this project, we propose to employ CFD in order to study the combined effects of drag and lift forces on non-spherical particles. We will be especially interested on the dependence of these forces on particle orientation, particle Reynolds number, and on the local behaviour of the nearby flow. We will also be interested in the consequences of these forces on the particle motion in flow fields of interest in engineering applications.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Ash deposition process modeling for biomass based power plant

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

Biomass as a renewable fuel is considered to be CO2 neutral. However, firing biomass in power generation plant, either as a sole fuel or for co-firing in both air and oxy-firing conditions, causes a number of complications, such as slagging, fouling, and increased depositions and corrosion on the superheat-exchange tubes. This would reduce both system efficiency and durability. An advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics model will be developed in order to simulate the formation of aerosol, and the process of deposition of fine particles on combustion chamber and heat exchange tube surfaces, that occur during biomass combustion. The 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 biomass fuel selection and combustion system optimization for power generation plant co-firing biomass and coal.

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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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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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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Amine solvent degradation in CO2 capture

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

CO2 capture and storage is believed to be a promising option for controlling CO2 emissions in the short to medium term. Several methods exist for CO2 capture, with amine capture being the most promising commercial technology at the present time. In this method, a series of degradation products with possible impact to the environment and human health may be formed. These substances may have a wide range of chemical characteristics, such as high pKa, low pKa, polar substituents, multifunctional and mono functional groups. The goal of this project is to measure these species by various experimental techniques, and develop chemical kinetic and physical models that predict the degradation and emission of these substances within the amine capture plant, and additionally predict their atmospheric fate. This will make use of the UKCCSRC PACT facilities to provide experimental data from a pilot scale amine capture plant.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Ventilation in underground stations and tunnels

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin M and Dr Ben Hughes

Ventilation systems in underground stations and tunnels consumes significant amount of energy. A large number of stations still suffer from very high temperatures resulting in very uncomfortable conditions in hot weather seasons. The research aims to investigate the potential use of energy efficient natural ventilation methods in the underground environment to improve the air conditions in underground stations. The proposed research will be carried out with the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to simulate the underground station environment with the possibility of carrying out experimental work.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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