Dr Karen Finney
BSc, MSc (Eng.), PhD, CEng, MEI
Telephone: (0114) 270 3085
I am a research fellow in the Energy 2050 team, within the Department of Mechanical Engineering. I graduated from the University of Southampton with a BSc in Geography, before defecting to engineering – achieving a distinction for my MSc (Eng.) and then a PhD, both in energy and environmental engineering from the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, at the University of Sheffield. I have since worked as a researcher at the University of Sheffield (Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Group in Chemical and Biological Engineering) and then at the University of Leeds (within the Energy Technology and Innovation Initiative), before returning to Sheffield to take up my role in the new Energy 2050 team. I am a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Energy Institute. I have recently completed a part-time secondment at Alstom Power Ltd. in their Alternative Energy Concepts group within the Future Technology Execution team at Rugby.
Areas of Research
My research experience and expertise is in low-carbon and sustainable energy generation, focussing on a range of aspects within this – including thermal treatments (combustion, gasification and pyrolysis) of fossils fuels, biomass and waste; carbon capture; gas turbines; combined heat and power; district heating; fuel processing techniques and pollutant minimisation.
I conduct both experimental and theoretical investigations into innovative aspects of evolving thermal processes under several RCUK-funded programmes. As well as a researcher on these projects, I also have a number of other roles; this includes being the deputy technical director for one project, running working groups and serving as work package leader. The experimental work takes places at the UKCCSRC Pilot-scale Advanced Capture Technology (PACT) facilities, which are the national specialist R&D facilities for combustion and carbon capture technology research. Here, I work with a range of academic and industrial partners
Current and Previous Research
At present, I am working on the following collaborative and multi-/inter-disciplinary projects –
• EPSRC SELECT: Selective Exhaust Gas Recirculation for Carbon Capture with Gas Turbines: Integration, Intensification, Scale-up and Optimisation (EP/M001482/1)
• UKCCSRC BIO-CAP-UK – Air/Oxy Biomass Combustion with CO2 Capture Technology (UKCCSRC-C1-40)
• EPSRC Gas-FACTS: Gas – Future Advanced Capture Technology Options, Consortium (EP/J020788/1)
• EPSRC Development and Evaluation of Sustainable Technologies for Flexible Operation of Conventional Power Plants (EP/K02115X/1)
I have also previously worked on a range of other research programmes –
• EPSRC Thermal Management of Industrial Processes and the associated PRO-TEM network (EP/G056706/1 and EP/G059284/1)
• EPSRC Joint UK-China Network to Investigate the Production of Clean Energy and Hydrogen via Novel Process Technologies (EP/G062374/1)
• EPSRC PUrE: Pollutants in the Urban Environment: An Integrated Framework for Improving Sustainability of the Indoor Environment (EP/F007132/1)
• EPSRC SUPERGEN Biomass Biofuels and Energy Crops II Core (EP/E039995/1)
- Horizon 2020: NANOMEMC2 - NanoMaterials Enhanced Membranes for Carbon Capture (Grant Agreement Number: 727734)
- EPSRC: UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre 2017 (UKCCSRC 2017 - EP/P026214/1)
- UKCCSRC: International Exchange Fund, for research visit to KIER, S Korea
- EPSRC Opening New Fuels for UK Generation – Researcher co-investigator [total project funding – £1,035,606] (EP/M015351/1)
- EPSRC SELECT: Selective Exhaust Gas Recirculation for Carbon Capture with Gas Turbines: Integration, Intensification, Scale-up and Optimisation – named researcher [total project funding – £ 1,099,891] (EP/M001482/1)
- EPSRC Impact and Innovation Account Award (Knowledge Transfer Secondment) – a two-way secondment between ETII, University of Leeds and Alstom Power Ltd., where I am a secondee [total project funding awarded, including in-kind contributions, of ~£100,000]
Courses, Awards and Memberships
• UKCCSRC Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Short Course 2013
• Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Level 2 Award in Health and Safety in the Workplace 2012
• UKKCSRC Early Career Researcher member
• Chartered engineer, CEng status (Chartered Energy Engineer) in 2012
• Member of Energy Institute, MEI status from 2012 (GradEI from 2005-2012)
• 2011/2012 University’s ‘Exceptional Contribution Award’ for PDRA research
• Awarded the 2010 Thring Prize for academic and personal promise displayed at postgraduate level
• Awarded the 2009 Foxwell Memorial Prize for my PhD research
• Third prize-winner of the EI Yorkshire Branch 2006 Prize
- Initial techno-economic screening of BECCS technologies in power generation for a range of biomass feedstock. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, 40, 100743-100743.
- Experimental investigation of the impacts of selective exhaust gas recirculation on a micro gas turbine. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 90, 102809-102809.
- Entrained metal aerosol emissions from air-fired biomass and coal combustion for carbon capture applications. Materials, 11(10). View this article in WRRO
- CO2-enhanced and humidified operation of a micro-gas turbine for carbon capture. Journal of Cleaner Production, 176, 370-381. View this article in WRRO
- Making gas-CCS a commercial reality: The challenges of scaling up. Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, 7(5), 778-801. View this article in WRRO
- Benchmarking of a micro gas turbine model integrated with post-combustion CO₂ capture. Energy, 128, 475-487. View this article in WRRO
- Impact of CO₂-enriched combustion air on micro-gas turbine performance for carbon capture. Energy, 115(1), 1138-1147. View this article in WRRO
- Performance evaluation of PACT Pilot-plant for CO2 capture from gas turbines with Exhaust Gas Recycle. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 47, 137-150.
- Quantification of trace element emissions from low-carbon emission energy sources: (I) Ca-looping cycle for post-combustion CO2 capture and (II) fixed bed, air blown down-draft gasifier. Chemical Engineering Science, 107, 13-29.
- Experimental Investigation of Indoor Air Pollutants in Residential Buildings. Indoor and Built Environment, 22(3), 471-489.
- Waste heat usage. Applied Thermal Engineering, 60(1-2), 430-440.
- Modelling and mapping sustainable heating for cities. Applied Thermal Engineering.
- The negative impacts of the global economic downturn on funding decentralised energy in the UK. Energy Policy, 51, 290-300.
- Developments to an existing city-wide district energy network - Part I: Identification of potential expansions using heat mapping. Energy Conversion and Management.
- Developments to an existing city-wide district energy network: Part II - Analysis of environmental and economic impacts. Energy Conversion and Management.
- Condensing boiler applications in the process industry. Applied Energy, 89(1), 30-36.
- Ash deposit characterisation in a large-scale municipal waste-to-energy incineration plant.. J Hazard Mater, 186(1), 218-226.
- Combustion of oil palm stone in a pilot-scale fluidised bed reactor. Fuel Processing Technology, 92(12), 2219-2225.
- Evaluation of a biomass drying process using waste heat from process industries: A case study. Applied Thermal Engineering.
- Pelletised fuel production from palm kernel cake. FUEL PROCESS TECHNOL, 92(3), 609-615.
- Condensing boiler applications in the process industry. Applied Energy.
- Investigation into high-temperature corrosion in a large-scale municipal waste-to-energy plant. CORROS SCI, 52(12), 3861-3874. View this article in WRRO
- Combustion of spent mushroom compost and coal tailing pellets in a fluidised-bed. RENEW ENERG, 34(3), 860-868.
- The reuse of spent mushroom compost and coal tailings for energy recovery: comparison of thermal treatment technologies.. Bioresour Technol, 100(1), 310-315.
- Fuel Pelletization with a Binder: Part I - Identification of a Suitable Binder for Spent Mushroom Compost-Coal Tailing Pellets. ENERG FUEL, 23, 3195-3202.
- Fuel Pelletization with a Binder: Part II - The Impacts of Binders on the Combustion of Spent Mushroom Compost-Coal Tailing Pellets. ENERG FUEL, 23, 3203-3210.
- Pelletised fuel production from coal tailings and spent mushroom compost - Part I. Identification of pelletisation parameters. Fuel Processing Technology, 89, 269-275-269-275.
- Carbon capture technologies, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (pp. 15-45). Elsevier
- The Sustainable Option of Power from Fossil Fuels with Carbon Capture and Storage: An Overview of State-of-the-Art Technology, Sustainable Energy Technology and Policies (pp. 195-229). Springer Singapore
- Post-combustion and Oxy-combustion Technologies, Biomass Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS): Unlocking Negative Emissions (pp. 47-66). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
- Air Quality Based in part on the article “Air quality” by Jim Swithenbank, which appeared in theEncyclopedia of Environmetrics. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Conference proceedings papers
- Comparison of Metal Aerosol Emissions from Air-Firing of Coal and Biomass for Carbon Capture Applications. NA, 2 September 2016 - 7 September 2016.
- Process Simulation and Thermodynamic Analysis of a Micro Turbine with Post-combustion CO2 Capture and Exhaust Gas Recirculation. Energy Procedia, Vol. 63 (pp 986-996)
- Experimental and Process Modelling Study of Integration of a Micro-turbine with an Amine Plant. Energy Procedia, Vol. 63 (pp 1064-1073)