Dr Kevin Hughes

MSc, PhD

Dr Kevin HughesSenior Lecturer

Energy Engineering Group
Department of Mechanical Engineering
The Arts Tower, level 1
Western Bank
Sheffield
S10 2TN
UK

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 21 57214

Email: K.J.Hughes@sheffield.ac.uk


Profile

Kevin Hughes is a Senior Lecturer in the Energy Engineering Group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has a first degree in Chemistry from the University of Leicester and was awarded his PhD from the same university in 1987. Kevin’s research is in the general area of fuel combustion, fuel cells, and process modelling in carbon capture and storage systems.

Areas of Research

Dr Hughes’s research covers a range of topics related to fuel combustion, fuel degradation and deposit formation, pollutant chemistry, proton exchange membrane fuel cells, and process modelling in carbon capture and storage systems.

In the area of combustion, degradation, and pollutant chemistry, the approach is a combination of experimental and theoretical investigation; for example the elucidation of a simple laminar flame structure by a combination of conventional species sampling techniques allied to laser diagnostic probing of the flame structure using the technique of planar laser induced fluorescence. This provides data that allows for the validation of detailed chemical kinetic reaction mechanisms. These mechanisms are constructed by a variety of means ranging from experimental measurements of individual reaction rates, crude estimation by analogy, group additivity based methods, detailed theoretical calculation using quantum chemistry methods, and the application of master equation models to calculated potential energy surfaces. Insight is further gained by the application of sensitivity analysis methods to both allow the simplification of detailed mechanisms, and to highlight those regions of particular importance for the phenomena of interest.

In the area of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, the focus is on the CFD modelling and the experimental testing of small scale devices, and the systematic investigation of their performance as a function of operating conditions and the properties of the individual fuel cell components such as electrical conductivity and gas permeability. This is complemented by an experimental and theoretical investigation of novel catalysts, using quantum chemistry methods to predict behaviour, along with catalyst synthesis, physical and electrochemical characterization, and finally testing in real fuel cell systems.

Carbon capture and storage related research is focused on novel operating procedures related to gas turbines linked to solvent capture plants, with the aim of optimizing the overall system performance, and understanding the chemistry of solvent degradation and emissions.

Current Research Grants

Reliable and Efficient Combustion of Oxygen/Coal/Recycled Flue Gas Mixtures (RELCOM) FP7-ENERGY-2010-2
Gas-FACTS: Gas - Future Advanced Capture Technology Options EP/J020788/1
Selective Exhaust Gas Recirculation for Carbon Capture with Gas Turbines: Integration, Intensification, Scale-up and Optimisation. EP/M001482/1
Techno-Economic Assessment of Biomass Pre-Processing (TEABPP) – Energy Technology Institute.

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

Reports

  • Dupont VA, Hughes KJ, Pourkashanian M & Tomlin AS (2000) Experimental and modeling study of sulphur and nitrogen doped premixed methane flames at low pressure
  • Dupont VA, Hughes KJ, Pourkashanian M & Tomlin AS (2000) Experimental and modeling study of sulphur and nitrogen doped premixed methane flames at low pressure