Energy Generation:

Anaerobic digestion

  • Sustainable rural electrification in the developing world using microgrid integration of biogas and other renewable energy sources

    Advanced process modelling of AD

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Mark Walker, Professor Derek Ingham and Professor Lin Ma

    The AD group in is currently working at the state of the art in terms of the biochemical and physiochemical modelling of AD. The aim of this project would be to enhance this further by drawing upon other modelling expertise specifically in computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Such a combined approach can give greater insight into the process and allow design and process optimisation. This project will focus on a variety of strategies and design interventions that can increase the robustness of the AD process and will use a combination of modelling and experimental work to investigate and optimise these.

  • Sustainable rural electrification in the developing world using microgrid integration of biogas and other renewable energy sources

    Network management of small and micro-AD site

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Derek Ingham, Dr Mark Walker and Professor Lin Ma

    Through our industry-led micro-AD development work it has become clear that the eventual scenario of institutional, community, business and household-scale AD will take the form of a network of sites across a geographical region which are managed by a central organisation that both monitors the sites, and is able to provide technical support, with the everyday operations performed by unskilled staff/community members. The management of such a network is complex and this work aims to develop an operational framework that would enable this vision. The research would focus on how outputs from a monitoring system can be interpreted to diagnose and classify process problems and how the synergies of a network of sites can be best exploited. The student will benefit from links with industry through and have access to data from several micro-AD development sites in the UK.

  • Sustainable rural electrification in the developing world using microgrid integration of biogas and other renewable energy sources

    Low cost, energy efficient biomethane production from landfill gas or biogas

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Mark Walker, Professor Derek Ingham and Professor Lin Ma

    Biomethane can be produced from biogas or landfill gas in a fairly simple water scrubbing system. This process has been used on large scale biogas plants but the optimal operation has not been fully investigated. Existing validated models will be used to design the process conditions to give optimal conversion to the required quality of biomethane depending on the application (vehicle use, CHP, grid injection) such as operating pressure, water and gas flow rates and packing media. This will lead onto a techno-economic assessment of the process and its integration into the larger AD energy system. The student will benefit from excellent laboratory and analytical facilities and links with industry through our collaborative work and have access to micro-AD development sites in the UK where pilot scale test facilities can be developed.

  • Sustainable rural electrification in the developing world using microgrid integration of biogas and other renewable energy sources

    Low cost remote monitoring systems for small scale AD sites

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Mark Walker, Professor Derek Ingham and Professor Lin Ma

    As a continuation of current research into this topic the aim of this project is assess the feasibility of using a set of low cost sensors, along with data acquisition and transmission hardware, to effectively manage the AD process remotely. This topic is of particular relevance for small scale AD since the cost of skilled management staff on-site is financially unfeasible. The work will involve the selection and field testing of a variety of hardware sensors in order to monitor critical parameters of the AD process. The research will benefit from the available experimental facilities including laboratory-scale digesters, excellent analytical facilities, expertise in the computer modelling of AD process kinetics, mass balance and operational strategies and links with industry through our collaborative work with micro-AD development sites in the UK.

  • AD design and operating strategies for energy demand matching in the face of non-uniform feedstock availability and composition

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Mark Walker, Professor Derek Ingham and Professor Lin Ma

    In the urban environment at the household to institutional-scale the availability and composition of waste biomass feedstocks, suitable for biogas production, is likely to vary on a variety of timescales. This raises issues about how the AD system can be designed to meet the local energy demands and to be resilient to these changes in feedstock quantity and composition. This research will use a combination of modelling and experimental work to investigate and optimise the algorithms for optimal process control. The research will benefit from the available experimental facilities including laboratory-scale digesters, excellent analytical facilities, expertise in the computer modelling of AD process kinetics, mass balance and operational strategies and links with industry through our collaborative work.