Energy Generation:

Bioenergy

  • Design and development of water desalination plants for rural communities, driven by a hybrid solar-bioenergy system

    Design and development of water desalination plants for rural communities, driven by a hybrid solar-bioenergy system

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Davide Poggio

    Freshwater supplies are becoming increasingly stressed as demand increases. Desalination technologies are able to produce drinking water from abundant resources such as seawater. Solar energy has been used extensively in water desalination applications, but a backup source is needed to ensure continued operation of the system during periods of low radiation. This project will investigate the integration of solar energy and bioenergy to provide heat and electricity to a community-scale desalination system. Several options for thermal and electrical integration exist, which will need to be analysed through a modelling approach and constrained by the socio-economic characteristics of the targeted communities. Polygeneration design methods, control optimisation and thermoeconomic evaluation may be used during the project. The research will benefit from our current academic collaboration with Port Said University in Egypt, where a desalination pilot plant is in the process of being built.

  • Design and development of water desalination plants for rural communities, driven by a hybrid solar-bioenergy system

    Conventional Renewable power generation – Fluidised Bed Biomass combustion

    Supervisor: Supervisors: Dr Bill Nimmo and Prof Lin Ma

     

    To achieve the UK’s ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 without compromising energy security, the UK’s conventional power plants must be operated in a flexible manner in terms of high efficiency, using alternative fuels (e.g. biomass) and integrating technologies for carbon abatement (e.g. Carbon Capture and Storage, CCS). Ultra-supercritical (USC) steam Rankine cycle power generation combined with Circulating Fluidised Bed (CFB) and Fluidized Bed (FB) combustion technology is the most viable alternative to the pulverised coal (PC)-based USC power generation. In addition, operating under USC/FB/CFB conditions has a number of advantages over USC/PC, particularly regarding fuel flexibility.

    However, there are still many fundamental research and technical challenges facing the development of this technology. In particular, combustion issues related to safe and stable operation of CFB/FB boilers when burning a variety of solid fuels are not yet fully understood and there is a great need to develop novel materials that will be able to cope with adverse conditions associated with operation.

    The specific project areas would include:

    To understand how the combustion of a variety of fuels affects Emissions, bed material agglomeration, fouling and corrosion of boiler heat exchanger tubes.

    Facilities at the University main campus and at the LCCC will be offered to suitably qualified students for study leading to a PhD in combinations of the following areas.

    1.       combustion testing at pilot scale  (250 kW Fluidised bed),

    2.       deposition testing and experimentation at pilot plant scale,

    3.       corrosion testing in lab scale furnaces,

    4.       fundamental TGA decomposition studies,

    5.       Biomass characterisation

    6.       Fluidised bed modelling and CFD studies

     

  • Design and development of water desalination plants for rural communities, driven by a hybrid solar-bioenergy system

    Mitigation of ash deposition, slagging and fouling in biomass fired power generation

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

     

    Switching from fossil fuel fired power generation to the combustion of sustainably produced biomass can achieve near zero CO2 emissions, thereby significantly contributing to the decarbonisation of the energy sector. However, burning biomass in power plants designed for coal firing poses a number of challenges, including increased slagging and fouling and corrosion potential, which can reduce overall efficiency and plant availability.

    Making use of the state of the art 250 kW Combustion Test Facility at the Pilot Scale Advanced Capture Technology (PACT) Facilities, this project will involve a thorough and innovative experimental programme to characterise the above phenomena and correlate the findings with Computational Fluid Dynamics based modelling work as part of an integrated team.

    A central aim of the project is to identify successful mitigation strategies and thereby enhance the commercial viability of biomass fired power generation.

     

  • Design and development of water desalination plants for rural communities, driven by a hybrid solar-bioenergy system

    Comparison of entrained metal aerosol emissions from the combustion of different biomass fuels

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

    Impurities in fuels have detrimental impacts on combustion/downstream systems, including CCS and heat recovery. Biomass with CCS can be a net negative emissions source, so is gaining interest, but as a result, there is more variation in the fuels being used, from conventional wood pellets to wastes, which have more impurities. This project will compare metal aerosol emissions from the combustion of such fuels throughout the combustion/capture plants, assessing the differences in the levels and species, monitored via ICP-OES at the UKCCSRC PACT Core Facilities. Quantitative data on the simultaneous multi-elemental detection for volatile/non-volatile species (major to ultra-trace elements) will focus on alkali (K, Na), transition (Fe, V, Zn) and heavy (Cd, Hg, Cr) metals, as well as acidic elements (S), as these are toxic, easily vaporised and/or cause operational issues. Combined with data for ash residue analysis (composition), mass balances will enable the determination of element partition/the fate of specific species, thus aiding in the development of better gas cleaning methods tailored for individual fuels and operation conditions.

     

  • Design and development of water desalination plants for rural communities, driven by a hybrid solar-bioenergy system

    Conventional renewable power generation - fluidised bed biomass combustion

    Supervisor: Dr W Nimmo

    To achieve the UK’s ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 without compromising energy security, the UK’s conventional power plants must be operated in a flexible manner in terms of high efficiency, using alternative fuels (e.g. biomass) and integrating technologies for carbon abatement (e.g. Carbon Capture and Storage, CCS). Ultra-supercritical (USC) steam Rankine cycle power generation combined with Circulating Fluidised Bed (CFB) and Fluidized Bed (FB) combustion technology is the most viable alternative to the pulverised coal (PC)-based USC power generation. In addition, operating under USC/FB/CFB conditions has a number of advantages over USC/PC, particularly regarding fuel flexibility. However, there are still many fundamental research and technical challenges facing the development of this technology. In particular, combustion issues related to safe and stable operation of CFB/FB boilers when burning a variety of solid fuels are not yet fully understood and there is a great need to develop novel materials that will be able to cope with adverse conditions associated with operation.

    The specific project areas would include:

    To understand how the combustion of a variety of fuels affects Emissions, bed material agglomeration, fouling and corrosion of boiler heat exchanger tubes.

    Facilities at the University main campus and at the LCCC will be offered to suitably qualified students for study leading to a PhD in combinations of the following areas.

    1. Combustion testing at pilot scale (250 kW Fluidised bed)
    2. Deposition testing and experimentation at pilot plant scale
    3. Corrosion testing in lab scale furnaces
    4. Fundamental TGA decomposition studies
    5. Biomass characterisation