Supervisor: Dr Abby Samson, Prof Jonathan Gibbins, Prof M Pourkashanian
Large scale Green House Gas (GHG) removal is vital to limit global mean temperatures from rising more than 2ºC. Most climate mitigation technologies focus on decreasing the rate at which we add carbon to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2). This includes topics such as renewable electricity, carbon capture and storage from existing fossil plants and increasing efficiency in our processes. However, to prevent catastrophic climate change, we need to actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere, i.e., we need Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs). These NETs, which are featured in almost all UK government scenarios that allow the UK to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050, primarily because atmospheric carbon removal is needed to offset other difficult to decarbonise sectors. Two promising NETs include Direct Air Carbon Capture and Carbon Mineralisation. Direct Air Capture involves directly extracting CO2 from the atmosphere by using chemical solutions or solid sorbent filters. Carbon mineralisation is a passive and low-cost method of capturing atmospheric CO2 as it becomes a solid mineral, like carbonate, when it is exposed to certain rocks.
This PhD project will focus on pioneering research into solvent based Direct Air Carbon Capture and Carbon mineralisation. It will be an experimentally based study and will also study the complete environmental impact and carbon saving of these technologies though Life Cycle Assessment.
The studentship consists of 3.5 years at Home fees and a EPSRC rate stipend.
Potential applicants should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a first class honours degree in engineering, mathematics, or science. The studentship is open to candidates of all nationalities; however, fees will only cover a UK rate.
The research work will be based in the Energy 2050 initiative within the University of Sheffield, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering to develop world-leading activity in energy research. The student will be working within an exciting and dynamic research group with approximately 46 PhD researchers and over 15 postdoctoral research fellows undertaking a broad range of energy research with strong links to industry.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering has been a major discipline in the University since its foundation in 1905. The Research Excellence Framework (REF, December 2014) placed the Department within the Top 5 for Mechanical Engineering in the UK.
For further information please contact Professor Derek Ingham (D.Ingham@Sheffield.ac.uk)
Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes and Prof Ingham
This project aims to combine computational fluid dynamics, chemical process modelling and virtual system simulation techniques to develop a dynamic modelling tool for power plant performance simulations. The developed tool can be employed to investigate the integration of new technologies to the power plant, to optimise the control of the plant performance under high renewable penetration conditions and to improve power plant staff training and education.
Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Kevin Hughes, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Maria Elena Diego de Paz
The use of natural gas as a fuel for electricity production is expected to gradually increase in the next decades. Since it is acknowledged that large CO2 emission cuts should be achieved in the near future, it seems plausible that these systems may have to be coupled to CO2 capture schemes. This research project focuses on combining computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and process simulation tools to study in detail the performance of an amine capture post-combustion plant coupled to a natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plant using the synergetic combination between Ansys Fluent and Aspen Hysys/gCCS (gPROMS) modelling tools. The idea is to replace the typical absorber and stripper blocks present in the process simulation flowsheet by more detail-designed units built using CFD tools. This will allow for a more accurate description of the system and better characterization of the performance of the key units of the capture process. Several NGCC variants will be studied and analyzed following this procedure, including conventional NGCC plants and those incorporating exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and selective exhaust gas recirculation (S-EGR) options. This is part of research activities that include virtual reality power industry plant simulation.
Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes
The new generation of power plants should offer effective solutions to reduce emissions and implement CO2 capture and storage. However, the combination of a complex fuel-processing plant and the level of integration lead to challenging problems with respect to the dynamic/transient operation. In addition, electricity market demands require more flexible controlling of the power plant output. These operation specifications can be satisfied by proper design of the process, its equipment and control system. A dynamic model of the entire system is an advantageous tool to test the effect of different process configurations and different control strategies. For carbon capture, an oxygen-rich oxidant is used, which requires an air separation unit for oxygen generation. Power generation plant options are Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) and Oxyfuel combustion.