Professor Bill Nimmo

Professor Nimmo’s background is in chemical and combustion engineering having gained his PhD in Fluidized Bed Waste Gasification Processes at Leeds University in the mid 1980’s.

A period in industry followed, working on full scale coal gasifier development (350 tpd) for British Gas, Westfield Development Centre, Scotland, as part of the British Gas SNG programme in partnership with Lurgi GmbH. Projects involved the study of fuel bed behaviour at full scale and process development for operation with caking and difficult coals.

Other projects involved commissioning and operation of pilot plant associated with gas clean up and upgrading to substitute natural gas using real syn-gas from the full scale plant.

Returning to Leeds, Bill pursued a number of research projects related to coal, gas and oil combustion and gasification as a Senior Research Fellow with particular emphasis on NOx, and SOx emission control in partnership with major UK power generation companies.

Recently, Bill’s research activities have been closely related to the development of the UK national UKCCSRC PACT facilities focused on carbon capture processes and in particular to pilot scale oxy-fuel combustion projects.

Additionally, significant research activity has been developed in the areas of fluidized-bed biomass combustion, corrosion associated with biomass and oxy-fuel combustion and small scale anaerobic digestion systems for both urban and rural locations in developing countries.

He was appointed Associate Professor and since 2009, he has contributed to research projects with a total value in excess of £7m as principal or co-investigator.

Bill joined the University of Sheffield in February 2015 and has since attracted new funding with a value of £1M (£3.1M total) with 7 active research grants in the areas of ultra super-critical fluidised bed combustion, anaerobic digestion, energy from waste and knowledge economy partnership (KEP) funded by EPSRC, Innovate UK/EPSRC/BBSRC, Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Council.

Bill’s other funded activities are in the areas of pulverised coal/biomass oxy fuel combustion and corrosion studies related to future advanced power generation developments.

He has published 150 papers including 78 refereed journal articles, 2 book chapters and 1 patent.

As Head of the Engineering Graduate School, Bill is responsible for leadership and management in the recruitment, training and progression of PGR students in Engineering. Bill is a member of several Departmental and Faculty and University committees.

Externally, bill is an active Member of the Fuel and Energy Research Forum, Exec. Committee, Chair of the Environ. Division; Member of the Energy Institute Yorkshire branch committee; Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and is the Principal Editor of the Elsevier journal FUEL.

Bill’s teaching activities have been closely related to his research activity and has lectured in the areas of combustion theory and design, biomass energy, CCS plant design and conventional power.

A particularly rewarding and enjoyable part of Bill’s activity is the supervision and development of the research students and early career researchers working on projects within the Energy 2050 Group.

Energy Engineering Group

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 21 57213


Areas of Research

  • Biomass combustion
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Waste to Energy
  • Coal combustion
  • Corrosion studies
  • Coal combustion/gasification

Research Grants & Awards

As PI or Co-I

  • 2018 – 2022 Industrial grant, Durham Filtration, Biomass particulate filters – student support, PI, £20k
  • 2017-2019 British Council, Researcher Links UK-PK, PI, £29k.
  • 2016 – 2020 Industrial grant, Sembcorp Utilities, Fluidised Bed Combustion – student support, PI, £25k
  • 2016 – 2017 IIKE, Research Partnership support grant, PI, £19K.
  • 2015 – 2019 EPSRC/Innovate UK, EP/M028208/1, IB CAT Biomethanation of CO2 in anaerobic digestion plant, Co-I, £1.85M
  • 2016-2018 Royal Academy of Engineering (Newton), Waste to Energy,- Investigation of municipal solid waste blending effect on reactivity of coals in circulating fluidized bed combustion and gasification processes PI, £50k.
  • 2015 – 2018 EPSRC EP/M01536X/1 Ultra-Supercritical (USC) steam power generation technology with Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB): Combustion, Materials and Modelling (USC-CFB-CMM), Co-I, £1.1M
  • 2015 – 2018 KEP British Council/Pakistan, PI, £60k
  • 2009 – 2016 Industrial grant/KTP, PI, £467k
  • 2014-2017 UKCCSRC – C2 Investigating the radiative heat flux in small and large scale oxy-coal furnaces for CFD model development and system scale up, Co-I, £198,000
  • 2012-2017 UKCCSRC-C1-27, Experimental investigation and CFD modelling of oxy-coal combustion on PACT facility with real flue gas and vent gas recycling PI, £167k
  • 2014-2017 UKCCSRC – C2 Investigating the radiative heat flux in small and large scale oxy-coal furnaces for CFD model development and system scale up, Co-I, £198,000
  • 2012-2017 UKCCSRC – The United Kingdom Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre, DECC/EPSRC, Co-I, £10.1M
  • 2012-2014 TSB/KTP008393 (TSB) Knowledge Transfer Partnership, KTP, PI, £137k
  • 2011-2015 British council, INSPIRE, British Council 254, PI, £60k
  • 2011-2015 DECC/EPSRC, EP/G062153/1, oxy CAP, Co-I, £1.7M
  • 2011-2015 EPSRC EP/G063451/1, In-depth Studies of OxyCoal Combustion Processes through Numerical Modelling and 3D Flame Imaging, Oxy China Co-I, £490k
  • 2010-2015 EPSRC EP/J000345/1, Development and Integration of Biomass and Concentrating Photovoltaic System for Rural and Urban Energy Bridge: BioCPV, Co-I, £1.4M

Prior engagement in preparation of EPSRC grants as researcher co-investigator/contributor

2006-2009 EPSRC EP/D502020/1 Title: A Novel Application of Waste Tyres & plastics as Reburn Fuels for NOx Reduction in Large Scale Combustion Systems , (Researcher Co-I), £293,057

2002-2005 EPSRC, GR/R46120/01 Advanced Methodologies for Simultaneous NOx/SOx Control form Combustion Sources , (Named Researcher), £194,281

2001-2004 EPSRC, GR/R15641/01 A Novel Sorbent For Multi-Component Removal of Mercury-Hci-So2-Nox From Waste Incineration Flue Gases, (Named Researcher) , £221.070.

1999-2002 EPSRC, GR/M12001/01 High Capacity Spray Pyrolysis Route For The Production Of Sub-Micron Pzt Powders For Thick-Film Applications (Named Researcher), £210,232.


For a list of publications please view Dr Nimmo’s Full academic profile