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Low carbon energy: innovative technologies for CCUS

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  • Full or part time
    Dr W Afzal
    Dr D Vega-Maza
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Increasing demand for clean energy has led to significant research towards the development of energy-efficient and environment-friendly technological solutions of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) which encompasses methods to remove CO2 from the flue gas and from the atmosphere, recycling the CO2 for utilization and safe storage options.

Absorption-based separation can be used for pre-combustion carbon dioxide removal from natural gas. However this technology is not ready for direct implantation for the carbon capture from flue gas from large point sources such as power houses, cement plants and iron furnaces. This is because of relatively high cost of carbon dioxide removal from flue gas that reduces the thermal efficiency of power plants and increases cost of energy, cement and steel manufacturing. The major challenge is therefore to develop greener processes with better solvents or membranes with superior separation efficiency towards carbon dioxide at minimal parasitic energy demand. These media must be readily re-usable and should be economically attractive, at least in the longer run.

In our earlier work, we developed a rapid experimental method of measuring gas-liquid equilibria required for the process design. We also reported a class of ionic liquids and mixed ionic solvents showing very high affinities for the separation of gases including carbon dioxide.

Separation and conversion of carbon dioxide to produce marketable products will be studied in this project. Major emphasis will be given to the emerging technologies of carbon capture that include membranes and ionic solvents but simple solutions such as alkali based processes will also be studied. Development of marketable products such as carbonates for paper industry and for construction industry may also be studied depending upon the interest of the student.

The successful candidate should have, or expect to have, an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in chemical/ energy/ material/ oil & gas engineering or equivalent..

Essential background: chemical/ energy/ material/ oil & gas engineering.

The student must have an appetite for experimental and theoretical research with a boarder inter-disciplinary agenda covering chemical engineering, energy technologies, material engineering, and industrial chemistry.

The student must have a deeper interest in chemical processes and products, chemical thermodynamics, reactions engineering, biotechnology and environmental science.

Funding Notes

This project is for self-funded students only. There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to pay Tuition Fees and living expenses, from their own resources, for the duration of study.

References

1. Bernardo, P., E. Drioli, and G. Golemme. "Membrane gas separation: a review/state of the art." Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 48.10 (2009): 4638-4663.
2. Mahajan, Rajiv, and William J. Koros. "Mixed matrix membrane materials with glassy polymers. Part 1." Polymer Engineering & Science 42.7 (2002): 1420-1431.
3. Afzal, Waheed, Xiangyang Liu, and John M. Prausnitz. "High solubilities of carbon dioxide in tetraalkyl phosphonium-based ionic liquids and the effect of diluents on viscosity and solubility." Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data 59.4 (2014): 954-960.
4. Afzal, Waheed, Xiangyang Liu, and John M. Prausnitz. "Physical data for a process to separate krypton from air by selective absorption in an ionic liquid." Fluid Phase Equilibria 404 (2015): 124-130.
5. Wickham, David T., Kevin J. Gleason, and Scott W. Cowley. Advanced supported liquid membranes for carbon dioxide control in extravehicular activity applications." U.S. Patent No. 9,044,566. 2 Jun. 2015.
6. Kárászová, Magda, et al. "Effective permeability of binary mixture of carbon dioxide and methane and pre-dried raw biogas in supported ionic liquid membranes." Separation and Purification Technology 153 (2015): 14-18.
7. Rosenboom, Jan-Georg, Waheed Afzal, and John M. Prausnitz. "Solubilities of some organic solutes in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate. Chromatographic measurements and predictions from COSMO-RS." The Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics 47 (2012): 320-327.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Engineering. Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing.

NOTE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE SUPERVISOR AND EXACT PROJECT TITLE YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ON THE APPLICATION FORM. Applicants are limited to applying for a maximum of 2 projects. Any further applications received will be automatically withdrawn.

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr W Afzal ([email protected]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([email protected]).

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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