The research in this area lies at the interfaces between computer science and chemical or industrial engineering. The focus is the development and implementation of novel algorithms for supporting design in engineering with particular emphasis on the interaction between the engineer and the computer. This requires the development of new computational techniques to provide targeted visualisation procedures, to cater for the multi-criteria nature of process design and to consider the full life cycle of energy production and use. Application areas include the production of fuels from biomass sources, process heat integration and waste management.
Research in this area encompasses the materials development, modelling and testing of electrochemical energy conversion and storage technologies such as fuel cells, batteries and supercapacitors. Other areas of related activity include: development of electrochemical sensors for energy systems; novel test and diagnostic instrumentation; microgeneration technologies and the design and demonstration of all-electric hybrid vehicles.
The chemical and process industries are a major source of energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Work in this research theme focuses on innovative technologies for the reduction, removal and sequestration of CO2 at different stages of chemical processing. This includes areas such as accelerated carbonation technology (treating waste streams using carbon dioxide) and low carbon routes to building materials (e.g. low energy cement production).
The safety of alternative energy and CO2 technologies is a vital aspect of their
development. The Centre has considerable expertise in the area of energy systems
safety and environmental engineering and is particularly recognised for the work
in developing CFD computer programmes for modelling and predicting release rates
following the rupture of pressurised pipelines (e.g. liquefied natural gas,
hydrogen and CO2). This research is particularly timely given the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change public concern about CO2 transportation may form a significant barrier to
large-scale use of CCS.
Developing low carbon energy technologies is vital to securing a sustainable energy future. Research in the Centre considers industrial scale energy processes, with significant expertise in experimental and CFD modelling work in fluidized bed technologies. Research areas include: waste-to-energy, life cycle assessment, process design for biofuels and gasification
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