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Jason Millichamp's Webpage

Photo of Jason Millichamp Postgraduate Researcher

Phone: +44 (0)20 7679 2643
Email: jason.millichamp@ucl.ac.uk
Address:
Department of Chemical Engineering
University College London
Torrington Place
London WC1E 7JE
United Kingdom

Jay received his first degree in Mechanical Engineering from Swansea University where his final year research project looked at the effects of shape memory alloys on bearing stiffness, whilst working alongside NASA. He then changed focus in the study of his MRes in Materials Engineering, working with Rolls Royce and Airbus to validate new materials for landing gear and prop shafts. His current Ph.D. project draws upon both mechanical and materials engineering in the development of a novel sensor technology, for which he was awarded a Post Graduate Research Award from the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers

Research project

Title: Development of a high temperature GaPO4 crystal microbalance sensor for characterising and controlling heterogeneous catalysis in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Supervisors: Dr Dan Brett

Development is needed to produce fuel cells that hold their efficiencies and achieve long life spans before they can be released to the market. A major problem with current internal reforming techniques is the build up of carbon upon the anode; these deposits reduce fuel cell performance and ultimately lead to complete failure of the cell. This has lead to the need for new instrumentation that can monitor carbon formation whilst fuel cells are in operation. So far many different techniques have been tried and tested to examine carbon formation; however, these have mainly been carried out ex-situ with results taken from used anodes, removed from the fuel cell, that have already been exposed to carbon formation. These techniques have many drawbacks. The use of gallium orthophosphate as the piezoelectric material in a crystal microbalance is under development as a sensor to be used in SOFC’s to detect carbon formation at the surface of anodes. The sensor will become the first in-situ technique that can examine the ongoing formation of carbon as well as other impurity build ups in operational SOFC’s.

As well as being used to study the complex processes that occur during coke formation at nickel based anode analogues, the device is also being used as a practical sensor to control feedback loops correcting gas flows and temperatures to maximise anode lifetime and avoid coke formation.

Page last modified on 15 sep 11 09:44