UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Facilities and Equipment

UCL Chemical Engineering has access to a range of state of the art facilities and equipment. View our YouTube videos, photo galleries and 360 lab images to learn more.

Type I- Analytical Equipment

Type II Reactors

Type III Specialised Facility

Explore some of our facilities in 360

1. The Nature Inspired Chemical Engineering (NICE) Labs 

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The Nature Inspired Chemical Engineering (NICE) group takes inspiration from nature to discover innovative solutions to chemical engineering challenges. Rather than imitating nature, our approach is to uncover fundamental mechanisms underlying desirable traits, and apply these to design transformative technology. Our research spans a wide range of application areas: process intensification, energy and environmental technology, the built environment, health, and functional materials. Our labs host:
  • SAXSLAB Ganesha 300XL SAXS/WAXS system; DLS with Zeta Potential  
  • Nanoscribe 3D printer 
  • MIP-Poremaster 33, Pycnometer, and Gas (N2, Ar, CO2) Sorption Analysers (BET) 
  • IQ Chemisorption and ChemBET 
  • A range of DSC, TGA-MS, TGA/DSC 
  • Custom-made fluidized beds, reactors and fuel cells 

2. The Centre for Correlative X-ray Microscopy 

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The Electrochemical Innovation Lab (EIL) hosts a world leading suite of X-ray CT instruments, which produce high quality 3D images at different scales. X-ray CT is uniquely non-destructive across a range of length scales, with resolution ranging from 10s nm to 10s mm, and sample sizes from 10s micron to 10s cm. 

Equipment include: 

  • ZEISS Xradia 620 Versa, ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra and Nikon XTH 225  
  • Zeiss Evo Ma 10 SEM 

3. The Adaptive and Responsive Nanomaterials Labs 

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These labs are home to the Adaptive and Responsive Nanomaterials Group. Synthesis and characterisation techniques are geared towards the study of molecular building blocks and their arrangement into functional nanoarchitectures. These include:
  • Various liquid chromatography set-ups (gel permeation chromatography, HPLC-MS, preparatory LC) 
  • Advanced optical microscopy (upright, inverted, temperature control, motorised stages, fluorescence) 
  • Spectroscopy (microscope-integrated, ellipsometry with thin film porosimetry, broadband laser-driven light source) 
  • Interfacial characterisation tools (Langmuir-Blodgett trough, quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring) 

4. Crystallisation and Nanoparticle Labs  

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Lab 303 (formally the Crystallisation lab) is home to MAFuMa research team (Manufacturing Advanced Functionalised Materials) working on the continuous manufacture of a series of different nanoparticles for use in healthcare therapies and diagnostics, as well extensive research into new methods for inducing and controlling nucleation.   

Equipment in Lab 303 and Wolfson Lab include: 

  • DelsaMax PRO Dynamic Light Scattering and Zeta Potential 
  • A range of Particle size analyser (LS 13 320 MW, NanoSight and Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation) 
  • Various Agilent GCs and a Jasco HPLC 
  • Advanced Microscopies (FTIR-Microscope, portable Raman, Zeiss Axioscope A1) 
  • Photron Mini AX100 high-speed camera (up to 540,000 fps) 

5. The Solar Energy & Advanced Materials (SEAM) Labs 

The Solar Energy & Advanced Materials (SEAM) Labs
The group of SEAM at UCL Chemical Engineering focuses on low carbon chemical processes driven by photocatalysis and microwave catalysis, including solar-driven H2 production from water, CO2 conversion to high value chemicals, NH3 synthesis and shale gas conversion as well as chemical recycling of plastics by microwave catalysis.  To achieve these aims, there are advanced equipment for material synthesis and catalytic activity assessment in the group, including:  
  • Microwave flow system 
  • Aerosol-Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition (AACVD) 
  • GCs, GC-MS, UV-vis-IR spectrometer  
  • Benchtop Delong TEM 

6. Fluidization and Advanced Imaging Laboratory  

Fluidization and Advanced Imaging Laboratory
The group at FAI Lab has over 25 years’ experience in fluidization, spanning applications to the chemical, petrochemical, nuclear and energy sector. It hosts a pool of advanced imaging technologies, including X-ray, IR and acoustics, which are unique worldwide. These are used to visualise the flow pattern inside industrial reactors and to investigate the effect of process conditions on the hydrodynamic behaviour and scale-up of processes. The lab includes:  
  • A high-Pulsed x-ray imaging facility with high spatial and time resolution (100µm and 0.01 seconds, respectively);  
  • Fluidised beds of different scale and layout to study real industrial processes at high pressure and temperatures;  

7. Multiphase Labs 

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Highlights of the research in multiphase labs include studies of flow pattern transitions, pressure drop in horizontal and inclined flows, effect of inlet designs, and dispersion separation characteristics. These studies are used to develop mechanistic models for flow assurance and to validate CFD codes.  

Our facilities includes : 

  • 2 pilot scale flow facilities for the study of oil-water flows relevant to oil and gas industries 
  • Planar laser induced fluorescent (PLIF)  
  • Particle image velocimetry (PIV) 
  • Tomographic (ERT/ECT) and conductance sensors 
  • High speed cameras 

8. Materials and Catalysis Laboratory (MCL) 

Materials and Catalysis Laboratory (MCL)
The MCL is working on the design of catalysts for chemical and energy transformation. The group is working towards the understanding of bond formation and breaking in those transformations and developing efficient and reliable catalytic systems.  

Key equipment:  

  • 2 plug flow reactors and 5 batch reactors 
  • three electrode RDE system 
  • 64 channel battery testing facility 
  • GC-MS; physisorption and EPR 

9. Bio-Energy Technology Research Laboratory  

Bio-Energy Technology Research Laboratory
The BETR lab aims at developing and advancing processes to produce clean energy, fuels, and products from biomass and waste feedstocks. Using industrial reactors and innovative analysis techniques, the activities have helped developing new sustainable processes for energy systems decarbonisation (Biohydrogen for heating and transport, Sustainable Aviation Fuels, etc). The Lab includes:    
  • Thermochemical reactors for solids conversion and fuel synthesis. The largest one is a pilot fluidised bed operated on steam, CO2, oxygen or a mixture of these for continuous treatment of biomass, plastics, waste, etc..    
  • A bespoke electric arc furnace to study plasma catalysis of homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions for innovative low-carbon applications.