Solid Fuels

1. Project title: Development and scale-up of next generation coal upgrading technologies

Project summary:

Coal represents one of the most important resources in Australian economy.  Coal research represents promising career opportunities in Australia. However, coal should be a more thermal-efficient and environmentally friendly fuel, i.e. clean oil and gas, for wider and cleaner applications. However, these processes are very complicating and challenging in design. In collaboration with coal industry, this project will study next generation coal upgrading technologies by combining both numerical simulations and experiments.

Novelty and Contribution:

Using the advanced numerical modelling approaches, the innovative process can be designed, illustrated and scaled-up in a cost-effective manner. For example, in our previous studies, a set of CFD models were developed to describe the Victoria brown coal pyrolysis from lab-scale to industrial-scale (bottom right figure).

Expected outcome:

This project will continue the effort in the model development for coal upgrading technologies as well as the understanding of the mechanism behind the complex thermochemical phenomena. A number of scientific articles and conference presentations will also be produced within the duration of the project. 

We welcome talented students who are interested in this work to join our group. We have a variety of scholarships for both domestic and international students. 


2. Project title: Numerical study of clean coal combustion

Coal remains as the most widely used energy resource in the foreseeable future. Chemical looping combustion (CLC), which has intrinsic merit of separating CO2 during the combustion process, has been regarded as one of the most promising clean coal combustion technologies with near-zero emission of pollutants. However, the multi-scale structures and multi-physics processes of multi-phase flow in the fuel reactor (FR) and air reactor (AR) of the CLC require in-depth understandings for further design and optimisation of industrial-scales apparatus.

This project aims to design next generation CLC system via a series of numerical studies of CLC systems using advanced numerical modelling approaches. Previously, two-fluid model combined with thermochemical sub-models was developed to study the physical-thermal-chemical characteristics of dense gas-solid reaction flows in a CLC system. This project will continue to explore the application and optimisation of the CLC process in aspects of reactor design, oxygen carrier selection, and reaction kinetics simplification.

We welcome talented students who are interested in this work to join our group.  We have a variety of scholarships for both domestic and international students. The research experience and skills acquired during PhD study will increase job opportunities in this promising area.

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