I graduated from the University of Leeds in 2013 with a MEng in Mechanical Engineering. This course provided me with a vast range of engineering experience in many different application such as biomedical, robotics, health, automotive and electrical. Upon graduation I started work as a graduate piping engineer for Foster Wheeler Energy. I learnt a lot about the energy industry and international engineering projects form my time at Foster Wheeler, however I felt a desire to work on more future looking projects – such as renewable energy.
The main focus of my PhD examines the impacts of flue gas composition from biomass combustion on the solvents used for carbon capture and storage (CCS). The combination of bioenergy and carbon capture and storage (BECCS) provides the potential to create negative carbon dioxide emissions from power and heat generation. The technology has been highlighted as an invaluable technology to assist in urgently lowering carbon dioxide emissions by the many international advisory bodies, such as the IPCC, IEA and CCC.
It is anticipated that some of the biomass flue gas components may have a negative effect on the solvents used for the capture of carbon dioxide. Firstly, the effects of potassium compounds will be examined due to their known negative effects on slagging and fouling in furnaces. Fuel, ash characterisation and gas analysis techniques will be used to track impurities throughout the combustion and capture process. Further in-situ experiments are planned at the Pilot-scale Advanced Capture Technology (PACT) facilities in Sheffield and potentially other UK power stations.
Why I chose the CDT in Bioenergy
Having completed a MEng in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds I enjoyed research. I saw the opportunity to study an integrated MSc and PhD in Bioenergy very interesting due to the variety of research ongoing. Also the potential for collaborative and interdisciplinary work within the Bioenergy CDT as an important part of my career development. The role of bioenergy and CCS in our future energy mix is an interesting topic and it is exciting to be a part of that research that may assist in future energy policy decisions.