IMP Research Projects

Research Projects at the Institute for Materials and Processes (IMP). You can search keywords within Project Titles.

We also have a number of Materials and Processes PhD opportunities for postgraduate students looking to join the School.

Search keywords within Research Project titles
Title Principal Supervisor Project Summary
Measurement of pore wettability

Dr Xianfeng Fan

Pore wetting is a principal control of the multiphase flows through porous media. However, the contact angle measurement on other than flat surfaces still remains a challenge. In order to indicate the wetting in a small pore, we developed a new pore contact angle measurement technique to directly measure the contact angles of fluids and gas/liquid/supercritical CO2 in micron-sized pores under ambient and reservoir conditions in this study, as well as the effect of chemical functional groups on pore contact angle.

Modelling advanced adsorption processes for post-combustion capture

Prof Stefano Brandani

Carbon capture from power stations and industrial sources is an essential pillar in the effort of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve the legally binding target set by the 2008 Climate Change Act of 80% reductions by 2050. The current state-of-the-art technologies for post-combustion capture (including retrofit options for existing plants) are based on amine scrubbers, but inherent energy requirements make this an expensive option and significant research is aimed at the development of next generation carbon capture processes that reduce the cost of capital equipment and the energy needed.

Pressure-Tuning Interactions in Molecule-Based Magnets

Professor Konstantin Kamenev

In optimizing the properties of functional materials it is essential to understand in detail how structure influences properties. Identification of the most important structural parameters is time-consuming and usually investigated by preparing many different chemical modifications of a material, determining their crystal structures, measuring their physical properties and then looking for structure-property correlations. It is also necessary to assume that the chemical modifications have no influence other than to distort the structure, which is often not the case.

Influence of snow structure and properties on the grip of winter tyres

Dr Jane Blackford

The aim of this project is to investigate the friction of rubber and tyre treads on snow. It is a collaborative project with Michelin. We use tribological testing and materials characterisation techniques in a specially designed cold room facility to do this. Ultimately this knowledge will be used to improve tyre traction on snow.

Ice-Rubber Friction for Tyres

Dr Jane Blackford

The aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of the nature of the interface between rubber and ice. It is a collaborative project with Michelin. We use tribological testing and materials characterisation techniques in a specially designed cold room facility to do this. Ultimately this knowledge will be used to improve tyre traction on ice.

Adsorption Materials and Processes for Carbon Capture from Gas-Fired Flower Plants - AMPGas

Professor Stefano Brandani

The 2008 Climate Change Act sets a legally binding target of 80% CO2 emissions reductions by 2050. To meet this challenge the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC) issues regular carbon budgets with recommendations on the way in which the UK needs to reduce its emissions. In its 2010 4th carbon budget, there is a clear plan for power sector decarbonation to 2030, by investing in 30-40 GW of low carbon capacity with a value of the order of £100 billion. This would drive average emissions from generation down to around 50gCO2/kWh by 2030 and includes 4 CCS demonstration plants by 2020.

Reduce energy penalty in CO2 capture processes and the emission of SOx and NOx from coal combustion

Dr Xiangfeng Fan

The research focuses on develop a microwave swing technique to selectively heat solid at molecular level for adsorbent regeneration, and then compare the results with temperature swing. The project is supported by EPSRC.


Mixed Matrix Membranes for post combustion carbon capture of CO2

Dr Maria-Chiara Ferrari

Membrane processes are a promising alternative to the more classical post-combustion capture technologies due to the reduced maintenance of the process, the absence of dangerous solvents and their smaller footprint. This project aims at supporting the development of new mixed matrix membranes for post-combustion applications. Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) are composite materials formed by embedding inorganic fillers into a polymeric matrix in order to overcome the upper bound and combine the characteristics of the two solid phases: mechanical properties, economical processing capabilities and permeability of the polymer and selectivity of the filler. Despite several studies on the concept, the interactions between the two phases and their effect on the transport properties are not well understood. Yet, this fundamental knowledge is crucial in order to design the reliable materials needed for real-world-applications.

Educational & Training System for Clean Coal Technology

Dr Maria-Chiara Ferrari

The general objective of CleanCOALtech project is: to create and develop an educational and training system for promoting, developing and implementing clean coal technologies, through knowledge and best practices shared from advanced EU country – UK to South-East European region – Romania and Greece in order to provide high performance and innovation in the vocational education and training systems and to raise stakeholders level of knowledge and skills.

Feasibility of a wetting layer absorption carbon capture process based on chemical solvents

Professor Stefano Brandani

New ideas for carbon capture are urgently needed to combat climate change. Retro-fitting post-combustion carbon capture to existing power plants has the greatest potential to reduce CO2 emissions considering these sources make the largest contribution to CO2 emissions in the UK. Unfortunately, carbon capture methods based on existing industrial process technology for separation of CO2 from natural gas streams (i.e. amine scrubbing) would be extremely expensive if applied on the scale envisaged, as exemplified by the recent collapse of the Government's CCS project at Longannet power station. Moreover, many of the chemical absorbents used, typically amines, are corrosive and toxic and their use could generate significant amounts of hazardous waste. So, more efficient and 'greener' post-combustion CCS technologies are urgently needed if CCS is to be adopted on a global scale.


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