The 2013 Danckwerts-Pergamon Prize for the best thesis has been awarded to Wen (Paul) Liu.
The Danckwerts-Pergamon Prize is awarded by the Department each year for the best PhD dissertation on a subject connected with Chemical Engineering. The winner is chosen from those students who gained their PhDs in the preceding calendar year.
Wen Liu completed his BA and MEng in Chemical Engineering at this department, then returned to do his PhD with us. He was supervised by Prof John Dennis and his research thesis was entitled "Production of hydrogen using chemical looping".
He said, "In essence, hydrogen is produced by splitting water at high temperatures using reduced oxides of iron, whilst producing from the fuel used as a reductant a stream of pure carbon dioxide, suitable for sequestering in the Earth. Besides chemical looping, I also did some research on calcium looping, a high temperature technique to capture carbon dioxide using solid phase sorbents, whose active component is calcium oxide. In a broader sense, I investigated the physical and chemical properties of these "looping agents" (e.g. oxides of iron or calcium) as they undergo many cycles of chemical phase changes at high temperatures (e.g. 1123 K). In particular, I studied how the reactivity of the looping agents were affected when they were mixed with other metal oxides to form single-phase solid solutions, mixed oxides or two-phase mixtures."
Wen Liu is currently working as a post doc with Dr Stuart Scott in the Department of Engineering and he will soon be going to Singapore.
At the Cambridge Centre for Carbon Reduction in Chemical Technology (C4T) in Singapore, he is going to continue his research on chemical looping and calcium looping for carbon capture, as a Senior Research Fellow, under the supervision of Prof John Dennis.
C4T is the first project of the Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research in Energy Efficiency in Singapore (CARES), which is located in the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE).