skip to content

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

 

A team of researchers from the Department of Chemical Engineering today celebrated the commissioning of new research equipment for producing renewable energy from waste materials. The team from the Energy Research Laboratory in the Department has developed a fluidised bed reactor for producing a clean burning, hydrogen rich fuel gas from municipal sewage sludge.

"Current methods to treat the vast quantities of sludge produced in Europe include spreading it on agricultural land, burning it or burying it in a landfill" says Dr Andrew Harris, project researcher and Research Fellow at Darwin College. "There are quite a few negative connotations associated with these alternatives. Our work aims to give an environmentally acceptable one."

Allan, Andrew Harris, John Dennis and John Davidson

Dr Harris together with his colleagues in the project, principal investigator Dr John Dennis, co-investigators Prof. Alan Hayhurst and Prof. John Davidson and PhD student, Stuart Scott aim to produce a valuable hydrogen rich gas from the waste material and at the same time minimise harmful emissions and by-products.

"There is a lot of talk at the moment about the new hydrogen economy, but nobody goes into much detail about where all this hydrogen is going to come from". says Dr Dennis. "Our technology has the potential to produce large quantities of hydrogen from waste materials, relatively cheaply"

The project is funded by the EPSRC and the team hopes to be able to commercialise the technology upon completion. There is already a good deal of interest from industry.

October 2002

 

Latest news

Powering Apollo 11: the fuel cell that took us to the moon

18 July 2019

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, find out about the little known invention that made the voyage possible.

Africans in STEM conference: opportunities and challenges

15 July 2019

The first Africans in STEM symposium held on 28 June 2019 in our department was aimed at celebrating African voices and ideas in STEM.

Annual conference highlights diverse impact of department research

4 July 2019

Our department Research Conference took place from 25-26 June, bringing together researchers from across the department, wider university, external institutions and industry.