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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology



Paste, Particle and Polymer Processing group (P4G)

Our interests lie in developing the understanding of processing of pastes, particles and polymers, and their flow behaviour in particular.  We rarely synthesize components: rather, we build from existing materials. We apply that knowledge to manufacture, at industrial scale, products with desired microstructure or function, or, equally importantly, to resolve problems encountered in processing such materials.

P4G was formed in January 2013 by the (friendly) merger of two of the groups in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology with an interest in structured materials and processing: the Paste and Particle Processing group (P3G) and the Polymer Fluids group . The group is led by Ian Wilson, Sarah Rough and Bart Hallmark. Retired staff David Scott, John Davidson and Bob Skelton also contribute.

A substantial part of the activities led by Prof. Wilson is related to studying the formation and removal of fouling layers on heat transfer and process equipment surfaces, as well as cleaning and decontamination.  Dr Rough has a long-standing interest in particle technology, while Dr Hallmark enjoys simulating processes and flows from the meso- to the plant scale. There is much work on complex fluids, both visco-plastic and visco-elastic.

The group's activities range from fundamental theoretical, numerical and experimental investigations to applied and proof-of-concept studies. The research page gives a full listing of ongoing and past projects.




Recent News

  • Studentship available 26 February 2020 - UK/EU Studentship: Linking fluid flow to cleaning performance via tailored food-grade soils (Closing date 5 June 2020)

  • 10 February 2020 - Paper published: Ishiyama, E.M., Pugh, S.J. and Wilson, D.I. (2020) Incorporating Deposit Ageing into Visualisation of Crude Oil Preheat Train Fouling, Process Integration and Optimization for Sustainability.
  • 10 January 2020 - Paper published: Tsai, J.-H., Hallmark, B. and Wilson, D.I. (2019) Integrated Fluid Dynamic Gauge for Measuring the Thickness of Soft Solid Layers Immersed in Opaque, Viscous, and/or Non-Newtonian Liquids in Situ, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res.58, 23124-23134.
  • End of an era The last P4G meeting of the decade took the form of a Christmas dinner held at Jesus College. Guests of Honour were members of the Mechanical and Electronics workshops, and other colleagues from the Department's Professional Support Staff, who have helped generations of P4G members through their time in the Department of Chemical Engineering and in CEB. Poignant tributes from former members were read, and gifts funded by current and past members presented. We wish all our guest well in their next adventures.
  • Wordsmith! 29th November: P4G member Saksham Sharma won one of the prizes in the Ideas Take Flight competition organised by Cambridge University Entrepreneurs.
  • Paper published: Ishiyama, E.M., Falkeman, E.S, Wilson, D.I. and S.J. Pugh, S.J. (2020) Quantifying implications of deposit aging from crude refinery preheat train data, Heat Transfer Engineering41(2), 115-126.
  • Paper published: Hawthorn, D. and Wilson, D.I. (2020) Calcium phosphate scale formation in power station condensers fed by cooling towers: a case of when not to use scaling indices, Heat Transfer Engineering41(2), 138-148.
  • Paper published: Tsai J.-H., Cuckston, G.L, Hallmark, B. and Wilson, D.I. (2019) Fluid-dynamic gauging for studying the initial swelling of soft solid layers. AIChE J65, e16664.
  • Uncertain times: CEB is closing its mechanical and electronics workshops in early November.
  • PhD student Jamie Davidson discusses his work optimising the design of ovens as part of the podcast ‘Cooking with a Conscience’ by The Naked Scientists. Listen to the podcast here
  • Paper published: Yang, Y., Bhagat, R.K., Rosario-Fernandes, R., Nordkvist, M., Gernaey, K.V., Kruehne, U. and Wilson, D.I. (2019) Cleaning of toothpaste from vessel walls by impinging liquid jets and their falling films: Quantitative modelling of soaking effects, Chem. Eng. Sci., 208, 115148
  • 8th August - the news is back - following a period of the CEB website being down to move platform.
  • Paper published: Fernandes, R.R., Oevermann, D. and Wilson, D.I. (2019) Cleaning insoluble viscoplastic soil layers using static and moving coherent impinging water jets, Chem. Eng. Sci207, 752-768.
  • Paper publishedSargent, M.J. and Hallmark, B. (2019) Investigating the shear rheology of molten instant coffee at elevated pressures using the Cambridge multipass rheometerFood Bioproducts Proc., 115, 17-25.
    • 11 April 2019 P4G reunion in Santa Fe

      PhD student Rubens Rosario-Fernandes and Ian Wilson met up with former P4G-ers Dr Barbara Meza and Dr Juan Manuel Peralta at INTEC/UNL in Santa Fe, Argentina. Also in the picture is Prof. Susana Zorilla, one of the leaders of the Food Engineering Group at INTEC/UNL.

      Ian and Rubens' visit is part of a Royal Society/CONICET collaboration project with our Argentinian colleagues investigating the rheology and flow of bubbly liquids in food applications. Ian delivered a seminar on coupled flows of complex fluids as part of the visit.

      Juan Manuel and Barbara will visit CEB later this year.

  • 8 April 2019 - Paper published: Sargent, M.J. and Hallmark, B. (2019) Investigating the shear rheology of molten instant coffee at elevated pressures using the Cambridge multipass rheometer, Food Bioproducts Proc., 115, 17-25.
  • 28 February 2019 - Paper published: Zhang, M., Rough, S.L., Ward, R., Seiler, C. and Wilson, D.I. (2019) Non-aqueous formulations for ram and screen extrusion-spheronisation, Intl. J. Pharm, 560, 394-405.
  • 14 February 2019 - Cleaning is Chemical Engineering! Ian Wilson explains this in an EHEDG webcast on LinkedIn.
  • 7 January 2019 - Paper published: Oevermann, D., Bhagat, R.K, Fernandes, R.R. and Wilson, D.I. (2019) Quantitative modelling of the erosive removal of a thin soil deposit by impinging liquid jets, Wear, 422-423, 27-34. QuickLink live until 26/2/19
  • 3 January 2019 - Paper published: Wang, S., Ke Zhou, X., Christie, G. and Wilson, D.I. (2019) Development of zero discharge net flow fluid dynamic gauging for studying biofilm and spore removal, Food Bioproducts Proc., 113, 60-67. QuickLink live until 22/2/19
  • 3 January 2019 - Paper published: Chee, M.W.L, Ahuja, T.V, Bhagat, R.K, Taesopapong, N, Wan, S.A, Wigmore, R.L, and Wilson, D.I. (2019) Effect of jet length and wall curvature on cleaning of tank walls, Food Bioproducts Proc., 113, 142–153. QuickLink live until 22/2/19
  • Paper published: Magens, O.M., Hofmans, J.F.A., Adriaenssens, Y. and Wilson, D.I. (2019) Comparison of fouling of raw milk and whey protein solution on stainless steel and fluorocarbon coated surfaces: Effects on fouling performance, deposit structure and composition, Chem. Eng. Sci., 195, 423-432.
  • Paper published: Al Ismaili, R., Lee, M.W., Wilson, D.I. and Vassiliadis, V.S. (2019) Optimisation of heat exchanger network cleaning schedules: incorporating uncertainty in fouling and cleaning model parameters, Computers & Chemical Engineering, 121, 409-421.


News Archive


Determination of quality parameters for consumer goods (baked cakes!)

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) image of a cellulose membrane, before foulingVacancies/Studentships

Extrudates of microcrystalline cellulose water-based paste (3 mm die diameter). The difference in appearance is due to the extrusion velocity - a higher velocity induces surface fractures

Studentship (26 February 2020)UK/EU Studentship: Linking fluid flow to cleaning performance via tailored food-grade soils

Academic collaborators within other groups at Cambridge include

Active external academic collaborators

Sponsorship and funding comes from a range of sources, including the TSB, ESPRC and industry. This support is gratefully acknowledged: more information about sponsoring bodies is available on the Group Links page.

P4G also hosts the Fluid Dynamic Gauging website: this technique was developed within the P3G group.

The former P3G or Polymer Fluids Group websites can be viewed for more information.