- Senior Lecturer - The University of Edinburgh
My group touches upon the following research activities:
- Development of Heat Powered Adsorption Technologies for zero carbon and carbon negative future, addressing the next global big challenges. Examples include the following systems which use heat at temperature <150°C (including solar thermal energy):
- Design and testing of adsorption for cooling, heat pumping and heat storage and desalination by using low grade waste heat and solar thermal energy
- CO2 capture from air (air capture) with nanoporous materials and temperature swing adsorption
- Experimental investigation on nanoporous materials with special focus on supported ionic liquids and ionogels
- Fluid phase equilibria with special focus on adsorption thermodynamics and liquid-liquid equilibria
- Biodiesel production process
Some of the novel technologies generated in my group are:
Stand-alone adsorption refrigerator for humanitarian aid. This technology provides stand-alone cooling for vaccines storage. Every day thousands of children die because of vaccination-preventable diseases. A key challenge for immunization programmes in many areas of the world, where no cooling facilities or electrical grid is available, is storing the vaccines at the right temperature until the administration. We have developed a stand-alone solar ice maker, where solar thermal energy is used to regenerate, during the day, an adsorption bed enclosed in a solar thermal collector. During the night, cold is produced and stored in form of ice.
Air capture. Although the majority of research efforts focus on large, concentrated CO2 emitters, CO2 removal from the ambient air (air capture) is a complementary measure for the mitigation of small and distributed emissions. In the ACCA project, supported by the European Union, we are developing a proof of concept prototype to capture carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere. Similarly to the two previous systems, this is a thermally-driven adsorption process.
Desalination. generation of electricity from salinity gradients using a Reverse Electrodialysis in a closed-loop system. Artificial saline solutions are subject to salinity swings by means of multi effect distillation/adsorption-based separation, which uses low-temperature heat as its energy source.