The Clean Energy Laboratory focuses on cutting edge research aimed at improving the sustainability of chemical and physical processing in the energy industry.
Our goals are to understand the fundamental science of energy and to exploit this knowledge to develop applied technology for more efficient processing and energy production. Currently, our focus is development and characterisation of nanomaterials for efficient gas and liquid processing, gas and liquid separation technology, carbon capture, carbon dioxide utilisation, natural gas processing, biofuels from algae and advanced energy storage analysis and development.
Our research group focuses on materials, processes and especially separations which can improve the sustainability of modern energy related technologies. We are interested in understanding and uncovering the fundamentals of how molecules can be separated and reacted and how energy can be manipulated to develop cleaner, more efficient technologies for today’s industrialised world.
We focus on adsorbent materials for gas and liquid separations, catalysis for clean energy production, biofuel production from microalgae and thermodynamic optimisation and energy storage.
The strong link between fundamental knowledge of the molecular processes and development and realistic testing of improved technologies underpins all of our research programs. If the science has no application, we don’t investigate it.
Equally, we don’t simply conduct empirical testing in the Edisonian approach. It is essential that all our developments must be based on a thorough understanding of the underlying physical principles.
While most of our work is experimental (materials development, characterisation testing, bench top and field testing), we also develop and use a range of computational tools ranging from molecular simulation through to process modelling and optimization.
Past Academic Visitors
Emma Edwards (2014)
Facilities and Resources
Our research group has our own facilities and resources for synthesizing adsorbents and catalysts, performing characterisation of the materials surface and pore space, and testing process performance of adsorbents and catalysts.
Adsorbent and Catalyst Characterisation
Gas Adsorption Analyzer (BelsorbMax & BelCryo): 50K to 600K, 0–1bar, any non-corrosive gases as well as vapour sorption
Gas Adsorption Isotherms (ASAP2050): 77K, 200–600K, 0–10 bar, any non-corrosive gases
High P&T Rubotherm Balance: 0–400bar, ambient–600K, any non-corrosive gases.
Thermogravimmetric Analysis (Mettler TGA)
Temperature Programmed Desorption and Catalyst Characterisation (BelCat-B)
Adsorbent and Catalyst Testing: Pilot Scale
4-bed PVSA custom built unit: 200g materials, 1–4 beds, complex cycles possible, full control and data logging, 0–30 bar.
Fixed Bed Reactor System for Catalyst Testing
2-bed High temperature, high pressure TPVSA custom built unit: 50–100g materials, 1–2 beds, complex cycles possible, full control and data logging, 0–30 bar, ambient-400°C.
Congratulations to Willie Tang on successfully defending his thesis “Low Cost Oxygen production by Pressure Swing Adsorption With Oxygen Selective Adsorbents”. This follows on the heels of his recent publication “Oxygen selective Iron and Cobalt-metalloporphyrin polymers – extraordinary selectivity at low temperature” published in Microporous and Mesoporous Materials (2016, 222, 63–72)
Congratulations to Frank He on his paper (and inside back cover) entitled “Converting 3D Rigid Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) to 2D Flexible Networks via Ligand Exchange for Enhanced CO2/N2 and CH4/N2 Separation” ChemComm 2015, 51, 14716.
Congratulations to Yingdian He, Jin Shang, Qinfen Gu, Gang Li, Jiaye Li, Ranjeet Singh, Penny Xiao and Paul A. Webley for the paper and cover in Chemical Communications, Issue 79.
Congratulations to Augustine Ntiamoah on successfully achieving his PhD. This is a fine achievement and just reward for all of the hard work he has put in. We wish him all the best for his future career.
We are delighted to announce that a team from our Department has taken out the Pratt Prize for the Best Design Project at a Victorian University for 2013. The team consisted of Chloe Jack, Hiep (Bill) Thuan Lu, Huachen (Vincent) Liu, Yue (Frank) Wu and Fan Wu who is from the Clean Energy group. This team designed an Ammonium Nitrate Facility. The team will now go on to compete for the Australasian Design Project Prize which will be awarded at Chemeca.
Our congratulations to David Danaci for being awarded the Best Tutor in Chemical Engineering Semester 1 2014.
Congratulations to Dr Jin Shang, a recipient of the Chancellor’s Prize for his PhD thesis in Science and Engineering.
‘Temperature Controlled Invertible Selectivity of Adsorption of N2 and CH4 by Molecular Trapdoor Chabazites’ was online as a front cover on 4 April 2014. Article citation: Chem. Commun., 2014, 50 (35), 4544–4546
Jin Shang was awarded the 2013 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad. The ceremony was held on 29 April 2014.
Jin Shang was awarded the John Melvin Memorial Prize for Best PhD Thesis in the School of Engineering 2013. The ceremony was held on 19 May 2014.