Novel engineering solutions are necessary to ensure that the overall cost to society of decarbonising electricity generation is acceptable and that fossil power plants can continue to meet their critical role in balancing electricity supply and demand. Power plants burning biomass could also play an important role in providing flexibility in the electricity system. Flexible fossil and biomass-fired power plants with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) will operate in new ways in future low-carbon electricity systems to accommodate new patterns in electricity demand and new patterns in electricity supply from base-load nuclear and renewable technologies with a variable output.
This work will develop technologies used for post-combustion CO2 capture and/or technologies used in oxy-combustion with a focus on their interaction with power cycles and electricity markets.
The CO2 capture group at the University of Edinburgh has substantial track record and expertise in examining novel strategies to design integrated engineering systems capable of enhancing transient operation of CCS power plants. This work is expected to produce CCS power plant designs that have capability to supply both energy and ancillary service electricity markets effectively. In particular, it is expected that the ancillary market will become an increasingly large source of revenues for dispatchable low-carbon power plants in a system dominated by non-dispatchable renewables.
This work is complemented by activities that focus on developing the underpinning engineering evidence and expertise needed to support deployment pathways for CCS, including addressing the barriers of adding CCS to the existing fleet of power stations. In particular, CO2 emissions lock-in associated with long-lived coal and gas power stations can be mitigated by technologies suited for retrofitting CO2 capture to existing plants and it is also important to ensure that power plants can be upgraded with improved CO2 capture technology throughout their operating lives.
Experimental projects fit within the above strategy and include lab-scale experimental work on biomass combustion and the development of novel instrumentation and measurements techniques applied to CO2 capture processes, with direct links to CO2 capture pilot plant in the UK.
A range of projects in these and related areas are available and can be tailored to the interests of applicants.
Please contact Dr Mathieu Lucquiaud to discuss further.
Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, ideally Mechanical or Chemical Engineering, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. A strong background in thermodynamics and/or thermal power plant engineering would be ideal.
Strong candidates may be considered for full EPSRC funding (open to UK/EU candidates only) and/or collaborative industry projects.