Thermal and Chemical Process Engineering at Cranfield explores advanced concepts for low-carbon power generation and decarbonisation of carbon-intensive industries, and evaluates their feasibility.

Our approach is minimising the environmental impacts and costs, and maximising the benefits and value, which is achieved by optimisation and retrofitting existing energy and industrial systems, their integration, and designing highly-efficient and environmentally friendly greenfield concepts. We are focusing on power generation and carbon-intensive industrial systems with the main goal to decarbonise and adapt them to the future low-carbon energy portfolio. Our approach is systemic and we evaluate how stand-alone strategies sustainably work together considering the time-scale. Read more Read less

Although the core of our activities are in the area of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, we recognise the need to explore their integration in the future power and industrial systems, and in the framework of the future energy portfolio. Although the shares of energy generated from low-carbon renewables will continue increasing, the transition period will last for several decades and flexible and efficient conventional power systems will be highly valuable and essential to balance the energy grids until the energy storage capacities are sufficient. Also, CO2 as the main anthropogenic greenhouse gas is a by-product in several industrial processes, such as cement and steel manufacture, which requires mid- to long-term decarbonisation, even in future renewable energy scenarios. Finally, CO2 has been accumulated in the atmosphere, and it is expected to continue regardless to reduce emissions, and it is expected that carbon-negative technologies will be required in the long-term. Therefore, we have been working on decarbonisation concepts from those which are ready for commercialisation in short-term to the systems for negative carbon emission of the future.

The results of our research are disseminated through publications in top peer-reviewed journals in the area, and our main expertise lies in:

  • Techno-economics and feasibility assessments;
  • Process modelling and systems analysis;
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS);
  • Integration of CCS, energy storage, and renewables;
  • Industrial CCS and industrial waste valorisation;
  • Low-emission combustion technologies;
  • NOx and SO2 emission reduction processes;
  • Fuel processing including gasification;
  • High-temperature fuel cells and their application;
  • Hydrogen production processes;
  • Thermodynamic cycles and thermochemical processes;
  • Negative carbon emission technologies including bio-CCS and direct air capture;
  • Process intensification and optimisation;
  • Development and testing carbon capture materials;
  • Exergy analysis and energy utilisation.