Contact Dr Ali Nabavi

Areas of expertise

  • Carbon Capture and Storage
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Conventional & Advanced Fuels
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Low Carbon Technology


Dr Nabavi is currently working as a lecturer in energy systems at Cranfield’s Centre for Climate and Environmental Protection (since 2018). He received his Master’s degree (Distinction) in Thermal Power and Fluid Engineering from University of Manchester (2012) where he worked on the development of numerical models for turbulent impinging and swirling jets. Further, Ali received a PhD in Energy from Cranfield University (2016), where he developed a series of emulsion-based selective material for carbon capture, and utilised CFD modelling to optimise their production processes. He then continued working as a research fellow on a series of projects, including the integration of solid oxide fuel cells in carbonate looping processes, development of CFD models for energy systems, and development of sorbents for biogas upgrading. 

Research opportunities

I am currently accepting self-funded PhD and research applications in the following research areas:

1- Development and modification of adsorbents for CO2 removal

 Available facilities:

·        Well-equipped material synthesis lab  

·        Characterisation facilities: SEM, XRD, FTIR, TGA, volumetric gas adsorption apparatus, etc.

·        Gas capture rigs: a number of bench-scale and pilot-scale fixed- and fluidised bed reactors for low- and high temperature (up to 1000 C) gas capture.   

 2- Integration of kW-scale solid oxide fuel cells in energy and industrial systems/hydrogen production using electrolysers

 Available facilities:

·        A kW-scale SOFC rig

·        A series of SOFC/SOEC stacks (0.7-5 kW)

·        Characterisation facilities: SEM, XRD, FTIR, TGA, volumetric gas adsorption apparatus, etc.

 3- CFD modelling of:

  • Microfluidics, including hydrodynamics, heat transfer, and chemical reactions
  • Hydrogen-rich combustion
  • Process intensification
  • Production process optimisation

Available facilities:

·        Cranfield’s High-Performance Computing (HPC) facilities

·        A number of commercial CFD software, such as ANSYS Fluent.

Current activities

Dr Nabavi’s expertise covers a wide range of areas in clean energy systems and CCS. He combines experimental and numerical approaches to develop innovative solutions to advance low-carbon technologies and processes. His research focuses on:

  • Development and characterisation of polymeric CO2 sorbents for decarbonisation of power and industrial sectors  
  • Development of carbonates material for direct air capture (DAC)
  • Integration of fuel cells in industrial applications
  • Hydrogen production and safety
  • Microfluidics production of structured particles
  • CFD modelling for process optimisation (multi-phase flow, combustion, process intensification)

Teaching activities:

  • Director of MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering Course
  • Leading Thermal System Operation and Design Module
  • Leading Heat Transfer Module


Innovate Uk

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Cambridge Engineering Analysis & Design (CEAD) Ltd.

Origen Power Ltd.

Epicam Ltd.

Thermal Energy International (UK) Ltd.



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