Contact Dr Kumar Patchigolla

Areas of expertise

  • Biomass and Waste
  • Carbon Capture and Storage
  • Carbon, Climate and Risk
  • Computing, Simulation & Modelling
  • Concentrating Solar Power
  • Conventional & Advanced Fuels
  • Environmental Impacts
  • Fuels
  • Renewable Energy
  • Systems Engineering


Dr Patchigolla joined Cranfield University in 2009, Lecturer in 2012, Senior Lecturer in 2017 and Reader in 2020. During this period he is involved in the demonstration of low temperature heat storage (rock bed), thermal driven absorption chiller (Li-Br), combustion (fluidized, pulverized), gasification (fixed, fluidized), capture of CO2 (Chemical/Calcium looping) and CO2 pipeline and shipping transport facilities, evaluating the effects on component durability and gas cleaning requirements of systems using a wide range of solid fuels. These include biomasses, waste and sewage sludge as well as coal either alone or in different co-fired combinations and supervision of research activities using the Pilot Scale Advanced Capture (PACT) facilities.

He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Andhra University, India, which was followed up with Masters from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Kanpur, India). Prior to his PhD he gained over 3 years work experience in both industry and higher education institutions. His PhD research was directly related to particle process measurements applied to crystallization operation and graduated in 2007 at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

Prior to this post at Cranfield University, Dr. Patchigolla was a Research Associate at Loughborough University, where he worked on multi dimensional population balance modelling sponsored by EPSRC. Dr Patchigolla has published one book based on his PhD studies and several journal articles.

Research opportunities

Dr. Patchigolla is currently accepting applications for PhD/MRes students in the fields of:

Integration of thermal energy storage to an existing fossil plants

SCO2 based heat removal technology for a fusion power plants

Hydrogen storage reversible solid oxide cell with coal plants for flexible operation

Solar thermal driven absorption chiller for cooling applications

Design development of solar desalination concept

Waste heat recovery options from gas engines

Along with these topics, Dr. Patchigolla is willing to discuss any other potential thermal engineering topics.

Current activities

Dr Kumar Patchigolla is currently a Reader in Low Carbon Energy Systems and Advanced Heat Engineering MSc Course Director, with in the Energy and Power theme. He is also the course director for "Advanced Heat Engineering" MSc and the MUSCAT-Cranfield academic relationship coordinator. He completed the National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) general certification in 2012.

Kumar's research is scientifically biased, focused towards fundamental research (bringing TRL 1 to 4), which he applies to a transformative industrial practice (moving TRL from 4 to 7/8). His focus is the development of a world leading research capability in 'heat recovery and energy storage' and runs community of practice on this topic at Cranfield. His heat related work also encompasses the capture and utilisation of waste heat, where he has been able to prove that, were the technology fully developed, these techniques could offer an economical way to maximise efficiency and minimise waste generation. He performs experimental, theoretical and thermodynamics research into many aspects of energy systems, as a key member of the PACT facilities operation at Cranfield. PI of the CO2LIQUID project on CO2 shipping-compression, liquefaction and dehydration and follow on projects on recovering liquefication cost by cold energy utilisation. In addition he is working on improving efficiency, reliability and flexibility of fossil plants. More recently he has been applying his knowledge in solar based renewables through H2020 project (WASCOP & SOLWARIS), in particularly developing an emerging technologies for the reduced use of the water needed to cool the power block for different operating conditions depending on geographical location, climate conditions and access to water.

He is responsible for a wide range of energy process facilities, including pilot scale plants for heat capture and storage, advanced energy systems, absorption chillers, desalination, as well as high pressure flow loop CO2 transport systems. These facilities have been recently extended with fully automated sophisticated gas supply and mixing system, which can permit operation for extended periods.

He is the Module Manager for "Industrial Thermal Operations" and "Advanced Heat Exchanger Design" within the Energy and Power Masters Programme at Cranfield. He currently supervises several PhD students across a range of low carbon technologies, along with delivering lectures across a number of MSc courses.

He is a member of the International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF) Editorial Board and one of the academic directors of British Flame Research Committee (BFRC) .

His current research activities include:

CO2 compression, Liquefaction and dehydration-CO2LIQUID (EPSRC)

Supercritical CO2 cycles with energy storage (BF2RA)

Understanding the chemical complexity in controlling air pollution problems (Royal Society-NSFC)

Low grade heat recovery to drive absorption chiller and desalination units (Newton-Mosharafa Institutional links)

WASCOP and SOLWARIS on concentrated solar power plants (H2020)

Solar desalination (Solar Water)

Improving efficiency, reliability and flexibility of power plants (US DoE-Siemens)

Nano-membrane toilet - Phase II & III (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

Multipurpose Applications by Thermodynamic Solar (MATS) (FP7)

Yorkshire Water SPC Gasification trials

UK-China cooperation for technology transfer to establish the co-utilisation of waste biomass with coal (TSB)

The effects of impurities for capture technologies on CO2 compression (BCURA)

Energy from waste: Characterization of UK waste streams and assessment of energy from waste technology opportunities (ETI)

Materials for Next Generation CO2 Transport Systems (MATTRAN) (EPSRC)

Joint UK-china hydrogen production network (EPSRC)

In Europe and UK he is a member of a number of networks such as UKCCSRC, IFRF, ETN, BFRC, UCG association and CO2NET.



British Council-Newton Institutional Links

Royal Society

EU FP7, H2020 & RFCS

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation



Solar Water

EGB Engineering





RWE npower


National Grid


Disruptatek Ltd

Bowman Power

Heat Recovery Solutions


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers