PhD Opportunity: Water consumption for carbon capture and power generation

PhD Supervisor: Dr Jia Li

Application Deadline: 30/09/2013

Funding Availability: Open to UK/EU/Overseas applicants. Studentships will cover University fees (at UK/EU or overseas rate), plus a stipend for 3.5 years at the enhanced EPSRC rate (£14,640 for 2013/14). 

Research Area: Materials & Processes 

Project description: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) processes are the only option for decarbonising fossil fuel power plants at large scale. Recently, concerns have been raised about the additional water usage of CCS plants. Water is critical to electricity production and for reducing carbon dioxide from power plants yet, the water/energy nexus is often overlooked. There is an urgent need to understand the water consumption rate of different capture technology and best prepare the industry for the energy/water challenge. The result of this study will lead to a better and more water-friendly carbon capture power plant. This research will focus on both coal fired and natural gas CCGT power plants with CCS because of the differences in the electricity generating process and pattern of water consumption. For both cases, different capture options will be evaluated with computer simulation. The specific objectives of this PhD are to:

  • Assess water constraints for CCS power plants with a focus on regions with limited water resources
  • Develop novel engineering techniques to mitigate water scarcity, such as modification of standard system to reduce cooling requirement, novel high pressure pre-combustion design
  • Evaluate the water impacts of capture technologies and its performance on the power output, carbon reduction and costs
  • Mapping the best application of capture technologies for regions with different water resources
  • Understand the economic implications for energy and water 

Successful candidates will be based at the well-established Carbon Capture Group at the University of Edinburgh. The School of Engineering also hosted the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre, which is a virtual hub that brings together UK carbon capture and storage (CCS) researchers and acts as a two-way interface between the academic community and key stakeholders (e.g. government, industry and potential international collaborators).  

Eligibility and qualifications: Applicants must be of outstanding academic merit: a first class or upper second class honours undergraduate degree (or International equivalent) is the minimum qualification requirement.

To undertake this research, we are seeking a motivated candidate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering/Power Engineering/Water Engineering/Chemical Engineering.

Experience with Aspen Plus/HYSYS/gProm would be a benefit. Some knowledge and experience of carbon capture and storage is essential and an ability to work effectively and independently will be appreciated. 

Please apply through the Apply link below

Select the Research Area referred to in the advert and clearly state on your application form which project you are applying for and the relevant supervisor.

Informal Enquiries to:

Further information: 

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