A visit to Tsinghua University and NICE in China

Xiaobo Luo is an ECR from the University of Hull and receved funding from the International Research Collaboration Fund to go to Tsinghua University and National Institute of Clean-And-Low-Carbon Energy (NICE) in China from March to May in 2015

I am Xiaobo Luo and I am a research staff in Process/Energy System Engineering & CCS Group in University of Hull. My recent researches focus on process modelling, simulation and optimization of the integrated CCS systems for high energy consumption industry processes including fossil fuel-fired power plants, carbon capture processes, CO2 compression and transport pipeline network. As a main investigator, I attended several CCS projects including (1) R-D-CSPP-PCC-PSE project, funded by EU Marie Curie, (2) 2013 China-Europe SME Energy Saving and Carbon Reduction Research Scheme, (3) Multiscale whole systems modelling and analysis of CCS, funded by Natural Environmental Research Council, (4) techno-economic evaluation of the CO2 transportation pipeline network in the Humber region in the UK, collaborated with National Grid.

Last year, I successfully applied the UKCCSRC International Research Collaboration Fund to visit Tsinghua University and National Institute of Clean-And-Low-Carbon Energy (NICE) in China from March to May in 2015. The research objective is to investigate transient behaviours across the critical region of CO2 stream for the CO2 pipeline transport in dense phase using SAFT-CP EOS. At the same time, in this project, those two host institutions are the leading organisations in China in academy and industry respectively. I expected to build long term relationships with China CCS community through this project.

The first part of my journey was in Tsinghua University. Tsinghua University is a top high education institution in China and is also a well-known university in the world. I enjoyed its beautiful campus as well as the quiet and peace environment although it is located in the city centre of Beijing. The collaborating researcher is Professor Jian Chen in the State Key laboratory of Chemical Engineering. Professor Jian Chen‘s research areas are molecular design of capture solvents, measurement of CO2 solubility and kinetics rates, measurement of mass transfer coefficients of packings, and process simulation and optimization of high energy consumption industry process. During my visiting in Tsinghua University, I attended their group seminars and assisted some experiments. I made a presentation to the students to introduce the studies I have done in my difference CCS projects. The title of my presentation was “Cost reduction for the integrated CCS system for NGCC power plant”. I also supervised a student to write a paper on a coal-fired power plant integrated with carbon capture process, which was accepted by Fuel.

Good progress has been made for the proposed research. We analysed the original papers (Chen et. al, 2001, 2002) to schedule the necessary modifications of SAFT-CP before applying it for CO2 mixture streams. The CO2 mixture streams may contain polar fluids such as H2O and H2S after captured from the industry processes. It is also noticed that the CO2 mixture streams would be purified to meet some certain specifications before entering the truck pipeline network. The polar fluids are expected to be in trace. Thus complicated calculations for the interactions between polar fluids may be avoided in some cases. We also examined the experimental data for future validation purpose. With this good start, we will continue our collaboration with the ambition of publishing a few papers in the next stage.

Another host institution is National Institute of Clean-And-Low-Carbon Energy (NICE). NICE is fully funded by Shenhua Group. Shenhua group is a super large-scale energy enterprise which takes coal as its foundation, covering electric power, coal-to-liquids and coal chemical engineering and integrates production, transportation and sale. NICE are undertaking several National Research Projects including clean coal energy, renewable energy and CCS demonstration project. During my visiting in NICE, I attended their group discussions for a CO2 pipeline transport project which is a part of one CCS demonstration project. I made a presentation to the staff of NICE with the tile of “Simulation-based Techno-economic Evaluation for Optimal Design of CO2 Transport Pipeline Network” to share the studies I have done on the CO2 pipeline transportation.

In a summary, I had very enjoyed this international collaboration exchange project. I would like to thank Professor Jian Chen and Dr Xiaoguang Wang for their hosting and collaboration. Finally, I appreciated the UKCCSRC for providing the International Research Collaboration Fund for my visit to Tsinghua University and NICE.