Flexible Funding 2020: Prof Lin Ma, University of Sheffield

Evaluation of different CCUS systems based on the MCFC technology for decarbonising the power generation sector


Key facts about this Flexible Funding research project

Institution: University of Sheffield
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Start date: 1st May 2020
Principal investigator: Prof Lin Ma, University of Sheffield
Co-Investigators: Dr Mohammed Ismail, University of Sheffield; Dr Stavros Michailos, University of Sheffield
Amount awarded by UKCCSRC: £29,979

Why is this research needed?

This proposal is focused on a disruptive carbon capture process, namely the Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) technology. Unlike other capture technologies that absorb energy, MCFC is an active unit that generates energy, resulting in reduced capture energy penalties. The study focuses on the decarbonisation of the power sector, particularly the natural gas combined cycle plants.

What is this research investigating?

The overall aim of the research project is to investigate the techno-economic feasibility of three different carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) systems that employ MCFC technology. Multiscale modelling framework (i.e. unit modelling and system modelling) will be adopted with the aim of creating an open-access solid database of flexible models that can set the basis for subsequent economic assessments. The performance of the investigated scenarios will be compared
with conventional carbon capture technologies. The CCUS integrated systems consist of components that are practically hosted by the newly launched low-carbon energy research centre, i.e. the Translational Energy Research Centre.

What does the research hope to achieve?

The outcomes of this project will constitute a foundation for a follow-up larger bid (e.g. EPSRC) in which the developed models will be calibrated and/or validated with relevant pilot plant data.

The project team’s vision is to be eventually in a position to provide a multiscale model that optimises the operating and design parameters of the MCFC in such a way that maximises the efficiency of both the MCFC unit and the entire CCUS that incorporates the latter. We envisage that the project will provide meaningful knowledge on employing MCFC as a CCUS technology; information that is currently lacking in the UK.

Research outputs

This research is ongoing and updates will be shared as they become available.


Blog post - January 2022

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See the dataset at the UKCCSRC Information Archive >>