CHBE Seminar: Dr. Alasdair Campbell, University of Sheffield

Friday, April 12, 2024
11:00 a.m.
Room 2108 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building
Patricia Lorenzana

Electrodialysis – a Solution in Search of a Problem or a Coherent Design Approach?

Abstract: Electrodialysis (ED) is an emerging membrane-based electro-separation technology which has been suggested and investigated for deployment in a diverse range of problems such as wastewater pollutant removal, desalination, and chemical purification. Compared to conventional separation methods such as reverse osmosis, ED offers several advantages including lower energy consumption, higher selectivity, higher adaptability, and lower fouling propensity. However, the design and operation of ED systems are challenging due to the complex interactions between the membrane, the ion species, and the applied electric field. To address this issue, advanced process models are required to provide accurate predictions of ED performance and to guide system optimisation. Existing ED models tend to be ad hoc and are highly dependent on empirical parameters. Resultantly, they are only applicable to a narrow range of process conditions and require several data sets to validate. This also means that there is no model or design approach that can be used to scale up to real processes. In this work we aim to develop a suite of novel mathematical models of ED from first principles without reliance on experimental training data and compare with the results of lab scale experiments. We then investigate the implications for full scale implementation, and the need for improved design tools, for applications including direct air capture.

Bio: Dr. Alasdair Campbell completed his undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge in 2003 and then subsequently read for a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, which was awarded in 2007. This work was awarded the Danckwerts-Pergamon Prize for the best dissertation produced in the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2007. After the completion of his Ph.D, Campbell was appointed as the Hertha Ayrton Research Fellow in Chemical Engineering at Girton College, Cambridge from 2007 until 2012 during which time he was awarded the Hinshelwood Prize by the Combustion Institute. This prize is awarded in recognition of meritorious work by a young scientist of the British Section of the Combustion Institute. Campbell was appointed as a Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Surrey in 2012, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2017. He joined the University of Sheffield as a Senior Lecturer in 2019, where he currently serves as Departmental Director of Education in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Campbell’s research is primarily focussed on the modelling of flows driven by, or coupled to, other chemical or physical phenomena. This work can be broadly split into work in two general areas, namely process safety (incorporating combustion, explosion, the dispersion of reactive chemicals and corrosion) and water purification, focussing on electromembrane systems that can be used in resource recovery as well as for desalination. This work has focussed on understanding the interaction of fluid mechanics and chemistry on a fundamental level using a combination of numerical and analytical techniques, coupled to simple experiments.

Audience: Graduate  Faculty 

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