From left: Xiaoyan Ji, Staffan Lundström and Mark Rayson

Three technical research projects received funds

Published: 3 December 2012

Researchers at the Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics were successful in the Swedish Research Council's call for research grants for 2012.

Three projects were awarded funds, represented by Professor Staffan Lundström, Fluid Mechanics, Assistant Professor Xiaoyan Ji, Energy Engineering and Mark Rayson, researcher in the area Scientific Computing.

Develops a model to control particles in porous materials

The project Staffan Lundström received funds for is about looking at the flow in porous material and how particles are filtered in the material. The project is in collaboration with Professor Peter Wall at Mathematics and Professor Michael Sjödahl at Experimental Mechanics.

– There are applications in filtration processes and in the manufacturing of composites, Staffan Lundström says. You may want to catch a certain type of particle or get some particles to go to a certain place in the material to get a specific functionality. For example, certain types of electrical characteristics.

A general method for flow and filtration in porous material will be developed, a method that can be applied to almost anything.

– The money from the Research Council will enable us to develop the numerical and experimental methods beyond what we have today. Infrastructure in the form of lab and equipment already exists, but it is working hours that costs. We will be able to hire a new graduate student, and for this project we also have collaboration with researchers in Latvia, South Korea and Australia, says Staffan Lundström.

Separates carbon dioxide by means of ionic liquid

Xiaoyan Ji, along with a professor from Finland and a professor from Germany received funding for research that involves studying viscosity when separating carbon dioxide using ionic liquids.

– We use theoretical and experimental measurements in order to make it possible to separate the carbon dioxide from synthesis gas, biogas or smoke Xiaoyan Ji explains.

At a later stage, environmental gains are expected to come from Xiaoyans and her colleagues' research. Reduced carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants, for example, is positive for the environment. Upgraded biogas can be used as a substitute for natural gas and as an environmentally friendly fuel. Another advantage is that when the synthesis gas is purified from carbon dioxide, efficiency in producing valuable chemicals increase.

First principles model

Finally, Mark Rayson received money for a project titled "Pushing the Quantum Mechanical Simulation of Materials to the Limit."

– It's about using multiscale modeling, based on first principles quantum mechanical calculations, to simulate material properties. This is one of the great challenges of modern science that affects almost all areas of research, Mark Rayson explains.

The overall purpose of the work will be to bring forth a sea change in the capability of ab initio modelling, providing a fully functioning computational laboratory of unprecedented power. Ab initio is Latin for "from the beginning" and in this context, it is a first principles model, requiring no experimental input.