My experience of Transnational Access with BRISK2 at Aston University was very important for my PhD research. The access to the facilities were integral to my research as I do not have the same equiptment at my University. On this trip I was able to perform all experiments I had planned and complete the analytical processing.
The purpose of my visit was to carry out some hydrothermal experiments at different temperatures and hold residence times whilst also evaluating the influence of the catalyst (NiFe2O4). The experiments were carried out without catalysts and with two different amounts of 1.0 g and 2.0 g.
This opportunity provided by BRISK2 will be very useful for my PhD research; I will also be able to write paper with the results obtained.
After learning how to use the GC-FID/TCD and the GC-MS. I carried out experiments evaluating different parameters; characterised the products formed and the solid residue. It was really beneficial to discuss the performance of the experiments and the results obtained with my supervisor Dr. Jude.
I investigated the supercritical water gasification of eucalyptus wood aiming to produce hydrogen with high yields at different operating conditions and decreasing the formation of tar. Through the evaluation of effects of operating parameters (temperature, catalyst and residence time) using a batch reactor, and the characterization of the gas, solid and liquid produced. The reactor has 75 ml of volume capacity and the maximum operating conditions of temperature and pressure are 600 ºC and 45 MPa, respectively.
The heterogeneous catalyst synthetized by combustion method at Federal University of Bahia in Brazil. The gases produced were analysed using gas chromatography (GC-FID/TCD). The char was separated by filtration and analysed by CHNO analysis. The oil was extracted from the water by liquid-liquid extraction, then the oil was analysed by gas chromatography (GC-MS).
During the experiments could be noticed the effect of reaction temperature. Increasing the temperature from 450 to 500 ºC favour gaseous production, especially H2 and CH4 yields. The highest hydrogen yield was obtained by conversion of eucalyptus wood chips at 500 ºC even during the experiments carried out without catalyst. About the liquid obtained from each experiment, at higher catalyst concentration the liquid samples were clear. The results show that oil/tar was found during the supercritical water gasification of eucalyptus wood chips. As the temperature and residence time were decreased, a dark brownish oil layer was present in the liquid sample. This indicated that the range of reaction temperature and reaction time were not enough to complete degraded the biomass used during the experiments.
On top of all of this research I also enjoyed the opportunity to meet and network with other researchers outside of my institution in such a relaxed environment. Often at conferences we face pressures of time, it was great to spend a decent amount of time amongst my peers in a different country.