Efficient use of energy resources is becoming an increasingly important global issue. The Sustainable Energy Cluster consolidates the diverse energy-related expertise within and beyond the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry. The Cluster’s research covers evolving areas such as biofuels, fuel cells, energy recovery, thermal-hydraulics, nuclear energy, fuel efficiency and the environmental impact of energy production.
An important aspect of sustainable energy research is its relationship with environmental engineering, for example in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The greatest contributions in this area will come from the replacement of fossil fuels with alternate fuels produced from biomass and increased use of nuclear energy, both of which are part of our research activities. Research on hydrogen production and use is also being carried out since hydrogen is regarded as a fuel of the future. There are also research projects related to the biological treatment of effluents to generate biogas, which can be used as a fuel for heating.
An example of commercialization of a technology developed in our Department is a process developed by Prof. D. Boocock for the production of biodiesel through reaction of soybean oil. This led to the formation of BIOX Corporation, which currently produces 67 million litres of biodiesel annually at a production facility in Hamilton, ON.
Increased efficiency in energy use is another key research area for the future and the Cluster’s research focuses on all uses of energy (heating, cooling, motive power). This involves optimizing equipment designs and operating conditions to achieve improved heat transfer and energy recovery. Many industries ranging from mineral processing to pulp and paper production rely on reduced energy consumption in their processes to be commercially viable and improve their competitiveness. The industrial goal is to reduce energy consumption per unit of manufactured product.
|ChemE||Other departments and organizations|
|Cluster Leader: T. Bender|
Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin
|M. Thomson (MIE)|