Interaction of elements at high temperatures and how resource recycling can be integrated in a sustainable energy system
We study the interaction of elements at high temperatures and how resource recycling can be integrated in a sustainable energy system, including the formation of plant available compounds that can improve the sustainability of nitrogen and phosphorus flows through society.
The research in our group ranges from fundamental bond interactions of specific elements to industrial application of our knowledge. A key element is phosphorus that is highly relevant for integrations of its recycling with thermal energy conversion systems. Another interesting element is nitrogen that has particular potential in gasification systems that produce hydrogen gas. We also investigate how what is feasible from a scientific and technological perspective could be implemented within boundaries of current legislation.
We are investigating how we can control what phosphates are formed in high temperature processes, whether potentially toxic elements are included in the phosphate structures formed, and also how particle morphology may affect the release of phosphorus to plants upon direct reapplication of ash fractions as fertilizers. The formation of pure phosphates with organic nitrogen is investigated to better understand the potential integration of recycled elemental streams with a sustainable flow of these elements through society.
The energy conversion processes we utilize target the next generation bioenergy that will depend on residual streams from forestry, agriculture, and society. The activities in that area are extensively connected to knowledge transfer from academia to industry, investigating how new feedstocks can be used for energy but also facilitate resource recycling.
A main activity in conducting our research is material characterization by extensive analysis. We rely heavily on X-ray based analytical techniques where powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) is a key capability in the research environment Thermochemical Energy Conversion Laboratory. We also rely on scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). To answer the more detailed questions concerning atomic structure and morphology we also employ synchrotron-based techniques such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray microtomography (XRT).