Over the coming year the Capture Group’s activities will involve both completing ongoing activities and pursuing new initiatives in four primary areas:

  •  (i) Analysis of a low carbon obligation for coal power in both the U.S. and China via a collaboration with colleagues at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
  •  (ii) Analysis of a low carbon obligation for coal power in both the U.S. and Analysis of prospects for making low GHG emitting fuels and electricity at oil refineries via gasification of coal, biomass, and petroleum residuals with CCS and by subsequent coprocessing of raw synfuels and crude oil to make final products.hina via a collaboration with colleagues at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
  •  (iii) Launching of a new initiative aimed at understanding the prospects for biomass recovery for energy from forests in cost effective and sustainable ways.
  •  (iv) Collaboration with Ford on simulation of engine processes

A new member of the Capture Group is Prof. Guangjian Liu, who will be physically present in Princeton by the end of February 2008. In December 2007 Liu successfully defended his thesis and was awarded a Ph.D. by the Department of Thermal Engineering at Tsinghua University, where his thesis advisor was Prof. Li Zheng. After getting his Ph.D. he became an Assistant Professor at the North China Electric Power University in Beijing, a position he will return to after a one- to three- year tenure at PEI. At PEI he will be a Visiting Research Associate Scholar, modeling coal and coal/biomass energy systems for a carbon-constrained world using Aspen Plus and other models.


Low carbon obligation for coal power in the U.S. and China

During 2008 Williams and Larson , in collaboration with Profs. Li Zheng and Ni Weidou at the BP-Tsinghua Clean Energy Center in Beijing, will develop a paper outlining the technical feasibility and implications of pursuing a low carbon obligation for coal power in the U.S. and China over the period 2015-2025. Attention will be given to the prospects for providing decarbonized power via polygeneration systems (via CTL technology in China and via CBTL technology in the U.S.). The aim will be to get the article published in an influential high-visibility journal.


Production of low-carbon fuels at oil refineries

A new grant from NetJets in support of research on low carbon jet fuel has been awarded to Profs. Fred Dryer and Ju Yiguang in the MAE Department and Williams and Larson at PEI. In 2008, the researchers will explore the prospects of making, at oil refineries, low GHG-emitting fuels and electricity via cogasification of coal, biomass, and petroleum residuals with CCS, then subsequently coprocessing the raw synfuels and crude oil at oil refineries.


Forest biomass for energy and sustainable forestry

As a result of interactions between Williams and David Tilman (University of Minnesota) during Tilman’s sabbatical at PEI during the fall of 2007, a new initiative is to be launched to explore using forest-residue/forest-thinning biomass for energy (including considerations of potential supplies and their costs) in a sustainable manner (including considerations of carbon balances, biodiversity, impacts on primary forest product industry yields, forest fire management, etc.) via a collaboration led by Williams, Tilman, and John Kadyszewski (Winrock International). As a result of a brainstorming session at Princeton in December 2007 (involving Williams, Larson, Tilman, Kadyszewski, and Giulia Fiorese of Politecnico di Milano) it was decided to launch this new initiative by organizing a workshop to be convened at PEI some time during 2008.


Simulation of engine processes with realistic fuel chemistry

Collaboration with Ford on the simulation of engine processes will continue. The emphasis will be on gaining the predictive capability of engine knock, which is a primary factor limiting the improvement of combustion efficiency. Realistic chemistry for the surrogate fuel components such as n-heptane and iso-octane will be used. Since the reaction mechanisms for these fuels are typically very large in terms of the number of species and reactions, they will be systematically reduced to smaller sizes, while retaining chemical comprehensiveness. Strategies will also be developed to further facilitate the computation speed in the simulation.