Dr Jessica Allen
School of Engineering
- Phone:(02) 40 339359
Dr. Jessica Allen has a multidisciplinary background spanning both chemical engineering and chemistry. She has worked in both industry and academia on projects spanning fundamental research to commercial design. Dr Allen completed her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at the University of Newcastle before taking up a PhD in chemistry with the CSIRO Energy Centre, Newcastle. After completing her PhD, based in fundamental electrochemistry, Dr Allen accepted an industry position as a project/research engineer with start-up technology company Pacific Pyrolysis. In her time with the company she also completed a secondment with Ignite Energy Resources, based on the same site, as an operations engineer. Dr Allen returned to academia in 2013, taking up a post-doctoral position with the University of Newcastle in the Applied Electrochemistry group, part of the Faculty of Science and IT. Dr Allen was then appointed in 2017 as a lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Newcastle, and as a principal researcher for the Priority Research Centre for Frontier Energy Technologies and Utilisation.
Dr Allen has worked and published extensively in:
- Low emission coal (direct carbon fuel cell)
- Renewable energy systems for biomass and solar thermal (pyrolysis, molten carbonates)
- Energy storage (Electrochemical: including fuel cells, batteries and cupercapacitors, and thermochemical: including the chemical storage of energy as hydrogen through solar driven thermochemical water splitting)
Energy storage, particularly electrochemical energy storage, is Dr Allens’ particular specialty area. She has worked and published extensively in electrolyser and fuel cell technologies as well as collaboratively on the development and fabrication of supercapacitor and battery materials.
Dr Allen’s post-doctoral work focused on the direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC), which is a high temperature fuel cell with the potential to halve carbon emissions and eliminate particulates related to traditional coal combustion, making the technology able to be located close to urban areas. Her area of study encompasses electrochemical assessment of the carbon electrooxidation reaction, molten salt properties, as well as engineering design of high temperature fuel cells.
She has also been directly involved in renewable energy systems for biomass as a professional engineer through her work with Pacific Pyrolysis and Ignite Energy Resources, as well as collaborative academic work carried out at the University of Newcastle. As a research engineer working for Pacific Pyrolysis, Dr Allen operated an innovative slow pyrolysis, greenwaste-to-biochar pilot plant and carried out extensive mass and energy balance investigations including the development of a model able to predict energy generation expected for a specific feedstock. During her time with Ignite Energy Resources, Dr Allen was involved in operating a first-of-a-kind hydrothermal reactor. This plant successfully demonstrated the large-scale transformation of wood flour to bio-oil using elevated temperature and pressure.Dr Allen also has experience in solar thermal energy since her PhD work referred to the hybrid sulfur cycle, a thermo-electrochemical cycle for the production of hydrogen from water using solar energy inputs. She has several highly cited relevant research papers in this area as the cycle and its applications are of increasing research interest globally. More recently, Dr Allen is also interested in molten alkali-metal carbonate salts, which have properties favourable for application in concentrating solar power (CSP) technology as well as interesting electrochemical properties.
- PhD (Chemistry), University of Newcastle
- Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Eng ) (Honours), University of Newcastle
- carbon dioxide utilisation
- energy storage
- fuel cells
- low emission coal
- solar thermal
Fields of Research
|090499||Chemical Engineering not elsewhere classified||40|
|091499||Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy not elsewhere classified||20|
|Title||Organisation / Department|
|Lecturer||University of Newcastle
School of Engineering
|Dates||Title||Organisation / Department|
|1/01/2016 - 31/12/2016||
Assistant Course Coordinator and Head Demonstrator for CHEM1010 and CHEM1020
|Faculty of Science and Information Technology, University of Newcastle
|15/07/2013 - 31/12/2015||Post-Doctoral Scientist||The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science and IT
|Dates||Title||Organisation / Department|
|2/05/2011 - 28/06/2013||
Includes a 6 month secondment at Ignite Energy Resources (https://www.igniteer.com/)
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Journal article (14 outputs)
Latham KG, Simone M, Dose WM, Allen JA, Donne SW, 'Synchrotron based NEXAFS study on nitrogen doped hydrothermal
carbon: Insights into surface functionalities and formation
mechanisms', CARBON, 114 566-578 (2017)
Hughes MA, Allen JA, Donne SW, 'Carbonate Reduction and the Properties and Applications of Carbon Formed Through Electrochemical Deposition in Molten Carbonates: A Review', Electrochimica Acta, (2015) [C1]
The electrochemical conversion of CO<inf>2</inf> to carbon through the reductive electrolysis of molten carbonate-containing salts has been studied by a range of groups. These gro... [more]
The electrochemical conversion of CO
Allen JA, White J, Glenn M, Donne SW, 'Molten Carbonate Composition Effects on Carbon Electro-Oxidation at a Solid Anode Interface', JOURNAL OF THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY, 162 F76-F83 (2015) [C1]
Allen JA, Glenn M, Donne SW, 'The effect of coal type and pyrolysis temperature on the electrochemical activity of coal at a solid carbon anode in molten carbonate media', Journal of Power Sources, 279 384-393 (2015) [C1]
Â© 2015 Elsevier B.V.A systematic assessment of the electrochemical activity of two different parent coal types, pyrolysed at temperatures between 500 and 900 Â°C higher heating t... [more]
Â© 2015 Elsevier B.V.A systematic assessment of the electrochemical activity of two different parent coal types, pyrolysed at temperatures between 500 and 900 Â°C higher heating temperature (HHT), is presented in this work. Analysis shows that certain coal chars are catalytically activated in molten carbonate media at 600 Â°C, however activity does not appear to follow trends established for ashless carbon sources. It is seen here that it is not possible to predict activity based solely on electrical resistance, surface functionalization, or the BET surface area of pyrolysed coals. Instead, it is suggested that coal ash type, abundance and distribution plays a pivotal role in activating the coal char to allow fast electrochemical oxidation through a catalytically enhanced pathway. Activation from ash influence is discussed to result from wetting of the molten carbonate media with the carbon surface (change in polarity of electrode surface), through ash mediated oxide adsorption and transfer to carbon particles, or possibly through another catalytic pathway not yet able to be predicted from current results.
Glenn MJ, Allen JA, Donne SW, 'Thermal Investigation of a Doped Alkali-Metal Carbonate Ternary Eutectic for Direct Carbon Fuel Cell Applications', Energy and Fuels, 29 5423-5433 (2015) [C1]
Â© 2015 American Chemical Society.The carbonate eutectic mixture of Li<inf>2</inf>CO<inf>3</inf>, K<inf>2</inf>CO<inf>3</inf>, and Na<inf>2</inf>CO<inf>3</inf> is commonly used as... [more]
Â© 2015 American Chemical Society.The carbonate eutectic mixture of Li
Joseph S, Husson O, Graber ER, Van Zwieten L, Taherymoosavi S, Thomas T, et al., 'The electrochemical properties of biochars and how they affect soil redox properties and processes', Agronomy, 5 322-340 (2015) [C1]
Â© 2015 by the authors.Biochars are complex heterogeneous materials that consist of mineral phases, amorphous C, graphitic C, and labile organic molecules, many of which can be ei... [more]
Â© 2015 by the authors.Biochars are complex heterogeneous materials that consist of mineral phases, amorphous C, graphitic C, and labile organic molecules, many of which can be either electron donors or acceptors when placed in soil. Biochar is a reductant, but its electricaland electrochemical properties are a function of both the temperature of production and the concentration and composition of the various redox active mineral and organic phases present. When biochars are added to soils, they interact with plant roots and root hairs, micro-organisms, soil organic matter, proteins and the nutrient-rich water to form complex organo-mineral-biochar complexes Redox reactions can play an important role in the development of these complexes, and can also result in significant changes in the original C matrix. This paper reviews the redox processes that take place in soil and how they may be affected by the addition of biochar. It reviews the available literature on the redox properties of different biochars. It also reviews how biochar redox properties have been measured and presents new methods and data for determining redox properties of fresh biochars and for biochar/soil systems.
Allen JA, Tulloch J, Wibberley L, Donne SW, 'Kinetic analysis of the anodic carbon oxidation mechanism in a molten carbonate medium', Electrochimica Acta, 129 389-395 (2014) [C1]
The oxidation mechanism for carbon in a carbonate melt was modelled using an electrochemical kinetic approach. Through the Butler-Volmer equation for electrode kinetics, a series ... [more]
The oxidation mechanism for carbon in a carbonate melt was modelled using an electrochemical kinetic approach. Through the Butler-Volmer equation for electrode kinetics, a series of expressions was derived assuming each step of the proposed carbon oxidation mechanism is in turn the rate determining step (RDS). Through the derived expressions the transfer coefficient and Tafel slope were calculated for each possible RDS of the proposed mechanism and these were compared with real data collected on carbon based electrodes including graphite and coal. It was established that the RDS of the electrochemical oxidation process is dependent on both the carbon type and the potential region of oxidation. The simplified kinetic analysis suggested that the RDS in the main oxidation region is likely to be the first or second electron transfer on a graphite electrode surface, which occurs following initial adsorption of an oxygen anion to an active carbon site. This is contrary to previous suggestions that adsorption of the second anion to the carbon surface will be rate determining. It was further shown that use of a coal based carbon introduces a change in mechanism with an additional reaction region where a different mechanism is proposed to be operating. Â©2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Allen JA, Rowe G, Hinkley JT, Donne SW, 'Electrochemical aspects of the Hybrid Sulfur Cycle for large scale hydrogen production', International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, (2014) [C1]
The Hybrid Sulfur Cycle is a thermo-electrochemical process designed for the large scale production of hydrogen. The two-step process is essentially based on water splitting using... [more]
The Hybrid Sulfur Cycle is a thermo-electrochemical process designed for the large scale production of hydrogen. The two-step process is essentially based on water splitting using various sulfur species as intermediates. The limiting step in the overall process is the electrochemical oxidation of sulfur dioxide to form sulphuric acid, which suffers from a substantial (~0.4V) anodic overpotential. Here we report on various aspects of sulfur dioxide oxidation in an acidic media including the effects of electrode preconditioning, the electrode substrate and electrolyte effects, the combination of which has allowed development of a sulfur dioxide oxidation mechanism which is described and discussed. Additionally, the electrochemical oxidation of sulfur dioxide has been shown to be an oscillating reaction, which is also a novel finding. Â© 2014 Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC.
Tulloch J, Allen J, Wibberley L, Donne S, 'Influence of selected coal contaminants on graphitic carbon electro-oxidation for application to the direct carbon fuel cell', JOURNAL OF POWER SOURCES, 260 140-149 (2014) [C1]
Allen JA, Hinkley JT, Donne SW, 'Electrochemical oxidation of aqueous sulfur dioxide II: Comparative studies on platinum and gold electrodes', Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 159 F585-F593 (2012) [C1]
Allen JA, Hinkley JT, Donne SW, 'Observed electrochemical oscillations during the oxidation of aqueous sulfur dioxide on a sulfur modified platinum electrode', Electrochimica Acta, 56 4224-4230 (2011) [C1]
Allen JA, Hinkley JT, Donne SW, 'The electrochemical oxidation of aqueous sulfur dioxide: I. Experimental parameter influences on electrode behavior', Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 157 F111-F115 (2010) [C1]
Allen JA, Hinkley JT, Donne SW, Lindquist S-E, 'The electrochemical oxidation of aqueous sulfur dioxide: A critical review of work with respect to the hybrid sulfur cycle', Electrochimica Acta, 55 573-591 (2010) [C1]
|Show 11 more journal articles|
Number of supervisions
Total current UON EFTSL
|Commenced||Level of Study||Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type|
The Electrolytic Reduction of Carbonates for the Consumption of Waste CO2 and the Formation of New Energy Storage Materials
PhD (Chemistry), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle
Development and Optimization of the Direct Carbon Fuel Cell
PhD (Chemistry), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle