The Priority Research Centre for Advanced Fluids and Interfaces is focused on the development of innovative market ready solutions for fluids and interfaces.
The Centre has a strong research focus on the molecular engineering of the structure and properties of fluids and interfaces. Newly developed technologies are applied to areas including, but not limited to:
The development of more efficient, less expensive, and more adaptable working fluids than current generation high-end lubricants will be a focus of the Centre. The Centre is developing new lubricants with longer working lifetimes able to withstand environmentally harsh conditions. One goal is to make lubricants for light reactive metals for which the current generation of lubricants are not suitable.
Droplet and particle stability in concentrated aqueous and non-aqueous solvents
This theme examines the fundamentals of colloid and surface science in new solvents leading to new, cheaper products with longer shelf lives. The rules for stabilising particles and droplets as well as surfactant and polymer adsorption are well established for dilute aqueous systems, however, these rules fail for many real world products, where the solvent is either non-aqueous, or a concentrated aqueous solution.
Certain high surface area solids are able to adsorb high concentrations of gaseous pollutants, while some liquids are able to either dissolve or bind these pollutants. The ability to perform these processes efficiently and cheaply is the key to cost-effective products. The Centre is exploring the atomic scale mechanisms by which pollutant gases are trapped by target solids and liquids to establish cheaper and more effective products.
A current key road block to the economic viability of a biorefinery is the inability to cost effectively fractionate biomass into lignin and cellulose streams. This theme will develop liquids that can effectively treat a diverse range of feedstocks, including food.
The Centre is hosted by the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), one of the University of Newcastle’s flagship institutes, which draws together leading researchers to deliver a multidisciplinary model for transformational research in energy and resources. This collaborative environment facilitates experimentalists, theoreticians and modellers from the disciplines of chemistry, physics and chemical engineering working within the Centre to directly engage with industry, commercial sectors and government agencies.