Thematic Areas

The research strengths of the Centre and its areas of focus are identified and classified under the following thematic areas:

Frontier Energy Technologies

  1. Low emission technology (LET) options for mining and process industries
  2. Low emission technology (LET) options for power generation from fossil fuels
  3. Renewable energy systems
  4. Energy efficiency & process intensification

Fuels, Materials and Energy Utilisation

  1. Novel options for CO2 capture and storage
  2. Transportation fuels
  3. Energy conversion
  4. Fuel utilisation in non-energy applications
  5. Energy and the environment

Frontier Energy Technologies

Thematic Areas, Programs and Projects

1. LET Options for Mining and Process Industries

VAM (Ventilation Air Methane)

* VAM Abatement Safety project ($25 M)

* Chemical Looping VAM Abatement project ($5.5 M)

* Stone Dust project (ACARP)

* DDT project (ACARP / PhD)

* Scoping Study on VAM Abatement Technologies (ACARP)

* Catalytic Reduction of VAM by EK and MS (ACARP)

Waste Heat Recovery

* GRANEX / Solar project (Wallsend Public Pool)

* GRANEX Koppers project (Koppers plant Newcastle)

* Heat pumps

Waste Minimisation

* Biochar

* Chailing (char from coal tailing generated at coal mines)

* H2 products from MSW (Chemical Looping of MSW)

2. LET Options for Power Generation from Fossil Fuels


* Oxy-Fuel

* Chemical Looping (Air Separation, Combustion, Gasification, Reforming, etc)

* Underground coal gasification

* Ultra Low Ash Coal:

* Direct Injection Carbon Engines (DICE)

* Direct Carbon Fuel Cells


* Coal Seam Gas

3. Renewable Energy Systems


* Biomass Utilisation (co-firing, Chemical Looping Gasification, etc)

* Geothermal (Direct / In-direct)

* Solar Thermal

* Small Wind Systems


* Geothermal Assisted Power Generation (GAPG)

* Solar Assisted Power Generation

* Geothermal / Solar

4. Energy Efficiency & Process Intensification

Building Thermal Efficiency

* Currently an ARC-Linkage project (many ARC and industry projects in the past 10 years)

Micro Energy Systems

* Various projects about micro H2 generators

Energy Efficient Desalination

* GRANSAL projects

Energy Efficient Wastewater Treatment Plants

* Aeration power reduction

* Dewatering

* Enhanced oxygen transfer efficiency

Metallurgical Processing

* Slag granulation

* Inclusion reduction

Fuels, Materials and Energy Utilisation

Thematic Areas, Programs and Projects

1. Novel options for CO2 capture and storage

Mineral carbonation

* MCI project ($9 M)

Post combustion capture

* Various projects with CSIRO

2. Transportation fuels

Coal and biomass to liquid

* New catalysts for the Fischer–Tropsch process

* Optimisation of the Fischer–Tropsch process

Energy carriers

* Ammonia, methanol and H2 as energy carriers

3. Energy conversion

Fuel cells

* Direct carbon fuel cells

Batteries and super-capacitors

* Advanced materials for batteries and super-capacitors

4. Fuel and material utilisation in non-energy applications

Fuel and material utilisation in manufacturing

* Coking coal in Iron making (various existing projects funded through BHPB Centre for Iron-making Research and ARC Linkage scheme)

Fuel and material utilisation in the process and chemical industries

* CO2 utilisation (food industries, enhanced oil recovery, chemicals, fire suppressants, etc)

5. Energy & the Environment

Environmental repair and pollution abatement

* Energy efficient contaminated soil treatment

Integrated waste processing

* Waste processing / utilisation with energy recovery and generation

Industrial ecology

* GRANSAL projects


* Life cycle analysis, sustainability principles, sustainable waste processing

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.