Energy and the Environment

The Energy and the Environment (EnE) program area, lead by Associate Professor John Lucas, concentrates on sustainable and integrated waste processing / utilisation with energy recovery and generation. A flagship project in the area has been in contaminated soil treatment employing waste fuels and (patented) energy recovery.

The work has encompassed the full suite of research endeavour from fundamental research laboratory investigation, pilot scale trials and prototype development to a full commercial outcome - in all a $10m development which has significant private funding.

The EnE program area concentrates on the key areas of linking waste processing (e.g. tank residues) with energy generation (e.g. biomass fuels) with other areas of interest in the program including; energy efficient housing, industrial ecology, sustainability principles and measurement, energy minimisation and recovery, environmental repair and pollution abatement.The work in the program spans from the fundamental to the applied, in this program, there is a distinct focus on integration of technologies and 'demonstration scale projects.'

The Energy and the Environment Program has access to the The Scale Up and Pilot Plant Facility which has enabled the development of Innova Soil Technology. Innova Soil developed an affordable process of treating land contaminated with hydrocarbons. The process is known as, Direct - heated Fast - quenched Thermal Desorption (DFTD). The DFTD Process involves gentle heating of the hydrocarbon impacted soil to separate the contaminants into the gas phase, where they are subsequently converted into water and carbon dioxide.

Program Leader

Program Researchers

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.