Future Energy and Resources

View all the Future Energy and Resources related projects in detail.

  • CO2 sequestration in deep coal seams

    This project examines CO2 sequestration in deep coal seams of the Bowen Basin by performing CO2 flooding tests through a coal sample taken from deep coals of the Scotia field. The core is flooded by CO2 using a core flooding facility specifically designed for CO2 flooding at sub critical condition. Tests are conducted at constant overburden pressure of 1000 psig and varying effective stresses to investigate how permeability varies during injection. Core fracture and cleat systems are mapped at high resolution (6.5 microns) prior and after flooding tests using micro-CT scan imaging method. Fracture network, at the larger scale, is investigated by analysis of borehole image logs of the wellbore from which the sample is recovered.

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    Group members:

    • Khalid Al Ghamdi
    • Rayan Alwadei
    • Hatem Alsheri
  • Turning Carbon Into Stone

    Carbon mineralisation is a process of injecting CO2 into Magnesium or calcium-rich rocks, such as volcanic basalts, which react with the injected CO2 and form stable carbonate minerals. This project will test the suitability of volcanic rocks for carbon mineralisation using a suite of samples from volcanic areas in New Zealand. Volcanic rocks with high permeability and porosity are desired for CO2 sequestration. The initial phase of this project focused on selecting appropriate samples that will be exposed to CO2 under subsurface conditions. Micro CT scanning was conducted before and after CO2 exposure to observe any changes within the rock. The rocks were exposed for three months under high pressure and temperature. Whilst this may not be sufficient for extensive carbon mineralisation, early stages of carbonation would be expected if the porosity values decrease due to newly formed carbon filling the pores.

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    Group members:

    • Ali Moria
    • Abdullah Alqahtani
    • Ahmed Almutairi
  • Earth Stresses from CO2 Injection

    With the upcoming technological development of carbon capture and storage using previous underground hydrocarbon reservoirs, geomechanical risks and uncertainties are prevalent and need to be easily accessible for engineering experts. Carbon capture and storage may prove to be a viable means to subsidise greenhouse gas emissions. The project aims to provide correlations between a handheld rock hardness testing device, the Equotip Piccolo Bambino, with stress calculating parameters to allow easy assessment of the geomechanics for CO2 injection projects. The Cooper Basin and other geological settings provide physical rock data where the Equotip data as well as wireline log data and uniaxial stress data is obtainable. From the different geological settings, we were able to find possible comparisons, relationships and correlations that may provide an insight into making stress data easily accessible to engineers and geologists.

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    Group members:

    • Antonio Castiglia
    • Adrian Zanardo
    • Liam Mulvahil
  • Super Resolution CNNs

    This project uses Super-Resolution Convolutional Neural Network, a machine learning technique, to enhance low-quality subsurface flow images to high-quality flow images. This process is conducted to reduce the computational time and power of traditional reservoir simulation. 

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    Group members:

    • Benson Kimani 
    • Ali Hameed
    • Barath Ashokkumar
    • Fahad Barget
  • Novel SCAL technique for Kr and Pc

    Two-phase flow in porous media occurs in various technological processes in the energy industry, such as oil and gas production. The behaviours of two-phase flow in these processes can be determined by two main model functions, which are relative permeability (Kr) and capillary pressure (Pc) using laboratory core-floods. A novel method known as the Steady State Transition Test (SSTT) was developed for the simultaneous determination of the two model functions. The aim of the project is to simultaneously determine Kr and Pc of mixed wet cores using SSTT. The scope of the project involves conducting core flooding tests under two different conditions, namely using high salinity and low salinity brine, to study the potential alteration of Pc and Kr due to salinity changes. The Kr and Pc curves can be used to understand multiphase flow behaviour in porous media, which is essential for the management of subsurface processes.

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    Group members:

    • Darrel Wong
    • Peter Kuir
  • Ultra-Deep Coal: The Next Gas Giant

    The ultra-deep coal gas resource of the Cooper Basin, Australia presents immense potential for both hydrocarbon gas production and carbon capture and storage. Due to its ductility and low permeability, the resource is fundamentally unique and introduces complexities which require alternative production technologies. The aim of this project was to gain a better understanding of the geomechanical behaviour of the resource in situ and validate the Expanding Reservoir Boundary (ERB) Theory. ERB Theory states that ultra-deep coal progressively de-stresses and “self-fractures” during desorptive gas production due to pressure arch stress deflection. A series of dynamic geomechanical models of an arbitrary coal seam were generated using core analysis data from the Patchawarra Formation of the Cooper Basin. The results suggest that the pressure arching effect is enhanced with increasing depth, demonstrating production potential beyond 3,000 metres. Such that this unconventional resource could revolutionise the Australian energy industry.

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    Group member:

    • Isaac Tiney
  • Particles Mobilisation in Two-Phase Flow

    Fines migration induced formation damage is a major source of production decline in oil and gas wells.Combating formation damage caused by fines has been a challenge in the petroleum industry over the past decades. Different to one phase, flow two-phase flow induced formation damaged has not been studied extensively. To address this issue, investigation of the forces responsible for particle detachment in porous media by pH and salinity alteration was undertaken. To achieve the goal, studies and analysis of previous literature were conducted to assist in better comprehension of the topic of fines migration and the effect of pH, salinity, and capillary force on particle detachment.

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    Group members:

    • Nada Ibrahim Alhajri
    • Sarah Alrasheedi
    • nteboheleng Ntlopo
  • Damage due to CO2 injection

    CO2 Injection is one of the effective methods enhance oil recovery. In addition, sequestration of CO2 is beneficial for the environment as it controls CO2 emissions. However, CO2 injection can cause formation damage that limits its injectivity and, therefore, its applications. CO2 injection results in precipitated salt and fine migration that reduces the gas flow in the formation and the permeability. This project aims to inspect the formation damage resulting from fine migration and salt precipitation in reducing CO2 injectivity. This will be done by injecting unconsolidated cores with CO2 and observing how the fine migration and drying-out affect CO2 injectivity. Then, the results from the laboratory will be modelled and analysed to suggest storage reservoirs.

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    Group members:

    • Waad Alameri
    • Lujain Abduljabbar
  • GTW to Biodiesel-From Fries to Fuel

    Grease trap waste (GTW) is a combination of fats, oils, and greases that restaurants must pay to be removed from traps periodically. GTW can be used to produce cheap and environmentally friendly biodiesel to lower national emissions and reduce Australia's foreign oil dependency. Therefore, this project designed a mobile pilot plant that is capable of the collection of GTW and subsequent conversion into biodiesel. Literature analysis, selection of equipment, simulation of the process, and a safety analysis were employed to produce the front-end engineering design of this plant. We were able to design a mobile pilot plant capable of producing 1,000 L of biodiesel per day and transportable in 2 trucks. The pilot plant is ready to be constructed with future scope for scaling up to a larger throughput.

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    Group members

    • Charles Waterman 
    • Helena Schwerdt
    • Quynh Nhu Pham
    • Thi Minh Thu Nguyen
    • Vaishnavi Ambekar
    • Oliver Ebert
  • Repurposing Wine Waste

    Thousands of tonnes of waste, in the form of grape marc, is generated annually from winemaking. Valuable compounds can be yielded by recycling grape marc, however, a lack of incentives for wineries means these extraction processes rarely occur. The aim of this project is to convert grape marc to value-added products in the form of biofuel, fertiliser and phosphate salt, enhancing sustainability in the wine industry. Discussions were held with industry contacts to identify practical solutions that address this gap in waste management. Findings were applied through the design of a commercial recycling facility, using hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) and acid leaching. We present a design of an industrial plant that can process 50% of the waste generated by wineries in the Barossa Valley region to produce low-ash hydrochar, liquid fertiliser and calcium phosphate salt.

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    Group members:

    • Alison Doan
    • Emma Herselman
    • Jenna Orlick
    • Stefano Pala
    • Covey Tan
  • E-Waste: Urban Mining

    The aim of the project is to conduct the preliminary design of an E-Waste recycling plant to recover precious and base metals from a feed of mixed E-Waste. The project focuses on the separation and refinement of these metals and consequently will not recycle plastics or glass, they are considered out of scope. The metals are extracted using acid leaching and then separated to produce pure products after smelting. Some of the metals will be recovered from solution using electrolysis and others will be recovered by displacement. The end products will be pure metal bars.

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    Group members:

    • Nathan Dunn
    • Lillianne Lieu
    • Luke Scandrett-Smith
    • Matthew Steed
    • William Tang
    • Lincoln Vesely
  • Ore Haulage Simulation Model

    As underground mines grow, the mining method can change to increase the production rate. An example of which is OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena Mine in regional South Australia transitioning from a sub-level cave to a block cave mine method. Due to these change, critical components of the system, such as the underground crusher location need to be considered, with proposed strategies seeing the crusher move from the sub-level cave directly to the footprint of the block cave. The haulage equipment system from the loading point to dumping point needs to be optimised as they are crucial factors to the economical operation of the block cave. The aim of the project was to consider different locations along the decline linking the two mine segments to install a temporary crusher to optimise output. By determining the output, the practicality of the system can be considered for the transition phase of the mine. 

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    Group members:

    • Antonios Georgaras
    • Feibby Kareth
  • Supercapacitors Power the Future

    A push for energy storage devices is becoming increasingly important to fight the effects of climate change. With the unpredictability of renewable energies, Supercapacitors offer a rapid charging and long-lasting solution. This project aims to understand the device to better apply the supercapacitor into real-life solutions by modelling and validating the device. Fundamental, Physical and Blackbox modelling was implemented prior to application and economic analysis. Research into the physical structure of the device through disassembly validated expectations from theory. A better understanding of the supercapacitor's functions and characteristics through experimental testing provided information for the future of the device in applications. Economic analysis contributed insight into the sustainability of the supercapacitor in the market. To reduce further damaging of the planet, supercapacitors play a vital role in the renewable energy industry.

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    Group members:

    • Hewaruppage Janvi Lavanya Premaratne
    • Finn Jones-Anderson
    • Bingru Jiang
  • Renewable energy and the grid

    Managing the National Electricity Market, the electricity grid which manages 80% of Australia’s energy consumption, is a large and complex task. In attempting to anticipate the increasing penetration of renewable energy the regulator implemented a rule which forces generation sources to be ready for sudden voltage fluctuations. However, this rule also results in wastage in their generation capability. Our project intended to investigate how and why this rule was implemented, if the trade-off is worthwhile, and possible alternatives. Using the power system analysis software PowerFactory, simulations of individual generators and large grid systems were performed to investigate the effects of the regulations under different scenarios. This led to some illustrative results, which called into question the value of the regulation as it stands.

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    Group members:

    • Patrick Jury
    • Jace Power
  • First Vanadium Flow Battery in SA

    As battery energy storage systems become more important for the integration of renewable energy resources into the South Australian power grid, vanadium flow batteries have emerged as a promising new technology for tackling intermittencies of renewable energy. Vanadium flow batteries are credited for its longer lifetime than conventional chemical batteries such as Lithium-ion, and its independent scalability of power and energy capacities. Our project industry partners, Yadlamalka Energy and Invinity Energy Systems, are co-developing a grid-connected vanadium flow battery storage system with solar PV arrays in the South Australian region. This project aims to accurately simulate this energy storage system and analyse its operational performance in South Australian utility grid. The Yadlamalka Energy vanadium flow battery system has been modeled in the Matlab Simulink environment. Continuation of this project will include the verification of the simulation's accuracy with data from the real-life system.

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    Group members:

    • Bianca Venner
    • Tianze Zhou
  • Wave Energy: Protecting Our Coasts

    This project forms part of a collaborative venture aiming to improve the economic viability of Wave Energy Converters (WECs) by demonstrating their capability to reduce the impact of coastal erosion on sensitive Australian coastlines. WECs can extract energy from ocean waves, hence this project aims to determine whether arrays of WECs with varying natural frequencies and damping can alter the direction of the downstream wavefield (i.e. steering them away from sensitive coastlines) in a small-scale experiment. Two types of WECs will be investigated: Oscillating Water Columns and heaving Point Absorbers. Preliminary testing of the prototypes of each design was used to determine its natural frequency and damping ratio. This data guided the implementation of a mechanical control system used to vary the phase response of each WEC within the constructed 10-WEC array. Results were also confirmed via numerical modelling of each scenario using NEMOH and MATLAB software.

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    Group members:

    • Mikaela Georgiadis
    • Benjamin Capper
    • James CLeggett
    • Jesse Schultz
    • Patrick Cannard
    • William Tuck
  • Flywheel the best choice in future

    Our project is the 3d printing of flywheels. Flywheel is a mechanical battery that stores energy by rotating a flywheel rotor at high speed. It has a faster charge and discharge rate. 3d printing is also a new manufacturing method. So we are going to integrate these two things. This project aims to explore whether flywheel cost or energy storage can be improved through design for 3D printing with appropriate material selection. The project involves designing, manufacturing, and testing a 3D printed flywheel but is constrained in available material choice.

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    Group members:

    • Baker-Hutton, Peter
    • Wang, Hanxuan
    • Pan, Liangzhe
  • H2-From Big Bang To Green Industries

    Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, has been around since the dawn of time, from the big bang all the way to the present day. Now, the world is looking to harness the properties and benefits of the simplest molecule. Although being the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen needs to be extracted from other elements in order to utilise it. This project will showcase the journey with which hydrogen generation from photocatalytic water splitting can play a significant role in the development of renewable energy technologies. Our approaches to advance photocatalytic water splitting towards commercialisation will be showcased at the event.    

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    Group members:

    • Anthony Pellicone 
    • Ketan Patel
  • Evaporation technology

  • Green energy solar energy

    Investigate the efficiency of solar energy harvesting in terms of geometry and operating conditions by using fluid mechanics techniques.

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    Group members:

    • Shibin Hong
    • Jiaye Zhang
    • Xingqi Liu 
  • CO2 sequestration in deep coal

    Carbon dioxide capture and sequestration are when carbon emissions are captured and stored underground. This method was considered for shale and shallow reservoirs until the Cooper basin in South Australia had a different approach to storing carbon emissions in ultra-deep coal. This idea did not get much attention since storing carbon dioxide emissions in deep reservoirs could be quite challenging because, at deep depths, the geological settings are more complex than shale and shallow depths. The main concept that will be demonstrated and investigated is stress arching, defined as the reorientation of the stress forces due to a change in the reservoir. This paper aims to create a model using Abaqus software to perform stress arching and prove or disprove the hypothesis that stress arching increases permeability, resulting in gas production. Field data from the Moomba-77 well and laboratory reports will provide relevant and accurate data for the model.

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    Group members:

    • Rayan Alwadei
    • Khalid Alghamdi
    • Hatem Alshehri
  • Testing Resurfaced Polymer Sheets

    With increasing demands for electricity during summer to power air-conditioners, indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems are an energy-saving cooling method that may solve this problem. The core of an IEC system is a polymer sheet, which can be resurfaced to have better performance. The aim of this project is to design and build a testing rig to measure the properties of the resurfaced polymer sheet. The key property is the coupled effect of capillary and evaporation of the sheet, which is measured by monitoring the water weight changes in a water tub. The final design has a T-section inlet for future extensibility; an acrylic body with an A4-cutout for the sheet; and sensors to measure the properties of the air flow. By understanding the characteristics of the resurfaced polymer sheet, IEC systems can be improved to bring people a cooler summer at a lower cost.

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    Group members:

    • Dianne Vo
    • Gete Li
    • Dai Yang
  • Phosphorous Loss, The Root of It

    The global phosphorus market size has significantly increased since the start of its industrial use. Phosphorus is a finite source that is being depleted at an alarming rate. A high amount of phosphorus is being wasted, with most ending up in the ocean.  

    Phosphorous is produced in many different forms, allowing for a variety of applications within the agriculture-sector. One matter of central importance is waste reduction, which may be achieved by dissolving phosphorus in nutrient solution. A method for this process is proposed, where phosphorous is leached from recycled root ash, produced in an aeroponics farm, and phosphate rock. The plant combines agricultural and mineral processing systems to produce phosphoric acid to fertilise 216,000 lettuces per annum over a 25-year period. The plant has a production rate of 2.8 tonnes of lettuce per day, which are sold with excess phosphoric acid to create an economically sustainable process.

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    Group members:

    • Danae Selina Bettison Estrella 
    • Kira Burness
    • Elsie Potezny
    • Quan Tran
    • Zheyu Guan
  • CO2 Sequestration in deep coal Alwadei

  • DC is the future

  • Electrical Optimisation - Delahunty

  • Electrical Optimisation - Nimmo Jones

  • Heat Transfer in Bubble Columns

  • Heliostat Dynamics

  • Its The Motion Of The Ocean

  • Monte Carlo simulations in mining

  • Saving the World One Bioplastic At A Time

  • Simulation and Modelling of Porous Media

  • Real Time Mill Health Monitoring

  • The Future of Alumina Calcination

  • To improve renewable energy, to reduce carbon emission

  • Ultra Deep Coal The Next Gas Giant

  • Well, Well, Just as we predicted