Fuels and energy

Research focus

The sustainable acquisition, processing, and use of fuels and other energy sources represents a major societal challenge at the heart of the chemical engineering mission at Monash University. In the past, fuels such as coal, oil, wood were burned in air to produce heat and power with little regard to environmental effects. In the future, this unsustainable method will simply not be acceptable.

Significant research activities are under way to investigate improved methods for power and chemicals production from Victorian brown coal and biomass including: advanced dewatering technologies, gasification processes, carbon capture technologies (both pre- and post- combustion), and chemical looping processes. In addition, the production of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel from renewable feedstocks such as algae are also being studied.

An alternative method for production of electricity is the hydrogen fuel cell. Work is under way in the Department to investigate improved methods for hydrogen storage for automotive applications and to produce improved membranes for fuel cell applications.

Finally, efforts are under way to avoid fuel use by directly converting sunlight to electricity using photovoltaics.

Meet the researchers

Prof. Udo Bach
  • Solar cells
  • Novel electrolytes
  • Nanomaterial and nanofabrication
Udo Bach
Dr. Parama Banerjee
  • Supercapacitors
  • Batteries
  • Electrochemistry
Parama Banerjee
Prof. Sankar Bhattacharya
  • Cellulose and sustainable applications
Sankar Bhattacharya
Prof. Wenlong Cheng
  • Electrocatalysts and wearable energy devices
Wenlong Cheng
A/Prof. Matthew Hill
  • Batteries
  • Supercapacitors
Matthew Hill
A/Prof. Andrew Hoadley
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Dewatering
  • Sustainability
Andrew Hoadley
Prof. Lei Jiang
  • Surface design for energy conversion
Lei Jiang
Dr. Priya Samudrala
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • CO2 utilization and conversion
  • Biomass valorization
Priya Samudrala
Dr. Akshat Tanksale
  • Biofuels
  • Catalysis
  • Hydrogen production
Akshat Tanksale
Dr. Joanne Tanner
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Sustainability
Joanne Tanner
Prof. Huanting Wang
  • Fuel cells
  • Membranes
  • Desalination
Huanting Wang
A/Prof. Lian Zhang
  • Low-emission combustion
  • Gasification and pyrolysis of coal
  • Biomass and waste
Lian Zhang