Sigappi Narayanan

PhD (2014)
BE (Hons) (Chemical and Materials Engineering)

Project Description
To address the global warming concern, much of it owing to the increasing use of fossil fuels, carbon capture and storage technology has become an “easy fix” solution. The practice of this technique by many carbon dioxide emitting industrial units is still hindered by the process and equipment cost associated with the capture of carbon dioxide. Many methods can be employed for carbon capture and adsorption is one such technology.

Zeolites have become a major player in the adsorption field mainly due to their high adsorption capacity for carbon dioxide. Commercially, zeolites have been used in the form of pellets or beads. These particulate structures can create issues relating to high mass transfer resistance and high pressure drop which increase the overall energy consumption. Novel structured adsorbents have been developed to manage the aforementioned problems. Significant disadvantages to these structured adsorbents are that they have very low loading of zeolite and high manufacturing cost. 

The major aim of this PhD project is to develop a structured adsorbent with high zeolite loading by utilizing bioresources as substrates which can be sacrificially burnt away leading to a novel preparation of laminate structures. Below are some images from the laminate structure. Figure 1 is a 3D image of the laminate structure and Figure 2 is a scanning electron microscope image. Synthesis parameters will be varied to give optimum performance in terms of pressure drop, mass transfer and zeolite loading using breakthrough testing. Fabrication techniques for the creation of additional gas flow paths through the structure for reducing the pressure drop will also be developed.

 3D Image of laminate structure     SEM of laminate structure
 Figure 1: 3D Image of laminate structure    Figure 2: SEM of laminate structure

Courses and Conferences
65th Appita Annual Conference, Rotorua, New Zealand 2011
International Paper Physics Conference, Stockholm, Sweden 2012

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland 2010
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Research, Monash University 2014

Other Experiences
Wyeth Nutritionals, Singapore
In-plant Trainee
Feb 2009
Engineering School, University of Auckland
Research Assistant
Nov 2008 – Feb 2009

Research Interests
  • Carbon capture technologies
  • Adsorption
  • Zeolites
  • Papermaking