Dr. Matteo Gazzani

Dr. Matteo Gazzani

Universitair hoofddocent
Sustainable Energy Supply Systems
030 253 7639
m.gazzani@uu.nl

My research interests are primarily focused on developing new sustainable energy systems on the grounds of a strong engineering approach, with particular attention on transferring the application from lab/theory to industrial-relevant size. Process synthesis, system integration and performance evaluation are based on first principle theoretical models and computer simulations, which are complemented with test rigs and experimental validation whenever possible.

Looking at the research activity on energy, three main areas of investigation stand out: (i) fundamental research on new materials, (ii) process development and process intensification and, iii) system integration and optimization. Indeed, most of the efforts are primarily focused on the first category as it implies great advancements and technical breakthroughs. However, simple analyses based on the material properties are often conducive to the overestimation of the performance. As a result, only a limited number of the proposed new materials reaches the commercialization phase. For example, the number of materials used in commercial adsorption, membrane or catalytic-based processes is very limited compared to what is found in the open scientific literature. In order to achieve tangible improvements in the energy system area, there is the need of considering: (i) the overall energy requirement of the process, and (ii) the real working conditions (e.g. temperature, impurities, multi-component behavior). Therefore, I believe that a comprehensive methodology for new materials and technology assessment is key.

Following my research background, I am primarily interested in modelling and developing innovative solutions for power production, both at centralized and decentralized scale, and energy-intensive industry processes (refineries, iron and steel, chemical productions). The final goal is to develop and improve efficient energy systems while keeping in mind the current technology level.

My research focus on the following three pillars:

  1. CO2 capture from power plants and industrial processes: The need to reduce the anthropogenic CO2 emissions and to meet the 1.5°C temperature increase scenario while limiting the energy and economical costs, has prompted the research to develop efficient 2nd and 3rd generation technologies for CO2 capture applied to power production.  Alongside CO2 capture, energy efficiency has notably been recognized as a key player to tackle climate change. Indeed, energy efficiency is our first option for reducing the primary energy consumption.
  2. Distributed power systems with micro-cogeneration, and renewables integration: The decentralized power production represents a very promising solution to address the challenges posed by the forthcoming energy revolution. The key feature which makes it attractive is the possibility to integrate in the same hub renewables with natural gas or biogas based micro-CHP and power-to-gas storage. Accordingly, such a decentralized system would allow: i) balancing excess power production with energy storage, ii) efficiently co-generating electricity and heat while reducing CO2 emissions.
  3. Desalination and minimization of water consumption in power production: Looking at the forthcoming challenges which must be tackled, it is easy to recognize water and energy as two of the major players. Electric energy, which is the core of modern civilization, must still be delivered to about 1.5 billion people. At the same time one of the biggest problems afflicting people throughout the world is inadequate access to clean water and sanitation. It is expected that both the challenges will grow worse in the next decades. The key to minimize the energy consumption, either for water desalination/purification or CO2 capture, is a smart integration of the different units.

 

Afgesloten projecten
Project
ELEGANCY – Enabling a low-carbon economy via hydrogen and CCS 01-08-2017 tot 31-07-2020
Algemene projectbeschrijving

As the only technology that can substantially reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industrial processes, CCS is an essential component in the vast majority of IPCC scenarios with a likely global  global warming of 2°C or less. Indeed, without CCS, it will be extremely difficult to keep the rise in global temperature within the limits set by the Paris Agreement. Yet there is a large disconnect between policy ambitions and technology readiness – and industrial uptake. This is mainly due to the lack of a business model: costs are immediate, but the benefits are long term.

Rol
Uitvoerder
Individuele projectbeschrijving

https://www.sintef.no/projectweb/elegancy/

Financiering
Anders RVO + H2020
Projectleden