Dr Nader Karimi


Research Overview

My current research is in the broad area of thermo-fluids with an emphasis on energy conversion and storage. Of particular interest are the thermochemical energy technologies, which mainly include the following topics.

  • Thermochemical storage of renewable energies

The global production of electricity from solar and wind energies is set to grow significantly. For this growth to be sustainable, there should be methods of storing the produced electricity, as solar and wind power are  intermittent and do not correlate with the fluctuations in electricity demand. We are working on a series of technologies collectively called Power to X, which converts the surplus of electricity to chemical energy and stores that in different fuels including hydrogen, methane and liquid fuels. The produced fuel is not fossil-based and is therefore environmentally friendly. We are also interested in the conversion of CO2 and H2O to practical fuels through using solar energy (thermochemical solar fuels).

  • Advanced heat transfer technologies for cooling electrochemical and electronic systems

Achieving the desirable heat transfer rates is a major challenge in many advanced technologies including batteries in electric cars and electronic components in the new generation of high performance computers.  Our research in this area includes developing fundamental understanding of unsteady heat transfer processes at macro, micro and nano-scales. This includes investigation of multiphase heat convection in microchannels and porous media. The ultimate aim is to develop tools for managing the dynamic thermal loads, frequently encountered in practice.

  • Combustion of carbon free/neutral fuels for decarbonisation of electricity, heat and transport

Fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum still very much dominate the global supply of energy. To decrease the emission of greenhouse gases, they should be replaced by carbon free/neutral fuels. Yet, such fuels (e.g. hydrogen, metal powders, ammonia, biofuels and biomass) often have significantly different combustion characteristics to those of fossil fuels. We are interested in fundamental understanding and real-world applications of carbon free combustion in industrial burners, gas turbines and aero-engine combustors.  

  • Gasification of biomass and waste

Combustion of biomass has provided human with renewable and carbon free energy for thousands of years. However, traditional biomass combustion leads to the emission of large amounts of air pollutants. The modern energy generation from biomass should be robust, clean and highly flexible with the type of feedstock. To achieve this, we are working on a range of thermochemical technologies that allows production and combustion of renewable fuels (biosyngas) from a wide range of feedstock including agricultural residue and municipal waste. 

The work on all these research topics is conducted through using a combination of experimental, numerical and theoretical techniques and often involves collaboration at national and international levels.

Prospective PhD students with strong academic background interested in any of the stated areas (or those closely related) are encouraged to contact me directly.