Dr Paul Balcombe
MEng, PhD, CEng, MIChemE
The decarbonisation of our electricity systems have seen much progress in recent years, but other sectors such as industrial heating and shipping have lagged behind. Gaseous energy supply chains such as hydrogen, ammonia and biogas could provide flexible and low-cost energy for different uses and reduce loading on electricity grids. But these supply chains are at an early stage of development, and have uncertain environmental and economic credentials.
Paul Balcombe’s research group investigates the potential for different gas energy supply chains to meet energy demands whilst avoiding negative environmental consequences. The group conducts industry-focused and uncertainty-based technology and environmental modelling to determine the most effective supply chains and to guide innovation. A particular focus is the characterisation of methane emissions, which contribute strongly to climate change and air quality impacts. Barriers to achieving uptake or environmental goals are also investigated with techno-economic and energy policy assessments. The research group is strongly interdisciplinary and incorporates a mix of chemical engineering, environmental science, environmental assessment and energy policy.