Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Candidate Seminar


Driving Innovation through Multiscale Analysis: Development of a Novel Coal Feeding System for Gasification-based Plants with Carbon Capture


Dr. Cristina Botero


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Monday, April 15, 2013 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Srinivas Garimella


The performance of complex engineering systems such as power plants is governed by the interaction among multiple physico-chemical phenomena occurring at widely different scales. Plant-level (coarse grain) studies are useful for developing novel process integration concepts but fail to capture underlying challenges that could undermine their implementation. On the other hand, in-depth (fine grain) component and particle-scale analyses offer valuable insight into process fundamentals but not necessarily into the integrated system. My research utilizes multiscale analysis to bridge the gap between the particle and the plant scales for the development of novel solutions to engineering problems. The scale of interest is not fixed a priori but is rather adjusted during the analysis. This talk demonstrates the multiscale approach as applied to the development of a novel, cost-effective coal feeding system for gasification-based power plants with carbon capture. I propose using liquid/supercritical CO2-based slurry to feed pulverized coal into a high-pressure gasifier and apply techno-economic analysis coupled with particle-level kinetics to demonstrate its benefits. The challenge of preparing the CO2 slurry is addressed using the phase inversion associated with the hydrophobicity of liquid CO2-coal mixtures.


Cristina Botero is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Reacting Gas Dynamics Laboratory. Her main research interest is the study of novel concepts for the sustainable utilization of fossil and renewable energy sources. Cristina began her studies at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and earned a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering in 2007 from the University of Erlangen in Germany. Prior to joining MIT, she worked as a Research Scientist at the Alternative Energy Lab of General Electric’s Global Research Center in Munich.


Refreshments will be served.