Development of Tar Removal Technologies for Biomass Gasification

Nowadays, the sustainable supply of energy is challenging due to growing concerns over climate change and increasing global demands. This leads to an urgent need for developing sustainable and renewable biofuels and bioenergy. Biomass gasification is a very promising route for bioenergy production. However, syngas from this process normally contains unacceptable level of tar. Tar can cause operational issues in syngas downstream applications. Hence, the elimination of tar has been the biggest obstacle in the successful commercialisation of the biomass gasification technology.

Stabilization of Gravel Roads

Unpaved gravel roads throughout rural and northern Manitoba and across Canada are made from poorly bound aggregate materials. Consequently they quickly deteriorate to loose, rough and dangerous road conditions. They generate choking and noxious dust clouds when dry, and quickly lose strength and degrade to mucky and rutted conditions when wet. The goal of this project is to provide a low cost and sustainable solution by mixing the aggregate with high amounts of reactive clays and environmentally safe organic catalysts.

Cost, Energy and Hygrothermal Performance Optimization of Building Envelope Systems for Net-Zero-Ready Buildings

This research will help Innovation Building Group to optomize design details for proposed net-zero energy buildings in Golden, BC. The focus of the research is on comparing the costs of envelope design details with the expected energy savings. This will allow the most economical decisions to be made, which will mean that the best building can be built for the budget. We will accomplish this by creating an energy model of the base building. Details will be changed one by one, and the resulting change in total energy use can be attributed to the design detail.

Investigation and Analysis of measurement & simulation-based Core-Follow systems for Nuclear Research Reactors

The Nuclear Reactor Group at McMaster University, in collaboration with the Department of Engineering Physics, propose a project to investigate and analyze software systems for use at nuclear research reactors for core-follow and prediction calculations. This project involves research of nuclear fuel burnup calculations, and the creation of a methodology to couple simulation-based core-follow calculations to operational measurements for nuclear research reactors. This work will include implementation of the advanced core-follow and prediction system at the McMaster Nuclear Reactor.

Feasibility of Pelletizing Sludge Product for Burning and Agricultural Uses from Paper Mill Process Effluent

Domestic demand for wood pellets in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia has dramatically increased in recent years. Consumer angst resulted in one retailer trucking three tractor trailer loads of bagged pellets last winter (2014-2015) from British Columbia, which sold out in a few days.

Data Centre Waste Heat Recovery for District Energy Systems

Data centres generate a large amount of heat, from operating computers 24/7. This heat is normally wasted and released outside the data centre building. This research will determine the best way to capture the waste heat from a data centre and distribute it to other buildings in the area that require heating. The vessel for this distribution of heat will be a network of water pipes, just like an electrical grid distributes power to multiple buildings. The intern will provide insight on the equipment and system design required to capture the waste heat in an energy and cost efficient manner.

Mechanical and physical beneficiation of concentrates from printed circuit board processing

E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world in terms of volume and its environmental impact on the planet. Printed circuit boards represent a major portion of the e-waste that contains higher values. The metal fraction from the circuit boards is extracted for its value while the non-metal fraction is often landfilled. The proposed research looks into the disposal guidelines for landfills and incineration and quality requirements for being used as a filler and secondary materials source will also be studied.

Adsorption of tannins on copper surface

Tannins, natural renewable molecules, have exhibited excellent corrosion inhibition properties, comparable to those of non-renewable counterparts. TGWT Clean Technologies Inc. has a portfolio of tannin-based corrosion inhibitors, which are being used in industry to protect mild steel (MS) steam boilers, high efficiency condensing aluminium boilers, as well as multi-metal heating and cooling closed-loop systems. Copper equipment is ubiquitous in industry, e.g. heat exchangers.

Acoustic detection of fish presence and depth distribution at the FORCE tidal energy test site in the Bay of Fundy: assessing risk of interaction with tidal turbines

Tidal energy turbines are a new renewable energy technology that will be demonstrated at the FORCE test site in the Bay of Fundy. The potential negative effects of these turbines on fish are of high concern to industry, regulators, fishers, and other stakeholders. This research will use sonars attached to sensor platforms deployed on the sea floor at the FORCE tidal energy test site to evaluate the risk that tidal turbines pose to fish. Risk will be based on where fish are naturally located and where the turbines will be operating.

Minimizing potential induced degradation in crystalline-silicon based photovoltaic solar modules – Year 3

The demand for photovoltaic solar modules has increased tremendously in recent years. Unfortunately, photovoltaic solar modules are prone to potential induced degradation, i.e., a decrease in the power delivered from such modules arising as a consequence of them operating continuously under high applied voltages. This project aims to design a protocol for the accelerated testing of solar modules; we want to speed-up or accelerate the aging of these solar modules in order to identify what materials and configurations in a solar module are less prone to potential induced degradation.