Case study: Dr Feyza Kazanc

Newton Advanced Fellow, 2015-2018
University of Edinburgh and Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Flexible Oxy-Combustion for Turkish Fuels

Development of clean combustion technologies is one of the grand challenges of today as the demand for low emission and efficient energy production is rising. The Clean Combustion Technologies Group I have established in 2015 in Middle East Technical University aims to make advances to our knowledge in the cleaner combustion of solid fuels that will enable environmentally friendly and efficient utilization of coal and biomass for energy generation. In particular, we investigate paths towards the utilization of indigenous lignite and biomass sources abundantly available in Turkey. Our small to medium scale testing capabilities probe the burning characteristic of various fuels and their emissions. The knowledge we obtain from these measurements provide useful guidelines for increasing the burning efficiency and reducing the pollution effects.

I was awarded the Newton Advanced Fellowship in 2015 with the title ‘Flexible Oxy-combustion for Turkish Fuels’ through a collaboration with Dr. Hannah Chalmers and Dr. Juan Riaza from the University of Edinburgh. The project aims to investigate the burning characteristics of various Turkish fuels in a high heating rate environment that mimics the burning in industrial furnaces. As a first step, I and my graduate students visited University of Edinburgh multiple times and characterized selected Turkish fuels using a wire-mesh reactor in the laboratory of Prof. Hannah Chalmers. I also directly collaborated with Dr. Juan Riaza during my visit, in analyzing and interpreting the findings. These characterization provided key information about the pyrolysis of Turkish fuels at high heating rates. By using the knowledge and experience we gain during these visits, and by utilizing the research budget of Newton Advanced Fellowship, we have built a wire-mesh reactor in our laboratory for more detailed characterization. 

In addition to the transfer of knowledge activities, the fellowship also provided me excellent opportunities to strengthen my scientific network in the field of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). During my visits, I have met many leading researchers in the field and these interactions led to new research ideas and proposals. This enabled the preparation and submission of a proposal to Institutional Links in collaboration with Prof. Jenny Jones from the University of Leeds, whom I had met during one of my visits. 

The project findings has so far been disseminated through presentations in leading conferences such as ECCRIA and CleanAir. My research group, Prof. Hannah Chalmers and Dr. Juan Riaza from University of Edinburgh have published the key results in the leading journal Fuel. We have submitted another journal paper based on our recent work and two more publications are planned by the end of the project. 

In addition to UK visits and networking activities, the training budget provided by the fellowship have also provided me ways of effectively enhancing my research skills through hands-on research activities in the laboratory of Prof. Mario Costa from IST Lisbon, Portugal and Prof. Yiannis Levendis from Northeastern University, US. These trainings and the subsequent collaborations led to very important research findings. I have published 1 journal paper so far and preparing another one through these activities. 

Overall, the Newton Advanced Fellowship have provided me a research budget to strengthen the capabilities of my laboratory and also supported my mobility and training activities which connected me to the leading scientist of UK and Europe. The skills I developed, the networks I established and the experimental capabilities I obtained will continue to support my high impact research even after the completion of the project.