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Research Fellows Directory

Mao Ye

Professor Mao Ye

Research Fellow


University of Manchester

Research summary

Ethylene and propylene are important chemical materials, from which many consumer products can be made. Currently, oil is the main resource to produce olefins. Considering the increased demanding and deceased reserve of oil worldwide, it is important to find an alternative way to produce olefins. Methanol-to-olefins (MTO) is a critical step in the process of converting coal to olefins. In MTO, gas-fluidised beds are adopted as reactors. Online measurement of gas-fluidised beds under severe operation conditions such as high-temperature remains a challenge. Electrical capacitance tomography (ECT) is an imaging technique for industrial applications. With an ECT sensor mounted on the wall of a gas-fluidised bed, real-time cross-sectional images can be obtained, so that the dynamic process can be visualised and the essential information, such as the gas bubbles, solids concentration profile and flow regime, can be derived. So far, ECT has proved to be quite successful in a variety of applications with cold fluidised beds. This project is to develop an ECT system for high temperature fluidised beds. With this ECT system, it is intended to obtain quantitative information on gas bubble dynamics, solids concentration profile, and flow regime transition in MTO fluidised bed reactors; to validate the three-dimensional CFD model for large-scale MTO fluidised bed reactors with ECT measurements; and to optimise the design and operation of MTO fluidised beds.

Grants awarded

Optimisation of methanol-to-olefins fluidised bed reactors by high-temperature electrical capacitance tomography

Scheme: Newton Advanced Fellowship

Dates: Mar 2015 - Feb 2018

Value: £102,400

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