Dimitri Mignard's Web Pages

I am a Chartered Engineer, and an active member of the Scottish Members Group committee of the IChemE. I have been a Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh since 2006.

After getting my first degree from L'Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Ingénieurs en Génie Chimique (Toulouse, France), I obtained an MSc in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham in 1994, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Edinburgh in 1999.

Research

My research as part of the Energy Storage Group within the Institute for Energy Systems focuses on the conversion and storage of renewable energies. A summary of my approach can be found here. Current (as of 2014) research interests are summarised hereafter:

  • Hydrogen storage using sponge metals
  • Process design and simulation for alternative fuels
  • Tools for sensitivity analysis and techno-economic evaluations
  • CO2 utilization
  • Biofuels and biochar (in collaboration with the UK Biochar Centre)
  • Compressed air energy storage.

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    Hydrogen storage

    The following video was filmed in 2013 as part of the “research in a nutshell” series for the University of Edinburgh.

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    Process design and simulation for alternative fuels:

    For example, fuel synthesis from CO2 or biomass, and renewable sources of power. The emphasis here is on the likely need to operate such processes at variable flow rate as imposed by the supply of renewable power. A technical appraisal of this topic can be found here .

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    Tools for sensitivity analysis and techno-economic evaluations:

    I also consider the economics of producing these alternative fuels. For example, in

    Dimitri Mignard, Correlating the chemical engineering plant cost index with macro-economic indicators , Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Volume 92, Issue 2, February 2014, Pages 285-294

    The economic performance of alternative fuels is commonly estimated by comparing their cost of production with the market price of fossil fuels: the higher the price of fossil fuels, the greater the competitive advantage of alternative fuels. However this approach ignores the fact that capital costs will have some correlation (causal or otherwise) with fossil fuel prices, especially for alternative fuels that are very capital-intensive.

    This paper lays the foundation for a better approach by correlating the capital costs of process plants with the price of crude oil. We found a simple model that could predict the Chemical Engineering Plant Cost Index within 1%, using only current US domestic oil prices and current and past US interest rates.

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    CO2 utilization

    D. Mignard, R. C. Barik, A. S. Bharadwaj, C. L. Pritchard, M. Ragnoli, F. Cecconi, H. Miller, L. J. Yellowlees, Revisiting strontium-doped lanthanum cuprate perovskite for the electrochemical reduction of CO2, Journal of CO2 Utilization, Volume 5, March 2014, Pages 53-59

    The electrochemical reduction of CO2 seems a handsome way of turning this gas into valuable chemicals and fuels in a limited number of process steps. However, the practical difficulties are many. This paper gives a glimpse on some of the considerable practical experience that we acquired in this field while testing electrocatalysts that converted CO2 to hydrocarbons.

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    Teaching

    I teach some of the courses within our Chemical Engineering degree programs, in particular Environmental Issues in Chemical Engineering (3rd year).

    I try hard to empower our students to ‘own’ the contents of what they learn in such a way that they focus on real life problems. An example can be found here, where students are invited to critically evaluate the performance of existing hydrogen fuel cell cars.

    From September 2014, I will be the program director for our MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems, a very successful multi-disciplinary degree based on Engineering.