Dr Mark WalkerBioenergy Engineering Researcher
Dr Mark Walker MEng, PhD
Energy Engineering Group
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Sheffield
Current Research Projects
Welcome to my website! Here you can find information about my current research activity, as well as a list of all of my previous research output and contributions. Take a look at my blog for recent updates and see the individual project pages for more detail about my work.
I graduated with a MEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Durham in 2004 and went on to complete my PhD with the Bioenergy and Organic Resources Research Group (BORRG) at the University of Southampton in 2009 working on the application of mesh/membrane bio-reactors to the anaerobic digestion (AD) of biodegradable municipal wastes. Following this I contributed to a variety research projects as a research fellow at the Universities of Southampton, Leeds and Sheffield, with my work continuing to focus on AD and biogas production from biomass and organic wastes.
See my page on the University of Sheffield Mechanical Engineering website here.
I am currently working as a research associate in the Energy Engineering Group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, and am closely associated with the Energy 2050 initiative. Here at Sheffield I am looking to develop my own personal biogas research further and also to supervise PhD and masters students. My current projects can be found in the main site menu but my research interests covers a wider variety of topics through my collaborations with, and supervision of, the growing group of AD researchers within the Energy Engineering Group. These include a mixture of modelling and experimental work;
- Integration of AD into micro-grids for rural electrification
- Assessment of Micro-AD systems for localised urban waste management
- Parameter estimation methods for AD models using experimental data
- Optimisation and control of AD processes using a model based approach
- Development of feeding strategies for low-tech AD systems in developing countries
- The effect of biomass pre-treatment and particle size on the AD process
- Biochemical kinetics and transient operation of AD systems
For a list of current PhD opportunities to work with me at the University of Sheffield
Recently the AD group (part of the larger Energy Engineering Group) have been awarded funding from Innovate UK/BBSRC/EPSRC through the Industrial Biotechnology call (early-stage translation stream). The project is called "Biomethanisation of CO2 in anaerobic digestion...read more
Hello and welcome to my blog. Check back here for updates on my research and other activities. Also have a look at some guys working at my building with an even cooler job than me (window cleaners)! (Arts Tower - University of...read more
Castellanos, J., Nimmo, W., Walker, M., Poggio, D., & Pourkashanian, M. (2014). “Modelling an off-grid integrated renewable energy system for rural electrification in India using photovoltaics and anaerobic digestion”. Renewable Energy, 74, 390-398.
Nock, W. J., Walker, M., Kapoor, R. and Heaven, S. (2014). “Modelling the Water Scrubbing Process and Energy Requirements for CO2 Capture to Upgrade Biogas to Biomethane”. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research.53(32), 12783-12792
Walker, M., Iyer, K., Heaven, S. and Banks, C. J. (2011). “Ammonia removal in anaerobic digestion by biogas stripping: An evaluation of process alternatives using a first order rate model based on experimental findings”. Chemical Engineering Journal. 178(15), 138-145
De la Rubia, A., Walker, M., Heaven, S., Banks, C. J. and Borja, R. (2010). “Preliminary trials of in situ ammonia stripping from source segregated domestic food waste digestate using biogas: Effect of temperature and flow rate”. Bioresource Technology. 101(24), 9486-9492.
Eades P, Banks C.J, Heaven S and Walker M., (2010) “Mass and energy balance for a rotating drum composting plant”. Proceedings of the ICE – Waste and Resource Management, 164(3), 151 –159.
Walker M, Banks C. J. and Heaven S. (2009). “Two-Stage Anaerobic Digestion of Biodegradable Municipal Solid Waste using a Rotating Drum Mesh Filter Bioreactor and Anaerobic Filter.” Bioresource Technology, 100(18), 4121-4126
Walker M, Banks C. J. and Heaven S., (2009). “Development of a Coarse Membrane Bioreactor for Two-stage Anaerobic Digestion of Biodegradable Municipal Solid Waste.” Water Science and Technology, 59(4), 729-735
Walker M, Zhang Y., Heaven S. and Banks C. J., (2009). “Potential Errors in the Quantitative Evaluation of Biogas Production in Anaerobic Digestion Processes.” Bioresource Technology, 100(24), 6339-6346
Walker M, Banks C. J. and Heaven S., (2009). “Use of a Hydraulic Flush Reactor in a Two-stage Anaerobic Digestion Process for Biodegradable Municipal Waste.” Environmental Engineering Science, 26(11), 1599-1606
Walker, M., Ma, L. and Pourkashanian, M. “Optimisation of a gas-mixed anaerobic digester using a combined CFD and biochemical kinetic modelling approach”. International Conference on Advances in Energy Research, IITB, Mumbai, India. (Presentation + paper)
Poggio, D., Walker, M., Nimmo, W., & Pourkashanian, M. (2013). “Estimation of the kinetic model parameters of anaerobic digestion of waste materials using semi-continuous laboratory scale digesters”. International Conference on Advances in Energy Research, IITB, Mumbai, India. (Presentation + paper)
Poggio, D., Walker, M., Nimmo, W., & Pourkashanian, M. (2013). “Model based evaluation of control strategies for the operation of anaerobic digesters in a microgrid with variable biogas demand”. In: 13th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion: Recovering (bio) Resources for the World, 25-28 June 2013 (Poster + paper)
Walker, M., C. J. Banks and S. Heaven (2008). “Development of a Coarse Membrane Bioreactor for Two Stage Anaerobic Digestion of Biodegradable Municipal Solid Waste”. 5th International Symposium of Anaerobic Digestion of Solid Waste and Energy Crops, Hammamet, Tunisia, IWA. (Presentation + paper)
Walker, M., C. J. Banks and S. Heaven (2007). “Effects of pH Control and Methanogenic Effluent Recycle on the Two-Stage Anaerobic Digestion of OFMSW”. 11th IWA World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion, Brisbane, Australia. (Poster + paper)
Walker, M., D. G. Gregory-Smith and L. He (2005). “A study of large tip clearance in a row of low speed compressor blades”. 6th European Conference on Turbomachinery Fluid-Mechanics and Thermodynamics. Lille, France. (Presentation + paper)
RESEARCH PROJECT INVOLVEMENT
2015. Ongoing. Biomethanisation of CO2 in anaerobic digestion plants. Funded by EPSRC/BBSRC/Innovate UK (£1.8M, £490k to Sheffield). Research Co-investigator.
2013. Optimising community urban micro AD networks. Funded by Waste Resources Action Program (WRAP) Feasibility study (£23k) and full scale demonstration (£170k, £11k to Leeds). Co-Investigator.
2012. Ongoing. Development and Integration of Biomass and Concentrating Photovoltaic System for Rural and Urban Energy Bridge: BioCPV. Funded by RCUK/IST. (£1.4M, £452k to Leeds). Research Fellow.
2010. System requirements for low-cost energy-efficient algal biomass cultivation for biofuel production. Funded by Carbon Trust (~£550k). Named Investigator.
2010. VALORGAS – Valorisation of food waste to biogas. Funded by the EU (~£2M). Significant contribution to successful grant application. Researcher.
2009. Measuring stability of digestates from AD of biodegradable waste and manures. Funded by the Waste Resources Action Program (WRAP) (~$70k). Principal Investigator.
2009. Optimising processes for the stable operation of food waste digestion. Funded by Defra (~£192k). Co-Investigator.
2008. Bioganix Demonstrator Project – Research, Monitoring and Evaluation. Funded by Defra (~£100k). Researcher.
2007. Integrated systems for farm diversification into energy production by anaerobic digestion: implications for rural development, land use & environment. Funded by EPSRC, ESRC and NERC (~£500k). Researcher.
2005. TRIF MBR – Anaerobic membrane bioreactor technology for biodegradable waste stabilisation. Funded by Defra (~£250k). PhD student.
2014. Invited lecturer in Anaerobic digestion – ETII5004M – University of Leeds.
2011. Bioenergy (CENV6141, MSc module), University of Southampton. Conceived developed and delivered module along with guest lecturers.
2010. Invited lecturer in biogas technology at Jyvaskyla Summer School.