Dr Xiaolei Zhang

Chancellor'S Fellowships

Chemical and Process Engineering

Personal statement

The main stream of my research is solid waste valorization for the production of power, heat, fuel, and chemicals. I work on thermochemical conversion technologies (pyrolysis, gasification, liquefaction, combustion, co-firing), and further upgrading. The final products of interest include fossil compatible fuel (bio-gasoline, bio-diesel), fuel additives (ethanol, methanol, dimethyl ether, oxymethylene ethers), gaseous products (hydrogen, methane) and bio-chemicals (e.g. levoglucosan); to realize low carbon, low cost, and low GHG emission bio-fuel production. The research approaches include Quantum Mechanics modelling based on Density Functional Theory (DFT), Molecular Dynamic modelling, Process Modelling, Thermodynamic and Kinetic experimental investigation and Techno-economic Analysis. I have been awarded research projects from various funding bodies including EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust, and industry.

I received a Ph.D. degree from Royal Institute of Technology-KTH, Stockholm, Sweden, and worked as a Post-doc Research Fellow in University of Alberta, Canada. From January 2015 to June 2019, I worked at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) as a Lecturer and joined University of Strathclyde in July 2019 as a Senior Lecturer (Chancellor's Fellow) under Strathclyde Global Talent Programme. I am currently on the editorial board of two international journals and I am an academic member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), a member of the Energy Institute (EI) and a member of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

I am a Fellow of Higher Education Academy in the UK, and have taught core Engineering courses include Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Heat Transfer.

Expertise

Has expertise in:

    • Quantum Mechanics (QM) modelling based on Density Functional Theory (DFT);
    • Process design and optimization of energy systems;
    • Thermodynamic, Energy and Exergy analysis;
    • Techno-economic analysis, System design.

Publications

Pyrolysis kinetic modeling of a poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) encapsulant found in waste photovoltaic modules
Farrell Charlie, Osman Ahmed I, Harrison John, Vennard Ashlene, Murphy Adrian, Doherty Rory, Russell Mark, Kumaravel Vignesh, Al-Muhtaseb Ala'a H, Zhang Xiaolei, Abu-Dahrieh Jehad K, Rooney David W
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research Vol 60, pp. 13492-13504 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.1c01989
Waste carica papaya oil seed extraction : a potential feed stock for biodiesel production to achieve net zero
Asuquo Asuquo, Li Jun, Zhang Xiaolei
28th Annual SCI-CSCST Conference (2021)
Development of a carbon-based catalyst for syngas reforming to maximise hydrogen production
Mukamwi M, Somorin T, Li J, Zhang X
28th Annual SCI-CSCST Conference (2021)
Comprehensive assessment of sustainable potential of agricultural residues for bioenergy based on geographical information system : a case study of China
Zhang Jixiang, Li Jun, Dong Changqing, Zhang Xiaolei, Rentizelas Athanasios, Shen Delong
Renewable Energy Vol 173, pp. 466-478 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2021.03.135
Release of potassium in association with structural evolution during biomass combustion
Cao Wenhan, Li Jun, Lin Leteng, Zhang Xiaolei
Fuel Vol 287 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2020.119524
Mechanistic and kinetic investigation on maximizing the formation of levoglucosan from cellulose during biomass pyrolysis
Shaw Alexander, Zhang Xiaolei, Kabalan Lara, Li Jun
Fuel Vol 286 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2020.119444

More publications

Research interests

  • Waste valorization for production of fuels and advanced materials;
  • Bioenergy, biofuel, production of high value-added chemicals;
  • Pyrolysis, gasification, combustion, carbonization;
  • Process design and manufacturing of renewable energy systems.

Professional activities

Chemical Engineering and its path to Net Zero
Organiser
9/9/2021
Bio-SNG production via dual fluidised bed gasification: a modelling approach
External Examiner
18/5/2021
Valorisation of Solid Waste to Advanced Fuels and Materials
Invited speaker
14/4/2021
Fundamental studies of ethanol oxidation reaction in Direct Ethanol Fuel Cells using density functional theory (DFT) Calculations
External Examiner
11/3/2021
Biomass Waste to Advanced Fuels and Materials
Speaker
15/9/2020
27th Annual CSCST-SCI Conference: Sustainable Energy and Manufacturing the Future (Event)
Advisor
11/9/2020

More professional activities

Projects

EPSRC-SEA PhD studentship | Sait-Stewart, Robert
Li, Jun (Principal Investigator) Lue, Leo (Co-investigator) Zhang, Xiaolei (Co-investigator) Sait-Stewart, Robert (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2025
Developing green heterogeneous catalysts for converting waste papaya oilseed into biodiesel
Li, Jun (Principal Investigator) Zhang, Xiaolei (Co-investigator) Asuquo, Asuquo Jackson (Research Co-investigator)
PTDF PhD Studentship (£120,000)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2023
Atomic Level investigation on developing optimal pathways for liquid biofuels (Transfer from QUB)
Zhang, Xiaolei (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2020
From atoms to plant: co-production of green transport fuel and levoglucosan from waste biomass (First Grant) (Transfer)
Zhang, Xiaolei (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 14-Jan-2020
From atoms to plant: co-production of renewable diesel and levoglucosan from waste biomass
Zhang, Xiaolei (Principal Investigator)
04-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2020
Designing novel systems for clean, sustainable heat production from biomass
Li, Jun (Principal Investigator) Zhang, Xiaolei (Co-investigator) Rentizelas, Athanasios (Co-investigator) ZHANG, Jixiang (Research Co-investigator)
Externally Funded PhD Studentship
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2022

More projects

Address

Chemical and Process Engineering
James Weir Building

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