Current Projects

  1. Plasma gasification of waste: Plasma is an ionized gas and usually referred to as the 4th state of matter. It is conformed by a quasi-neutral gas composed of charged and neutral particles that exhibit a collective behavior. Plasma is formed whenever ordinary matter is heated over 5000oC which results in electrically charged gases or fluids. They are profoundly influenced by the electrical interaction of the ions and electrons and by the presence of magnetic fields. Plasmas are classified by several parameters that include the amount of ionization, plasma density, and plasma temperature among others. The proposed concept intends to analyze the syngas composition and obtain energy and mass balances for a variety of local and campus-generated waste. Sponsor: California Energy Commission, PIR-08-036

    Link to Sustainable Plasma Gasification Lab

    Preliminary test 1: Atmospheric-pressure plasma discharge (air). Filter: Shade 5 glass. Equipment: ArcWhirl® Foret Plasma Labs


    Preliminary test 2: Atmospheric-pressure plasma discharge (steam-hydrogen mixture). Filter: Shade 5 glass. Equipment: ArcWhirl® Foret Plasma Labs



    Preliminary test 3: Transition to glow discharge. Equipment: HiTemper® Foret Plasma Labs



    Preliminary test 4: Glow discharge. Equipment: HiTemper® Foret Plasma Labs



    Preliminary test 5: Atmospheric-pressure plasma discharge (air) in contact with sawdust. Equipment: ArcWhirl® Foret Plasma Labs

    Related presentations: i4Energy seminar at UC Berkeley, April 2011


  2. Minichannel-based evacuated-tube solar collectors for medium temperature: The thermal modeling of solar thermal collectors that operate at 200 Celsius with no tracking mechanism is being performed. The minichannel design increases the amount of surface in contact witht the working fluid and does not require a thin absorber fin that significantly increases the thermal resistance in current evacuated-tube solar collectors. The operating temperature of these collectors allows a wide variety of applications that include solar cooling, process heating, power generation, and combined CHP systems.