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Past Projects

Distribution Nucleation in Fluidised-bed granulation

Fluidised bed granulation creates granules by spraying finely atomised liquid into the fluidised bed. The drops are typically much smaller than the particles (this is “distribution nucleation”) but the mechanisms are not known. This project looks at the coating of single particles and liquid distribution in a fluidised bed, as well as DEM modelling (in collaboration with Leeds University, UK). 

Team members: Wav Kariuki, Dr Rachel Smith and A/Prof Karen Hapgood. Funded by an ARC Discovery Project 2008-2010.


Granulation of Hydrophobic Powders  - Liquid Marbles

A novel method to granulate poorly wetting powders, using liquid marbles.  Liquid marbles are formed when a shell of hydrophobic powder wraps around a droplet. They can be used to produce “designer granules” including hollow granules. This project looked at the formation mechanisms, structure, mass production and implications for granulation of hydrophobic/hydrophilic powder mixtures. Funded by an ARC Discovery Project 2007-2010.


Understanding Foam Granulation

Foam granulation is a novel process of liquid binder addition, invented by DOW, which uses less binder to achieve the same level of granulation. This project looked at the foam nucleation mechanism, including the penetration of foam into static powder beds, foam-powder interactions as well as full foam granulation experiments in a high-shear mixer. Funded  by Dow Wolff Cellulosics, 2007-2010.


Fluidised-bed drying of dairy powders

Dairy powders (eg skim milk powder) are produced by spray drying followed by a final drying step in a vibrating fluidised bed. This project investigated mass transfer and fluidisation as a function of vibration amplitude and moisture content.  Funded by Dairy Innovation Australia. 

Project team:  Steven (Minghan) Ho (PhD student), supervised by A/Prof Karen Hapgood and Prof XD Chen.


Study of Assembly of Heat Sensitive Magnetic Microcomposites Using Novel Micro-Fluidic-Jet-Spray-Dryer

Microfluidic spray drying is a versatile route to synthesise functional particles, as the technique is scalable with sufficient yields for practical use and easy product recovery, whilst allowing for subsequent processing as necessary. Here a microfluidic jet spray drier producing single trajectory droplets with identical thermal history was used to obtain monodisperse magnetic particles with precise morphology. The method employed a moderate temperature range (£ 300 oC), and was able to handle multi-component precursors to form solid particles in a single step.

Ria Amelia (Master by Research, Monash University, 2011)

Selected publications:

Amelia, R., Wu, W., Chen, X., and Selomulya, C., 2012, Assembly of magnetic microcomposites from low pH precursors using a novel micro-fluidic-jet-spray-dryer, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 90, 150-157.

Amelia, R., Wu, W., Cashion, J., Bao, P., Zheng, R., Chen, X. D., Selomulya, C., 2011, Microfluidic spray drying as a versatile assembly route of functional particles, Chemical Engineering Science, 66, 5531-5540.


Catalyst Development for Dry Reforming of Methane and Low-temperature Water-gas Shift Reaction


Both dry reforming of methane (DRM) and low-temperature water-gas shift (LT-WGS) processes can be integrated into a fuel cell plant and are utilised for the production of hydrogen as an important energy source for fuel cells. Improvement of current catalytic systems, and identification and development of alternative catalysts for DRM and LT-WGS reactions have formed the basis of this study. Funded by Monash-CSIRO Collaborative Research Fund.

Dr. Rothman Kam (PhD, Monash University, 2011)

Selected publications:

Kam, R., Selomulya, C., Amal, R., Scott, J., 2010, The influence of La-doping on the activity and stability of Cu/ZnO catalyst for the low-temperature water-gas shift reaction, Journal Of Catalysis, Academic Press Inc. Elsevier Science, USA, Volume 273, Issue 1, 7 July 2010, Pages 73-81.

Kam, R., Scott, J., Amal, R., Selomulya C., 2010, Pyrophoricity and stability of copper and platinum based water-gas shift catalysts during oxidative shut-down/start-up operation, Chemical Engineering Science, Volume 65, Issue 24, Pages 6461-6470.


Smart Particle Production, Characterization and Powder Forensics

Food powdered ingredients are common yet important in our daily life. The most well-known method to produce these powdered products is via spray drying. Nowadays, it is possible to customize spray dried products with desired nutrition/physiochemical properties according to the requirements and demands of the consumer market. Powders resulting from different processes (or different process conditions) vary significantly in composition and the functional behaviours. This renders traditional measurement techniques for characterising spray dried products to be insufficient and inadequate. Therefore, an effective and reproducible technique to benchmark different dairy powder functionality for both manufacturers and end-users usage is necessary and remains a challenge. The work reports the exploration of a possible 'toolkit' to characterize dairy powder functionality, benchmarking powder dissolution kinetics, and investigate the effects of spray drying conditions on powder functionality. Funded by Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd.

Dr. Yuan Fang (PhD, Monash University, 2010)

Selected publications:

Fang, Y., Rogers, S., Selomulya, C., Chen, X. D., 2011, Functionality of milk protein concentrate: Effect of spray drying temperature, Biochemical Engineering Journal, doi:10.1016/j.bej.2011.05.007.

Fang, Y., Selomulya, C., Chen, X. D., 2010, On quantifying the dissolution behaviour of milk protein concentrate, Food Hydrocolloids, 25, 503-510.


Designing Functional Magnetic Nanoparticles with Flame Spray Pyrolysis for Bio-applications

Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) hold great promise in the fields of biology and medicine. The synthesis of functional MNPs with precisely controlled crystallographic, physicochemical, and magnetic properties on a large scale still remains the challenge today. This thesis reports the exploration of liquid-fed flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) in the synthesis of functional MNPs, their surface modifications, and potential bio-applications. Funded by ARC Discovery Project.

Dr. Li Dan (PhD, UNSW, 2009)

Selected publications:

Li, D., Teoh, W., Gooding, J., Selomulya, C., Amal, R., 2010, Functionalisation Strategies for Protease Immobilisation on Magnetic Nanoparticles, Advanced Functional Materials, Wiley-V C H Verlag GMBH, Germany, 20, 1767-1777.

Li, D., Teoh, W. Y., Woodward, R., Cashion, J., Selomulya, C., Amal, R. (2009) Evolution of morphology and magnetic properties in silica/maghemite nanocomposites. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113 (28), 12040–12047.


Synthesis and Characterisation of Iron Based Magnetic Nanoparticles

The aim of this project was to synthesize magnetic nanoparticles with good particle size control, monodispersibility and retention of strong magnetic polarization for in vivo biomedical applications. Magnetic nanoparticles with iron based cores and gold shells were produced using a chemical reduction method in conjunction with reverse micelles, as templates for particle size control.

Alice Yuen (Master by Research, Monash University, 2009)