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Dr Chris Lupa B.Sc.

Former Research Student

Chris Lupa

Office Hours:

0830 to 1630


My name is Chris, I'm 25, and I am currently in the fourth year of my PhD at Lancaster University. My primary focus is the conversion of waste to energy using a high temperature ionised gas, known as plasma. The temperatures generated from plasma can exceed 5000°C, causing complete separation of the organic and inorganic fraction of a feedstock (waste, biomass etc.). The resultant gas, known as 'syngas' (predominantly CO and H2), can subsequently be combusted in a gas engine, or gas turbine, for the generation of renewable electricity and/or heat. My research also encompasses a wide range of other renewable energy generation technologies and processes including gasification, pyrolysis, and combustion. 

My project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in conjunction with Stopford Energy and Environment (SEE) under the CASE studentship scheme. I work under supervision of Dr. Andy Sweetman, Dr. Ben Herbert, and Prof. Kevin Jones. Prior to commencing my Ph.D., I undertook a B.Sc. in Environmental Science at Lancaster University where I achieved a 1st class honours degree in 2009, and the departmental award for 'Best Overall Performance' in 2008.

Thesis Title

Plasma-arc gasification technology in the UK, with opportunities for second-generation biofuel production.

Current Research

Investigating the development, performance, and industrial application of microwave-induced plasma for the thermal treatment of waste. Conventionally, plasma is generated by passing a gas between two electrodes of high potential difference. This difference causes an electrical arc that subsequently ionises the passing gas. Although effective, the current draw on such a system is extreamly high, reducing the net output. Microwave-induced plasma, however, is generated by the focussing of microwaves to produce and electrical maxima within a waveguide that is capable of ionising a passing gas. This methoid of plasma generation is hypothesised to be siginficantly more energy efficient than standard direct current (DC) plasma.

Research Interests

. Gasification

. Pyrolysis

. Combustion

. Plasma generation for high temperature materials processing

. Second Generation Biofuels

. Reactor Design and Optimisation

. Waste Treatment

. Waste Management

. Anaerobic Digestion


. Environmental Science B.Sc. (Hons) - 1st Class (2009)

  - Awarded 'Best Overall Performance in Envrionmental Science' (2008)

. Chemistry, Biology, Geography A-Levels (2006)

. 11 GCSEs including Maths, Science, English, and Music (2004)

Other Interests and Hobbies

When I'm not working, I love to play the saxophone and guitar. If British weather permits, I also enjoy flying model helicopters and planes, where I am sponsored by two major companies in the industry. I attend the university gym five days a week, and like to play basketball from time to time.

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