I investigate fundamental electrostatic charging mechanisms. In particular, the mechanisms behind triboelectic charging and how they depend on environmental conditions, contact mode and material.
Lunar In Situ Resource Utilisation
Triboelectric charging can be harnessed to impart differing charges on different minerals which allows to separate these minerals in an electrostatic field. This can be used to separate ilmenite (from which oxygen can be extracted) from Lunar regolith.
Due to the absence of an atmosphere or magnetic field, the Lunar surface is exposed to solar and cosmic rays which impart charge on the fine surface regolith. As such, the highly charged dust tends to stick to surfaces. Any processes that move the Lunar regolith such as excavation or beneficiation will further increase charging of the regolith due to the triboelectric effect. Using knowledge of electrostatic charging mechanisms, I will be investigating methods to mitigate dust adhesion to surfaces and the buildup of electrostatic charge in granular processes. This will have spin-out applications in the powder pharmaceutical industry and in the operation of fluidised bed and pneumatic conveyor processes.
- 2019 - present: PhD - Lunar In Situ Resource Utilisation, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London
- 2018 - 2019: Research assistant, Energy Policy Research Group, Judge Business School, Cambridge University
- 2017 - 2018: MPhil - Nuclear Energy, Cambridge University
- 2013 - 2017: BA - Theoretical Physics, Trinity College Dublin