Zainab Ibrahim S G Adiya

Zainab Ibrahim S G Adiya

Why did you choose to study for a PhD at the University of Leeds?

I decided to study at the University of Leeds because of the good atmosphere that Leeds offers and the university's great commitment to the advancement of the careers of women in engineering, science and technology in higher education and research. Leeds WiSET network (Women in Science Engineering and Technology) is a typical example to this. Moreover, during my MSc I realised the University always puts their students first. With numerous students being involved as representatives (course reps, schools reps, departmental reps etc.) it stresses the significance of the students voice and satisfaction to the University. Furthermore, the University of Leeds provides endless opportunities to meet new people and share and discover new ideas, in addition to providing us with subject and career advice among many other things, Leeds has fitted all I ever wanted and needed to study.

Tell us about your research

My research is about finding out the effect of In-situ CO2 Sorption and chemical looping on steam reforming of unconventional gaseous feedstocks. It begins with literature review, followed by thermodynamic stimulation, then experimental studies, and finally a simple process modeling using Aspen (HYSYS). Coupling the two processes (In-situ CO2 Sorption and Chemical Looping) allows the combined regeneration of both types of materials. In addition, a well-chosen oxygen transfer material can also perform the double function of catalyst for the hydrogen production reactions. Significant energy savings will be gain caused by performing the heat transfer between reactions at near microscopic level, which avoids the typical large temperature gradients of external heating of burner/furnace configurations found in steam methane/naphtha reforming plants and partial oxidation plants, the main processes for industrial hydrogen production. From thermodynamic point of view, avoiding temperature gradients eliminates sources of irreversibilities and increases thermal efficiencies as a result. In addition, the chemical looping processes cut down the number of separation/purification steps associated with conventional hydrogen production, therefore making the hydrogen production more economical and also safer, by eliminating potential sources of leakages between units. The economics are also improved by the use of cheaper reactor materials afforded by the mild temperatures of the process units.

What is your favourite part of studying at Leeds?

Waking up to new challenges everyday. Though, I was aware of the upcoming challenges, however I feel inspired to commit myself totally to study and to achieve something for myself, and also for the benefit of others.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Professionally, I would like to work with the oil and gas sector, coupled with part time lecturing. I want to offer positive impacts on the sector and contribute positively in any way I can to the world. Once I build up a better knowledge of the industry I anticipate starting my own personal business (in oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical sectors including agriculture (fertiliser production)). Generally speaking, it is my ambition to touch as many lives as I can positively, generating vast employment opportunity to people is my biggest dream.

Your advice to prospective students

Chemical Engineering is a crucial profession and challenging course. Chemical engineers are employed around the globe in a world class, largely graduate profession. As a career, chemical engineering provides new and exciting opportunities for individual.