Mark Tyrer - Consulting Geochemist

I work with three departments at UCL and details of the groups and current projects are listed below:

Department of Chemical Engineering                                   Department of Chemistry                                          Department of Civil Engineering

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Department of Chemical Engineering

Room UB4
Department of Chemical Engineering

University College London
Torrington Place
London WC1E 7JE
United Kingdom

E-Mail: m.tyrer@ucl.ac.uk

Mobile: +44 (0) 7976 758 707

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7683                  (Room UB4:   Internal ext: 33683)                            

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 3825                 (General Office)                                                                        Fax +44 (0) 20 7383 2348                 (Please call or SMS to: 07976 758707 after sending a fax)

Molten Salts Research Projects in the Department of Chemical Engineering

I joined the Department in 2006 as a Principle Research Fellow, collaborating on molten salts technology. The CO2 centre at University College is lead by Professor Stefaan Simons and investigates break-through technologies concerned with reducing carbon dioxide emissions and with carbon sequestration. Along with Professor Alan Maries, Dr. Dmitry StrusevichProfessor Doug Inman and Alan Gibbon, I am involved in novel processing and synthesis of materials using molten salt technologies. Details of our major projects are below.

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The OPTIMISE project aims to develop a radical approach to manufacturing chemical products, using reactions in molten salts at low temperature as an alternative to conventional high-temperature processing, with significant sustainability gains. The manufacture of titanium dioxide pigment has been carefully selected as an economically and environmentally important example and a successful outcome will enable the technology to be transferred to other products (e.g. nano-scale catalysts).

Raw materials are dissolved in a molten salt at temperatures around 600 °C and the product is then precipitated as a fine powder of controlled crystallite and particle size. This process will significantly reduce waste output, process energy consumption and costs. A wider range of raw materials could be accepted from the supply chain and end-users will benefit from enhanced product properties.

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This project is intended to investigate the synthesis of cement mineral powders using a molten salt process. It will apply experimental and numerical models of a large - scale manufacturing process, in order to evaluate the potential efficiency and practicality of cement production on an industrial scale. The work will focus on near - eutectic composition salt mixtures from which precipitation of cement clinker minerals will occur on cooling. Synthesis of individual cement minerals will be investigated, allowing production of cement powders by subsequent blending of the reaction products. (This is potentially a commercial advantage in that a single plant will be able to produce a range of cement types using a single process).

Thermodynamic modelling will be used to screen a wide range of salt compositions prior to experimental investigation in the laboratory. This allows relatively rapid investigation of a wider range of materials than may be possible by experiment alone and keeps a close control on the energy requirements of each system. Experimental studies of the specific salt systems will investigate the kinetics of crystal growth and the effects of reaction time and temperature on particle size distribution in the product. Subsequently, the degree of crystallinity, purity and defect density will be compared with the chemical reactivity of the products, which in turn will be compared with similar phases made by traditional methods.

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Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry
University College London
Christopher Ingold Laboratories
20 Gordon Street
London WC1H 0AJ
United Kingdom

E-Mail: m.tyrer@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 1003                 (General Office)
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 7463                (Please call or SMS to: 07976 758 707 after sending a fax)

Mobile: +44 (0) 7976 758 707



                                                    Details temporarily unavailable


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Department of Civil Engineering

Department of Civil Engineering
University College London
Chadwick Building
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

E-Mail: m.tyrer@ucl.ac.uk

Mobile: +44 (0) 7976 758 707

Stabilisation of Industrial Wastes

This is a recent collaboration with Dr. Julia Stegemann on Contaminant Immobilisation Mechanisms in Stabilised/Solidified Industrial Wastes. I am the co-supervisor for Seun Kolade, who is looking at interactions of electroplating wastes with cements for his Ph.D and is currently developing a thermodynamic model for their evolution. The objective of the project is two-fold; first, to better understand the mechanism of transition metal floc interactions with hydrating cement and secondly, to optimise their cementation for commercial use.

Electroplating wastes are complex phase mixtures resulting from the neutralisation of acid raffinates with calcium hydroxide or calcium carbonate. In either case, the dominant anion in the system is carbonate, resulting in a complex mixture of solids phases; oxides, hydroxides and hydrated oxides, carbonates, hydroxy-carbonates and hydrated carbonates, depending on the metallic cation. To further complicate things, some of these phases are not thermodynamically stable, rather they may slowly recrystallise as time progresses.

I have looked at similar materials in the past and the images below show the effect of encapsulating immature metal flocs in slag cements!



Macro photograph of cracks forming on the        SEM micrograph of the cause of the cracking:    surface of a slag cement paste cylinder due      expansion of the floc particle (bright, centre) as  to differential expansion of the paste and floc.    it absorbs water from the pore solution.
65 x 55 mm. Reflected tungsten light.                   70 x 60 microns. Backscattered electron image

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