Carbon capture and storage
Brown-coal-fired power stations generate a lot of harmful gases like carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide. Because of the increasingly recognised impact on climate and other environmental factors, industry is looking into cost-effective ways to capture these gases and remove them from the environment.
Working in Victoria’s Gippsland region, home to coal-based power generation, Bharti is conducting her research with industry sponsorship from the CSIRO which wants to reduce the cost of carbon capture and to commercialise the new technology in Victoria with the ultimate aim of reducing global warming.
“I am investigating amine regeneration technologies on samples from CSIRO’s pilot plant at AGL Loy Yang’s brown coal-fired power station in south-eastern Victoria. The amine-based liquid absorbents under investigation will remove these harmful gases out from brown coal-fired power stations. Regenerating these absorbents will help reduce the costs of the CSIRO’s novel technology”.
Bharti’s research promises outcomes that will be highly important for CSIRO and the state of Victoria. But it also will also have wider social benefits: “it will not only decrease harmful gas emissions and climate warming but will also create jobs in the Gippsland region.”
Bharti is a chemical engineer with 12 years of prior experience in industry in oil and gas and the sugar industry. FedUni is the ideal place for her research because “FedUni’s Churchill campus is right near CSIRO’ s pilot plant and has a well-equipped carbon capture and storage laboratory for my research project.”
Bharti has always been curious and science was one of her favourite subjects in high school and this led her to study chemical engineering. “My PhD was a good opportunity to develop practical applications for my chemical engineering knowledge in carbon capture and storage with the potential to help reduce climate change.”
Bharti feels that science and engineering can be a financially rewarding career with a real sense of achievement. She advises other girls and women considering a career in science that “If you love science and have a passion for it, you should pursue a career in research as science has led us towards positive economic, social and individual benefits“