Room 9 West 3.02
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386528
Dr Tim Mays
Welcome to the web pages for Tim Mays, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Bath, UK. These include details of his teaching and management responsibilities, and a lot more on work in the Mays Research Group. Please contact Dr Mays for any further information, including opportunities to join his group as a PhD student or post doctoral / visiting researcher.
Tim Mays is currently Senior Lecturer in Chemical and Materials Engineering with broad interests in energy and materials research. He is currently Principal Investigator and Operations Director of the EPSRC SUPERGEN United Kingdom Sustainable Hydrogen Energy Consortium (UK-SHEC), a Knowledge Transfer Fellow exploring options for a UK Hydrogen Energy Programme and the director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment(I-SEE). Other responsibilities include membership of the Department of Chemical Engineering Research Committee, the Faculty of Engineering and Design Research Committee and of the University Senate. He was Director of Undergraduate Studies in Chemical Engineering for six years until 2008 and Director of Postgraduate Studies in Chemical Engineering for three years from 2008. At Bath Dr Mays is also the Deputy Director of the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, which includes the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Sustainable Chemical Technologies. He was formally Lecturer and Admissions Tutor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Bath after having gained his PhD in that department in 1988 for research on nuclear graphites.
Tim's current teaching includes:
CE10078: Physical Chemistry (Semester 1, Year 1 Chemical Engineering, BEng/MEng)
CE20090: Engineering Thermodynamics (Semester 1, Year 2 Chemical Engineering, BEng/MEng)
CE30145: Environmental Management (Semester 1, Year 3 Chemical Engineering, BEng/MEng)
CE40131: Advanced Materials and Porous Solids (Semester 1, Year 4 Chemical Engineering, MEng)
CE30122: Intermediate Design Project (Semester 2, Year 3 Chemical Engineering, MEng)
CH50182: Materials Chemistry for Sustainable Energy (Semester 2, Doctoral Training Centre in Sustainable Chemical Technologies, MRes).
He also manages the Semester 1, Year 3 Chemical Engineering, BEng/MEng unit CE30118: Technical Review, which is tutored by all staff in Chemical Engineering, and supervises students on the Semester 2, Year 3 Chemical Engineering, MEng unit CE30122: Research Project (Home). See members section for current MEng research students (2011).
Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Tutees
BEng / MEng
Year 1: Sophie Bendall, Olly Edwards, Abdi Ibrahim, Callum Lytton, Aly Punjwani, Andrew Wong
Year 2: Shouvik Basu, Chris Daniel, Calum Grey, Matt Smith, Justine Walker
Year 3: Sion Jones, Ki-hoon Kim, Jason Lam, Sophie Poole, Saarthak Saini
Industrial Placement: Dmytro Stratiychuk Dear (Dupont Teeside), Jonny Elvidge (Bulmers, Hereford), Alice Parish-Matheson (DSM, The Netherlands), Michael Wooster (Murco, Milford Haven)
Year 4: Alex Dayantis, Claire Fitter, Marcus Johns, April O'Meara
Current research within the Mays Group includes:
- Adsorptive processes
- Hydrogen storage in porous materials
- Hydrogen isotope exchange
- Modelling of adsorptive processes
- Hydrogen storage for aerospace applications
Adsorption is of crucial importance for many areas of chemistry and chemical engineering, including storage and separation of gases and catalysis. Theoretical and experimental studies on adsorption are a topic of interest for the group, involving mainly separations and storage for gases. Experimental apparatus for low and high-pressure sorption studies are available, including volumetric and gravimetric methods. Work in the group focuses on zeolites, carbons and novel materials, mostly Metal-Organic Frameworks.
Conventional storage of hydrogen, involving either liquefaction (T < 33 K) or storage as a compressed bulk gas (P > 35 MPa), incurs large energy penalties for achieving and maintaining storage conditions. As an alternative storage method, it has been demonstrated that physical adsorption (or "physisorption") of molecular hydrogen into the narrow pores of materials such as zeolites, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) or carbons can result in densities of H2 even higher than solid hydrogen, at much milder conditions of temperature and pressure. Our research into standardisation of data collection methods for adsorptive storage of hydrogen in nanoporous (i.e. pore diameter <2 nm) materials, and development of techniques for modelling the adsorption of hydrogen above its critical temperature will facilitate convenient and meaningful comparison of the storage capacities and behaviours of any nanoporous adsorbent.
The phenomenon of exchange, which occurs when one isotope of hydrogen (e.g., Deuterium) is passed through a storage bed containing a different isotope (e.g., Protium) and replaces the stored gas, has not previously been characterised in detail. This process is of interest to areas such as gas separation and purification and is the area of study for this project. The heterophase exchange reaction can be applied to isotope separation for the enrichment of the heavier hydrogen isotopes. Such exchange reactions are commonly performed over transition metals which readily chemisorb hydrogen. This project will mainly focus on the kinetics and mechanisms of exchange over palladium (Pd). Palladium hydride is the most common material employed for the separation of hydrogen isotopes because of it unique ability to absorb up to 900 times its own volume of hydrogen (H2 or D2).
Understanding some of the mechanisms of adsorption through modelling and simulation are a ongoing research topic within the group. The estimation of properties such as the maximum capacity of adsorbents and the energetics of adsorption are analysed and modelled, using experimental data obtained in-house. Methodologies for conversion of excess variables into absolute, as well as the thermodynamics of adsorption and the thermal and pressure sensitivity of adsorptive processes are among the topics of interest in the group.
Hydrogen has been successfully utilised to power aerospace applications for over forty years. However, future advanced applications of hydrogen in both aircraft and space vehicles will require increasingly large quantities of this fuel to be stored in smaller, lighter containers. Research is being conducted on novel, nanoporous materials, such as metal-organic frameworks, which have shown great potential to be used as storage media via physisorption of molecular hydrogen. The requirements for hydrogen storage in aerospace applications are even more stringent than for motor vehicles, since, as well as volumetric and gravimetric capacities, the prospective materials have to endure extreme temperatures, high radiation and g-forces. The research for aerospace applications in the Mays group is done in collaboration with EADS, Munich (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company).