Joe Hook 2008 Award Winner, York University: with from left to right Paul McCann, E.ON Engineering (UK); Joe Hook; Andy Rudge, Chair BIAPWS; Richard Harries, BIAPWS Award Co-ordinator.

Outturn Report from Joe Hook at E.ON Engineering

Through the sponsorship of both E.ON Engineering and BIAPWS, I was given the opportunity to spend time at E.ON's Power Technology Centre at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station participating in a 10 week BIAPWS Award Project. Those 10 weeks proved to be an invaluable opportunity to develop and apply my "university-learnt" skills to the "real-life" world of work.

With a growing interest in the power industry driven by my increasing awareness of current and developing environmental issues, it was particularly opportune that I should find myself placed with the Sustainable Energy team working on technologies at the forefront of research and development. Equally, however, as my work was not based solely within this group I was able to discover at first hand the wide variety of disciplines, subjects and expertise required within the power industry. Most importantly, this project has increased my understanding of the importance of the work being carried out within this sector, both for the present and the foreseeable future.

As legislation governing the limits of power station emissions becomes more stringent, increasingly efficient and effective pollution control-and-capture technologies are required to ensure compliance. Pollution control is therefore a topic of great interest within the energy industry. During my placement at E.ON, I worked on a small number of projects based around Sulphur Dioxide removal and the Post Combustion Capture of Carbon Dioxide from the flue gas of coal fired power plant. My main task was to create a computerised numerical model to simulate a CO2 capture plant, using a Monoethanolamine (MEA) liquor, combined with an SO2 polisher employing aqueous reagent solutions. Designing this model required considerable research and detailed analysis of the available technologies and the underlying chemical and physical processes occurring at each point of each system. An essential step in the development of the project was the evaluation of the technical proposals and accompanying process flow designs of various manufacturers. This was necessary in order to enable both the construction of an accurate model and to assess critically the competing technologies. Throughout the project I was involved in regular team meetings to discuss my progress, any problems encountered and future work requirements. One outcome of my detailed research was that I was in a position to inform and update my supervisors regarding certain specific subject matters. As a result of this, and following the early completion of my Carbon Capture Model, I was requested to write a number of reports to be published on the E.ON Engineering library database. These reports ranged from summary documents detailing current legislation and environmental controls, to a technology progress report describing the current situation of CO2 capture techniques and comparing the advantages / disadvantages of two competing technologies.

I have always believed an informed and knowledgeable member of staff should be considered a valuable asset to any company. As such, much of my time was spent trying to ensure that I knew everything I needed with respect to my subject area. The guidance and advice received from colleagues was invaluable in helping me improve key skills such as verbal communication, writing styles, research techniques and the presentation of findings and conclusions. As a result, my learning curve over the 10 week period was phenomenal. This project has helped me appreciate the diversity of disciplines required within the power industry and has identified career paths that I would have otherwise been unaware of. Thank you to both E.ON and BIAPWS.