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Sankar Bhattacharya

Sankar Bhattacharya

Professor and Acting Head
+61 3 990 59623
Room 219, 69, Clayton Campus

Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, 2010
Diploma in Management, Melbourne Business School, 2002
Ph.D, University of Newcastle, Australia,1995 – Chemical Engineering
M. Eng, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, 1988 – Energy Technology

Professional Appointments

  • Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, 2014
  • Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, 2009-2013
  • Senior Energy Analyst (Cleaner Coal Technologies) and Leader-G8 Cleaner Fossil Fuels program, International Energy Agency (IEA), Paris, 2006 – 2009
  • Principal Process Engineer, Anglo Coal Australia, 2006
  • Principal Research Engineer and Key Researcher, CRC Clean Power from Lignite, Australia, 1995-2006
  • Research Associate, Division of Energy Technology, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, 1988-1990
  • Senior Design Engineer- Coal-fired power station design and commissioning services, Development Consultants, India, 1981-1987

Teaching commitments

CHE3164 - Reaction engineering
CHE4170 - Design project
CHE4180 - Chemical engineering project
ENE3048 - Energy and the environment
CHE5299 – Biorefinery Processes – MS level
CHE5188 - Advanced Reaction Engineering – MS level

Professional Affiliations

Fellow - Australian Institute of Energy
American Chemical Society

Major Accomplishments

  • Leader - commissioning, operation and testing of Victorian and South Australian lignites in first CFBC pilot plant in Australia
  • Leader - first oxygen-blown gasification of Victorian, South Australian and North Dakota lignites in pressurised HTW gasification pilot plant in Australia
  • Joint Leader – first air and oxygen-blown gasification of Victorian and South Australian lignites in transport reactor gasification pilot plant in Grand Forks, USA
  • Develop IEA’s policy recommendations for global coal-fired plant efficiency improvements for the G8 Heads of State delivered by the IEA in Hokkaido in July 2008
    Some related presentations available here
  • Lead OECD-Heiligendamm Dialogue Unit’s work on coal-fired power generation for G8+5 countries, leading to final reporting in Moscow in March 2009
  • Present IEA’s work in Cleaner Fossil Fuels in several IEA member and non-member countries
  • Contribute to fossil fuel-fired power sections in several IEA’s publications including the World Energy Outlook, Energy Technology Perspectives, Carbon Capture and Storage, and IEA’s country reviews – Indonesia, Netherlands, USA
  • Assist in developing technical criteria for World Bank’s financing for modernization of older coal-fired plants

Major Professional Involvement

  • Expert Reviewer - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), from 2012
  • Reviewer - World Energy Outlook, International Energy Agency
  • Reviewer, Australian Research Council- Discovery, Linkage and Future Fellowship schemes,
  • Assessor
    • Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission
    • National Research Foundation – South Africa
    • Ministério da Educação e Ciência, Portugal
    • Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, Government of New Zealand
    • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • Member - Clean Coal Technology ASEAN and East Asian region working Group, METI, Japan, 2010
  • Member -  UN Economic Commission for Europe-Cleaner electricity production
  • Member - Advisory Committee, Clean Coal Victoria, 2011
  • Member - Research and Investment Advisory Committee, Centre for Low Emissions Technology, Queensland; 2004-2006
  • Member - Management Committee, Australian Institute of Energy Victorian branch, 2005-2006; fronted Victorian Government’s Senate Committee into their inquiry on Energy Services Industry
  • Advisory Committee member and/or invited Session Chair in national and international conferences – Freiberg Conference on IGCC and XTL- 2005 -2017, Western Fuels Symposium-2004, USA, AIE Conference-2006, International Coal Science &Technology Conference-2009, International Low-rank Coal Symposium – 2010, 2012, Clearwater Conference 2012-2017
  • Presenter - Course on Lignite utilization and Advanced Power Generation Processes to industry employees and postgraduates, 2001, 2003, Melbourne.
  • Industry supervisor of PhD students in Australia, Japan and Thailand
  • Examiner of PhD theses and university academic promotion applications in Australia – UNSW, UNewcaste, UAdeilade, UEdith Cowan, Joint Graduate School of Energy –Thailand, IITs in India, Tianjin University
  • Guest editor - Fuel Processing Technology and Fuel special issues
  • Reviewers of international journals and book publishers - Fuel, Energy & Fuels, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Fuel Processing Technology, Int J of Hydrogen Energy, J Physical Chemistry Letters, Biomass and Bioenergy, Bioresource Technology, Zeitschrift fr Physikalische Chemie, Chemical Engineering Technology, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Chemical Engineering Science, ASME journals, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, The Electrochemical Society Journals, ASTM International

Recent Research Projects

  • Gasification of brown coal and biomass - catalytic and mineral matter effects, and assessment of slagging, slag rheology
  • Pyrolysis and gasification and pyrolysis of wastes for fuels and energy production
  • Catalytic conversion of liquids from waste plastics, MSW, and Tyres to chemicals and fuels
  • DME and DMC production from lignites and biomass
  • Fine chemicals from biomass and algae through catalytic conversion
  • Catalytic conversion of algae for chemicals and fuels production
  • Oxyfuel combustion of Victorian Brown coal and overseas lignites, and mineral matter effects
  • Economics of Oxyfuel retrofitting of lignite
  • Chemical looping combustion and gasification of lignites and biomass, catalytic and mineral matter effects
  • Biomass and lignite application in Direct carbon fuel cell
  • Use of lignitic ash for building products and CO2 storage
  • Steam and flue gas drying of coal and related drying kinetics
  • LCA study mineral processing – Copper and Nickel minerals
  • Energy Economics

Postgraduate supervision

PhD completed - 12; MS completed - 1
Current supervision - 16 students

Patent, Book Chapters and Presentations


Advanced power generation process for use with high moisture lignites, with Malcolm McIntosh, - Australian patent no 740099 (86175/98), US patent no. 6148599 (09/114432)

Book Chapters

  • Three chapters: Carbonization of Sawdust Briquettes, Batch Carbonization of Selected Agro-forestry Residues, Characterization of Selected Agro-forestry Residues, in BioCoal :  Technology and Economics, S. C. Bhattacharya and R. M. Shrestha (eds.), Regional Energy Resources Information Centre, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, 1990. ISBN 974-8201-414
  • An Overview of Advanced Power Generation Technologies Using Brown Coal, in Advances in the Science of Victorian Brown Coal (edited by C Z Li), Elsevier, October 2004, ISBN 0-08-044269-2
  • Fermentable Sugars from Ligno-cellulosic Biomass: Technical Challenges, in (Biofuel Technologies - Recent Technologies (edited Vijay Gupta and Maria Tuohy), Springer, February 2013, ISBN 978-3-642-34518-0

Books Edited and authored

Fossil Fuel Fired Power Generation – Case Studies of Recently Constructed Plants, International Energy Agency, ISBN 978-9264-03908-7, 2008

Power Generation from Coal: Ongoing Developments and Outlook, International Energy Agency, 2011

Career Journal Publications 100


Research Reports 13

Research Interests:

  • Entrained flow gasification - brown coal/biomass/algae/MSW and ash viscosity
  • Liquid fuels and chemicals from brown coal
  • Coal drying
  • Direct carbon fuel cell - brown coal and biomass application
  • Dust explosion
  • Energy Economics
  • Green Chemical Engineering
  • Oxy-fuel and air combustion - pf and CFB
  • Simulation of advanced power generation processes
  • Chemical looping gasification and combustion