Dr. Naoko Ellis

Ph.D, P. Eng

Naoko Ellis joined the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of British Columbia (UBC) as a Faculty in 2003. She holds a Ph.D. (UBC, 2003); M.E.Sc. (Western, 1993); and a B.Sc. (Honours, Waterloo, 1991), and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC. As a full professor, she currently serves as the Associate Head of Graduate Programs, and is a board member of the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering. She is also the senior research director for the Carbon, Capture and Conversion Institute, a partnership between UBC, BC Research Inc. and CMC Research Institutes.

 

Her expertise lies in the area of multiphase reaction engineering with emphasis on fluidized beds. Some current projects include: biomass gasification and pyrolysis; CO2 capture, including chemical looping combustion; pyrolysis product utilization; and biofuels. She has worked on adding value to biomass residues through production of syngas, bio-oil upgrading and biochar development.

 

Bio-oil and biochar are produced through biomass pyrolysis of wood waste. Over the past 10 years, Ellis has worked on upgrading bio-oil through mixing with biodiesel. The resulting fuel has been tested in a single cylinder engine, highlighting the advantages and challenges of this type of biofuel. Biochar has been developed as: catalysts for esterification and transesterificaiton reactions; new material for electrodes for electric double layer application, i.e., capacitive deionization; and engineered fertilizers. Gasification of biomass allows production of syngas from which various chemicals and fuel are produced. However, biomass tar must be removed prior to downstream processing. Various catalysts are under investigation to clean the syngas to make the overall biomass gasification an attractive operation for biomass utilization. Some current projects include: biomass gasification and pyrolysis; CO2 capture, including chemical looping combustion; pyrolysis product utilization including bio-oil and biochar applications; and biofuels.

 

Dr. Ellis holds 2 US and EU patents in the areas of nano-particle coating techniques, and has authored more than 90 articles for peer-reviewed journals and conferences.