Hein Badenhorst is currently a lecturer and researcher in the School of CEAS at the University of Manchester, where his research is focused on thermo-chemical energy storage and the development of novel graphitic materials for nuclear and other energy applications.
He graduated top of his class in Chemical Engineering at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, with a subsequent Honours degree in Advanced Process Control. He was involved in the design and commissioning of control systems for a wide variety of petrochemical process plants located in the UK, USA, EU and Asia. He has substantial experience in the modelling and non-linear optimization of a diverse range of chemical unit operations. Following his industrial work he completed a Ph.D. by modelling the oxidation behaviour of nuclear graphite. During this time he also conducted research into oxidation inhibition of electrodes in electric arc furnaces at the graphite manufacturer GrafTech International. He then moved on to become a lecturer at the University of Pretoria, where his research group was focused on the application of carbon materials in solar energy storage and solar desalination.
The dynamic modelling of an energy storage process is illustrated below. The solid wax is heated evenly from the left hand side resulting in a phase transition. However, due to the effect of buoyancy the melt front does not propagate linearly into the material and instead the upper region of the store is preferentially utilized. To optimize the performance, a composite was developed using graphite nano-platelets and pressed graphite sheets.
In order to desalinate brackish or seawater sources in remote areas which lack infrastructure, a source of high temperature, thermal energy is needed. For this purpose the low cost, off-grid, solar concentrator shown below was developed. By combining concentrated solar energy with a carbon black suspension, vacuum flash evaporation can be used to produce clean, drinkable water in impoverished communities.
Lecturer, University of Pretoria1 Jul 2012
→ 31 Jan 2018
Senior Researcher, GrafTech International1 Jan 2011
→ 30 Jun 2012
Control Engineer, Applied Manufacturing Technologies1 Jan 2005
→ 31 Dec 2007
Process Engineer, Sasol Technology Limited1 Jan 2003
→ 31 Dec 2004