The Federation Of Chinese Scholars In Australia


ZHANG Dongke

Birth Year 1963
Position Winthrop Professor Director, Centre for Energy
Professional / Institution Affiliation and address
Centre for Energy (M473) The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
Telephone +61 8 6488 7600

II. CAREER SUMMARY (Education and employment history, List major past positions and current positions):
(a) Education and Qualifications

  1993, Ph.D, The University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
  1986, M.E degree, Nanjing Institute of Technology (now Southeast University), Nanjing, China
  1993, B.E degree, Nanjing Institute of Technology (now Southeast University), Nanjing, China

(b) Employment History
2008 – present Foundation Professor of Chemical Engineering, Director, Centre for Energy, The University of Western Australia
1999-2008 Professor of Chemical Engineering, Foundation Director, Centre for Fuels and Energy, Curtin University of Technology
2004-2005 Senior Project Adviser, BHP Billiton Iron Ore Pty Ltd, Western Australia.
1999-2001 Professor of Chemical Engineering, Head, School of Chemical Engineering, Curtin University of Technology
1998-1999 Associate Professor (1998), Senior Lecturer (1996 – 1997) and Lecturer (1993–1995), Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Adelaide
1998 Engineer, Plant Performance Improvement, Yallurn Power Station, Victoria

2012 Pandeng Scholar, Liaoning Province, China
2011 Top 100 Most Influential Engineers in Australia, Engineers Australia
2011 Qilu Friendship Award, Shandong Province, China
2010 The 1000 Talents Fellowship of China
2008 the CEO’s Merits Award for Environmental Services, BHPBilliton
2007 John Curtin Distinguished Professor, Curtin University of Technology
2007 John A Brodie Medal of Engineers Australia
2004 Elected Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
2001 Young Investigator Award of the Combustion Institute
2000 Shedden Uhde Medal, Engineers Australia and Institution of Chemical Enginee
1998 Postgraduate Supervisor of the Year, Adelaide University
1996 David Warren Fellowship, The Combustion Institute

2012– Academic Master, “111” Program, North China Elecric Power University
2012 Research Evaluation Committee Member, Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), Australian Research Council
2012- Editorial Board, Applied Energy, Elsevier
2012- Chair, Joint Chemical Engineering Committee Western Australia, Engineers Australia and Institute of Chemical Engineers
2012- Concurrent Research Professor, University of Science and Technology, Liaoning
2011- Editorial Board, International Journal of Alternative Energy, ACTA Press
2010- Scientific Adviser, ENN Group Ltd
2009- Scientific Adviser, Fuel Technology Pty Ltd
2008-2010 College of Experts, Australian Research Council
2007- Concurrent Research Professor, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2006-2008 Cabinet Member, Alcoa World Conservation and Sustainability
2005-2007 Council Member, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
2004-2008 Chief Scientist and Chief Technologist, Spitfire Oil Ltd
2003-2007 Non-Executive Director, Hydrogen Technology Ltd
2002- Scientific Adviser, Ansac Pty Ltd
2001-2005 Chief Scientific Adviser, Chemeq Ltd

Winthrop Professor Dongke Zhang has successfully supervised 40 PhD and 2 Masters graduates and is currently supervising 15 PhD students in Australia and China. He has more than 430 technical publications and confidential client reports. Some of his significant contributions to energy and minerals R&D and practices include international understanding of ignition mechanisms in pulverised fuel flames; gas phase kinetics and explosion; fluidised-bed combustion and gasification of solid fuels (coal and biomass); energy recovery from low-rank coal, biomass, municipal and industrial solid wastes; partial oxidation of natural gas for syn-gas and hydrogen production; direct gas to methanol conversion by homogeneous catalyst; innovative electrolysis design for hydrogen production; multi metal oxides based catalysts for conversion of oil refinery off-gas into value-added products; innovative multisite catalysts for liquid fuel production from syngas; a cost-effective and energy efficient process to convert low-rank coals, biomass and wastes into biochar and liquid products; homogeneous combustion catalysts for fuel efficiency improvements and emission reduction in internal combustion engines; utilisation of coal combustion by-products (conversion of coal ash to synthetic aggregates and zeolite); biochar-immobilised algae farming and slurry fuel preparation; two-phase anaerobic digestion for biogas and biohydrogen production from agricultural waste and animal droppings; binder-less coal char and charcoal production from coal and biomass; safe, environmentally-friendly and cost effective industrial explosives for mining applications, biochar for mine rehabilitation, and mining waste management and utilisation.

A contemporary scientist and a “can-do” engineer, Winthrop Professor Dongke Zhang has conceptualised, trialled, and succeeded in his theories and practice in developing a modern academia – industry relationship. He believes that the true value of academic research is best measured by its practical use. Knowledge belongs to the society and technology belongs to the industry. He works closely with the industry to rapidly disseminate his knowledge to the society and industry. He has repeatedly demonstrated his ability and the “dare to push the limits” attitude in successfully transforming his scientific imaginations into commercial realities through persistent strategic fundamental research, tactical applied research and technological innovations. He not only has a deep rout in the industry, his knowledge, vision and the technologies he has developed have created several new companies in Australia.

VI. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR MOST IMPORTANT PUBLICATIONS (publication number, impact and citations):
Selected Books Authored or Edited
1. Gunawan, R., and Zhang, D.K., Interactions between Ammonium Nitrate and Pyritic Shale: Implication in Mining Operations using ANFO, VDM Publishing, Saarbruecken, Germany (ISBN: 978-3-639-14460-4), 2009
2. Zhang, D.K., Ultra-supercritical coal power plants: Materials, technologies and optimisation, Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, CB21 6AH, UK, 2012
Selected Publications in Journals
1. Zhang, D.K., Laser-induced ignition of pulverised fuel particles, Combustion and Flame, 90: 134, 1992.
2. Zhang, D.K., Li, T., Cotterill, G.F., O'Connor, D.J., and Wall, T.F., STM examination of O2 etching on a graphite surface in air, Fuel, 72: 1454, 1993.
3. Zhang, D.K., and Wall, T.F., An analysis of the ignition of coal dust clouds, Combustion and Flame, 92: 475, 1993.
4. Zhang, D.K., Bifurcation behaviour of a heterogeneous-homogeneous reaction system with a constant power source, Combustion and Flame, 96: 171, 1994.
5. Headon, K., and Zhang, D.K., Performance of zeolite supported catalysts for selective catalytic reduction of nitric oxide and oxidation of methane, Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 36: 4595 - 4599, 1997.
6. Ye, D.P., Agnew, J.B., and Zhang, D.K., Gasification of A South Australian Low-rank Coal with Carbon Dioxide and Steam: Reactivity and Kinetic Studies, Fuel 77:11, 1209-1219, 1998.
7. Zhang, D.K., and Telfer, M.A., Sulphur transformation in a South Australian low-rank coal during pyrolysis, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol 27, pp. 1703 – 1710, 1998.
8. Sujanti, W., Zhang, D.K., and Chen, X.D., Low-temperature oxidation of coal studied using wire-mesh reactors with both steady-state and transient methods, Combustion and Flame, 117: 3, 646 - 651, 1999.
9. Heidenreich, C.A., and Zhang, D.K., Measuring the temperature response of large wet coal particles during heating, Fuel, 78:8, 991 – 994, 1999.
10. Zhang, D.K., and Sujanti, W., The effect of exchangable cations on low-temperature oxidation and self-heating of a Victorian brown coal, Fuel, 78:10, 1217 – 1224, 1999.
11. Ross, D.P., Heidenreich, C.A., and Zhang, D.K., Devolatilisation times of coal particles in a fluidised-ned, Fuel, 79:8, 873-883, 2000.
12. Zhang, D.K., and Poeze, A., Variation of sodium forms and char reactivity during gasification of a South Australian low-rank coal, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol 28, pp. 2337 - 2344, 2000.
13. Megalos, N.P., Smith, N.L., and Zhang, D.K., The potential of low NOx from a precessing jet burner of coal, Combustion and Flame, 124:1-2, 50 – 64, 2001.
14. Zhu, J., Zhang, D.K., and King, K.D., Reforming of CH4 by Partial Oxidation: Thermodynamic and Kinetic Analyses, Fuel, 80:7, 899-905, 2001.
15. Seyedeyn-Azad, F., and Zhang, D.K., Selective catalytic reduction of nitric oxide over Cu and Co ion-exchanged ZSM-5 zeolite: The effect of SiO2/Al2O3 ratio and cation loading, Catalysis Today, 68: 161 – 171, 2001.
16. Shen L., and Zhang, D.K., An experimental study of oil recovery from sewage sludge by low-temperature pyrolysis in a fluidised-bed, Fuel, 82:4, pp 465-472, 2003.
17. Konnov, A.A., Zhu, J., Bromly, J.H.H., and Zhang, D.K., Non-Catalytic Partial Oxidation of Methane into Syngas over a Wide Temperature Range, Combustion Science and Technology, 176:1093 – 1116, 2004.
18. Ross, D. P., Yan, H. M and Zhang, D.K., Modelling of a laboratory-scale bubbling fluidised-bed gasifier with feeds of both char and propane, Fuel, 83:1979 – 1990, 2004.
19. Shen L., and Zhang, D.K., Low-temperature pyrolysis of sewage sludge and putrescible garbage for fuel oil production, Fuel, Vol 84/7-8 pp 809 – 815, 2005
20. Wu, J., Fang, Y., Wang, Y., and Zhang, D.K., Combined coal gasification and methane reforming for production of syngas in a fluidised-bed reactor, Energy and Fuels, 19:512- 516, 2005.
21. Stamatov, V.A., King, K.D., and Zhang, D.K., Explosions of methane/air mixtures induced by radiation-heated large inert particles, Fuel, 84, pp 2086 – 2092, 2005.
22. Zhang, D.K., Energy options in sustainable development, Journal of Fuel Chemistry and Technology, 33:4, pp 399 – 406, 2005.
23. Zhang, D.K., Interactions between sodium, silica and sulphur in a low-rank coal during temperature programmed pyrolysis, Journal of Fuel Chemistry and Technology, 33:5, pp 513 – 519, 2005.
24. Gunawan, R., Freij, S., Zhang, D.K., Beach, F., and Littlefair, M., A mechanistic study into the reactions of ammonium nitrate with pyrite, Chemical Engineering Science, Vol. 61, p.5781-5790, 2006.
25. Stamatov, V.A., King, K.D., and Zhang, D.K., Ignition of Combustible Atmospheres caused by uniform and Non-Uniform Radiation Heating of an Inert Particle, Combustion Science and Technology, 178 (8) : 1325-1344, 2006.
26. Zhang, Y., Wu, J., Haghighi, M, and Zhang, D.K., An Experimental Study into the Cracking of Simulated Oil Refinery Off-Gas over a Coal Char, a Petroleum Coke and Quartz, Energy and Fuels, 22 (2), 1142-1147, 2008.
27. Sun, Z.Q., Wu, J., and Zhang, D.K., CO2 and H2O Gasification Kinetics of a Coal Char in the Presence of Methane, Energy and Fuels, 22 (4), 2160 – 2165, 2008.
28. Yani, S., and Zhang, D.K., Transformation of Organic and Inorganic Sulphur in a Lignite during Pyrolysis: Influence of Inherent and Added Inorganic Matter, the Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol 32 (2), 2083–2089, 2008.
29. Gunawan, R. and Zhang, D.K., Thermal stability and kinetics of decomposition of ammonium nitrate in the presence of pyrite, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 165, 751–758, 2009.
30. Song, M. and Zhang, D.K., An Experimental Investigation into the Oxidation of Four Pyritic Shales from Western Australia, Minerals Engineering, 22, 550–559, 2009.
31. Yani, S. and Zhang, D.K., An Experimental Study of Sulphate Transformation during Pyrolysis of an Australian Lignite, Fuel Processing Technology, 91, 313–321, 2010.
32. Yani, S. and Zhang, D.K., An Experimental Study into Pyrite Transformation during Pyrolysis of Australian Lignite Samples, Fuel, 89, 1700–1708, 2010.
33. Zeng, K. and Zhang, D.K., Recent Progress in Alkaline Water Electrolysis for Hydrogen Production and Applications, Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 36:307–326, 2010.
34. Zhang, D.K., and Yani, S., Sulphur Transformation during Pyrolysis of an Australian Lignite, Proceedings of The Combustion Institute 33, pp. 1747-1753, 2011.
35. Chen, R., Wilson, M., Leong, Y.K., Bryant, P., Yang, H., and Zhang, D.K., Preparation and Rheology of Biochar, Lignite Char and Coal Slurry Fuels, Fuel, 90, pp. 1689–1695, 2011.
36. Cao, Q., Guo, X., Yao, S. Guan, J., Wang, X., Mu, X., and Zhang, D.K., Conversion of hexose into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural in imidazolium ionic liquids with and without a catalyst, Carbohydrate Research, 346, pp. 956–959, 2011
37. Wei, L., Tan, Y., Han, Y., Zhao, J., Jinhu Wu, and Zhang, D.K., Hydrogen Production by Methane Cracking over Different Coal Chars, Fuel, 90, 3473–3479, 2011
38. Cao, Q., Guo, X., Guan, J., Mu, X., and Zhang, D.K., A process for efficient conversion of fructose into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural in ammonium salts, Applied Catalysis A: General, 403, 98– 103, 2011
39. Li, X., Lu, G., Qu, Z., Zhang, D., and Liu, S., The role of titania pillar in copper-ion exchanged titania pillared clays for the selective catalytic reduction of NO by propylene, Applied Catalysis A: General, 398, 82–87, 2011
40. Wang, M., Liu, Y., Xue, D., Zhang, D.K., and Yang, H., Preparation of nanoporous tin oxide by electrochemical anodization in alkaline electrolytes, Electrochimica Acta, 56, 8797 – 8801, 2011
41. Zhu, M., Ma, Y. and Zhang, D., An experimental study of the effect of a homogeneous combustion catalyst on fuel consumption and smoke emission in a diesel engine, Energy, 36, 6004 – 6009, 2011
42. Zhu, M., Zhang, H., Zhang, Z., and Zhang, D., A Numerical Modeling Study of Ignition of Single Coal Particles under Microgravity Conditions, Combustion Science and Technology, 183:11, 1221-1235, 2011
43. Xiong, W., Zhao, Q., Li, X., and Zhang, D., One-step synthesis of a flower-like Ag/AgCl/BiOCl composite with enhanced visible-light photocatalytic activity, Catalysis Communications, 16, 229–233, 2011
44. Zhu, M., Ma, Y. and Zhang, D., Effect of a homogeneous combustion catalyst on the combustion characteristics and fuel efficiency in a diesel engine, Applied Energy, 91: 166–172, 2012
45. Zhang, M., Yang, H., Liu, Y., Sun, X, Zhang, D.K., Xue, X., Hydrophobic precipitation of carbonaceous spheres from fructose by a hydrothermal process, Carbon, 50, 2155 – 2161, 2012
46. Shen, Y., Qidong Zhao, Q., Li, X., and Zhang, D., Monodisperse Ca0.15Fe2.85O4 microspheres: Facile preparation, characterization and optical properties, Journal of Materials Science, 47:3320–3326, 2012
47. Liu, J., Li, X., Zhao, Q., and Zhang, D., CuO Supportd Ce-Ti Mixed Oxides for Low-Temperature SCR of NO with Propene, Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 518-523:2456-2459, 2012
48. Teng, W., Li, X., Zhao, Q., and Zhang, D.K., In situ capture of active species and oxidation mechanism of RhB and MB dyes over sunlight-driven Ag/Ag3PO4 plasmonic nanocatalyst, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 125: 538-545, 2012
49. Ma, Y., Zhu, M. and Zhang, D., The Effect of a Homogeneous Combustion Catalyst on Exhaust Emissions from a Single Cylinder Diesel Engine, Applied Energy, 102: 556–562, 2013
50. Shivaram, P., Leong, Y.K., Yang, H., and Zhang, D.K., Flow and Yield Stress Behaviour of Ultrafine Mallee Biochar Suspensions: the Effect of Particle Size Distribution and Additives, Fuel, 104: 326–332, 2013
51. Jing, N., Wang, Q., Cheng, L., Luo, Z., Cen, K. and Zhang, D., Effect of Temperature and Pressure on the Mineralogical and Fusion Characteristics of Jincheng Coal Ash in Simulated Combustion and Gasification Environments, Fuel, 104: 647–655, 2013
52. Zhang, D.K. and Zeng, K., Evaluating the Behaviour of Electrolytic Gas Bubbles and Their Effect on the Cell Voltage in Alkaline Water Electrolysis, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 51: 13825−13832, 2012

Winthrop Professor Dongke Zhang’s research interests spread over combustion science and fuel technology; ignition and flames; coal and biomass pyrolysis, combustion and gasification; low-rank coal upgrading and utilisation, slurry fuels, coke making and pyrometallurgy; natural gas combustion and reforming; gas to liquid, coal to liquid and biomass to liquid, including methanolbased gas to liquid processes; petroleum processing and refining; conversion and utilisation of biomass and organic wastes; bioenergy including biogas and bio-hydrogen production, innovative two-phase anaerobic digestion of organic wastes; algal biomass fuels and slurry fuels, homogeneous combustion catalysts for internal combustion engines; chemical reaction engineering and kinetics; applied catalysis and surface science; chemical manufacturing and process engineering; electrolysis; minerals processing, industrial explosives for mining and mine rehabilitation; spontaneous combustion; power generation and energy efficiency; CO2 capture technologies and abatement strategies, including integrated biofuel production and carbon biosequentration; and energy options and sustainable energy development. Zhang has successfully raised and managed funding for research, valued more than A$48 millions over his 20 years academic career, from the Commonwealth and States Governments, and Australian and overseas industries.

VIII. VISIONS (related to China and Australia from the area of expertise):
Stronger Collaborations in Science, Technology and Research Training in Energy and Resources Hold a Key to Long Term Economic Prosperity of Australia and China
In November 2010, I was invited by the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) to present a plenary lecture at China Energy Forum held in Beijing. In the lecture, I explained my new concept of the four imperatives of energy and articulated their implications in China’s sustainable energy development. The four imperatives are Power Density, Energy Density, Cost, and Scale. I explained that what people really want is NOT energy but Power! It is the power that enables us to do things. In the four imperatives of energy concept, the Power Density is the amount of power generated per unit of area of land occupied by the whole process of using a given primary energy source, from extraction, through conversion, to final waste disposal, in the units of W (energy/time); the Energy Density is the amount of energy per unit of mass or volume of an energy source or carrier in the units of MJ/kg or MJ/m3; the Cost includes both Capex and/or Opex; and the Scale is simply large or small in capacity of a power generation or energy conversion installation.
Power density of common fuels
Energy Sources Power Density
Nuclear ~57 W m-2
Coal 21 - 49 W m-2
Crude Oil ~27 W m-2
Natural Gas ~53 W m-2
Solar PV ~6.7 W m-2
Wind Turbines ~1.2 W m-2
Hydroelectricity ~0.02W m-2
Geothermal ~0.01W m-2
Biomass-Fired Power Plant ~0.4 W m-2
Corn Ethanol ~0.05 W m-2
Algae (ex energy for processing) ~1 W m-2

Energy density of common materials
Materials MJ kg-1 MJ m-3
Natural uranium (99.3% U-238, 0.7% U-235) 86,000,000
Coal 32 42,000
Crude Oil 42 37,000
Natural Gas 54 38
Petrol 47 36,000
Diesel 45 37,000
Dry wood or sawmill scrap 12.5 10,000
Ethanol 28 22,000
Biodiesel 38 34,000

Cost of kW sent out
Energy Sources Cost (A¢/kWh)
Nuclear 6~8
Coal 2~4
Crude Oil ~
Natural Gas 5~7
Solar PV > ~40
Wind Turbines 5~10
Hydroelectricity 4~15
Geothermal > ~18
Biomass-Fired Power Plant > ~25

Scale - Efficiency – Cost – Environmental Impact
Energy Sources
Nuclear 50 MW to > 1 GW
Coal 250 – 1 GW
Natural Gas 50 MW to 500 MW
Solar PV ~ kW
Wind Turbines 0.1 – 10 MW
Hydroelectricity 10 – 1000 MW
Geothermal 100 -> 500 MW
Biomass-Fired Power Plant 10 – 100 MW
The tables above summarise the relevant data and by examining various energy options, it is not difficult to deduce the following three recommendations to the refining of China’s sustainable energy policy, that is, the CN2N Policy (Coal & Natural Gas to Nuclear), the RECT Policy (Resources & Energy Collaboration and Trade) and the DEAR Policy (Distributed Energy for Agriculture and Remote Regions).

The CN2N Policy makes sense considering that China’s economy has sustained a record rate of growth for over a decade with little sign of slowing down, a large population of 1.3 billion, and a high rate of urbanisation at 150k people per day. Large, highly efficient and clean power generation utilities, based on China’s vast coal and imported natural gas and nuclear resources for a clean energy future, is beyond argument the most important and foremost element in China sustainable energy policy.

China’s large population base and rapid economic growth demand the supply of raw materials, both mineral resources and energy, at a rate that could not be matched by domestic production, therefore, the RECT Policy recommendation. Importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) and high quality coal as well as uranium from Australia is good for both China and Australia’s economies. China should continue to encourage, and Australia should welcome, the investments in resources and energy in Australia by Chinese public and private sectors.

China still has a significant proportion of the population in the agricultural sector and in remote regions where energy supply and distribution are rather problematic and very expensive, like Australia’s remote communities (although for very different reasons). Renewable energy, such as wind, solar and bioenergy, is mostly “distributed” in nature and advanced, innovative renewable energy technologies can serve to narrow the gaps between China’s urban and rural communities and thus enhance the social well being and stability. Renewable energy technology development and deployment in China are an area where Australia can greatly assist.

For me as an energy researcher, collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China’s top universities, industry and government agencies presents an opportunity to affect global influence in the areas of clean energy and sustainable development while exploring visionary ideas that have not yet been picked up by industry and Governments in Australia.

It is my strong belief that if we are to have global influence and realise our scientific and educational ideology and have a greater global impact, then working with China is an important strategy.

Stronger collaborations in Science, Technology and Research Training in energy and resources certainly hold a key to the long term prosperity of both countries. I think the most benefit we could do is research and student training. China has a generation of very good engineers and we now need a generation of academics who understand the importance of collaboration with China and can supply the appropriate training to Chinese students, along with our energy and resources exports to China.