BERRUTI, Franco

Professor
Faculty of Engineering
Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
Research Group: Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR)
Director - Agricultural Biorefinery Innovation Network

Dott.Ing. (Politecnico of Torino): 1982
M.A.Sc. (University of Waterloo): 1983
Ph.D. (University of Waterloo): 1986


Research Summary:

My research interests lie in the general area of chemical reaction and reactor engineering for multi-phase systems. The main field of expertise is gas-solid fluidized bed reaction and reactor technologies.

The fast gas-solid reactor theories and technologies are being applied to a number of processes involving both catalytic and non-catalytic solid particles. Very significant contributions in this field include the development of hydrodynamic and chemical simulators of chemical processes of industrial interest, such as the coupling of predictive hydrodynamic models for fast gas-solid reactors to the kinetics of partial oxidation reactions, of Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC), and of thermal cracking processes (coking reactions, pyrolysis and ultrapyrolysis of various carbonaceus feedstocks: biomass, heavy oils and bitumens and plastic wastes). A major present undertaking, in collaboration with Dr. Cedric Briens and several industrial organizations, deals with studies relevant to the hydrodynamic characterization of coker reactors, kinetic studies of coking technologies for heavy oil upgrading, thermal cracking of biomass and other solid wastes for the production of bio-oil and bio-oil upgrading.

Together with Dr. Briens and other colleagues from across the University, we have created a Research Institute to consolidate and expand all these research programs and enhance our collaboration with industry and our technology transfer and commercialization activities: the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR).

ICFAR Logo

The Institute has its own off-campus facilities and infrastructure for conducting a very vigorous research program involving considerable pilot plant experimentation.

In close cooperation with Dr. Cedric Briens, my research activities in the area of gas-solid fluid bed technologies have significantly expanded to include the investigation on the injection of a variety of gaseous, liquid and solid feeds into fluidized beds. The fundamental characterization of the behavior of gas and two-phase (gas-liquid) sprays or jets is being studied both experimentally and theoretically. Typical applications of interest include the injection of raw materials into fluidized bed thermal or catalytic cracking processes for upgrading.

In the past, I have worked for many years on the development of predictive hydrodynamic models for gas-solid fast fluidized beds, including Circulating Fluidized Bed risers (upflow) and downers (downflow), turbulent fluidized beds, spouted beds and spout-fluid beds. My research group has been involved in significant experimental work dealing with the hydrodynamic features of fast fluidized bed reactors, and has developed and patented a novel reactor configuration, called Internally Circulating Fluidized Bed. Other contributions include the technical development of new solids feeders, capable of accurately adjusting and controlling the feeding rates of small solid particles.

In addition, my research interests and activities include studies of indoor and outdoor air quality in urban areas, the development of economically acceptable technologies for the recovery and disposal of greenhouse gases, circulating fluidized bed coal combustion processes with sulfur capture, thermal cracking of plastic wastes (tertiary recycling of plastics), biosorption of heavy metals, automotive air bag technologies and failures, and remediation of contaminated sites.

The main web site of our Institute can be found by clicking: http://www.eng.uwo.ca/ICFAR.

Among the various technology transfer and commercialization activities of our research group, we are very proud of our contribution to the creation of Agri-Therm, a Canadian company dedicated to developing, manufacturing and marketing portable and stationary equipment for producing bio-oils and products from biomass, specifically agricultural residues, wastes and transition crops: http://www.agri-therm.com/


Recent Publications and Manuscripts:

1. Rana Sebouni, Aidan Leach, Cedric Briens and Franco Berruti , "Enhancement of the Liquid feed Distribution in Gas-Solid Fluidized Beds by Nozzle Pulsations (Induced by Solenoid Valve)", AIChE Journal, Accepted: 2010-12-02
2. Rohan Bedmutha, Christina Booker, Lorenzo Ferrante, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti, Ken K.-C. Yeung, Ian Scott, Kenneth Conn , "Insecticidal and bactericidal characteristics of the bio-oil from the fast pyrolysis of coffee grounds", Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 90, [224-231], (2011).
3. Ran Xu, Kevin Hall, Lorenzo Ferrante, Cedric Briens and Franco Berruti , "Thermal Self-Sustainability of Biochar Production by Pyrolysis", Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 95, 1, [55-66], (2011).
4. Sarah Weber, Sébastien Josset, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti, and Murray Gray , "Predicting Agglomerate Fragmentation and Agglomerate Material Survival in Fluidized Beds", Powder Technology, 210, 2, [87-102], (2011).
5. Cruz, N, C. Briens, F. Berruti , "Effect of thrust on supersonic gas jet penetration in gas-solid fluidized beds", Powder Technology, 214, 1, [38-46], (2011).
6. Briens, L., G. Book, K. Albion, C. Briens, and F. Berruti , "Evaluation of the spray stability on liquid injection in gas-solid fluidized beds by passive vibrometric methods", Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 89, 5, [1217-1227], (2011).
7. Jennifer McMillan, Matthew Dawe, Cedric Briens, and Franco Berruti , "Measurement Technique for the On-Line Detection of Fines in a Fluidized Bed", Measurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation, 44, 8, [1436-1440], (2011).
8. Book, G., K. Albion, L. Briens, C. Briens, and F. Berruti , "On-line detection of bed fluidity in gas-solid fluidized beds with liquid injection by passive acoustic and vibrometric methods", Powder Technology , 205, 1-3, [126-136], (2011).
9. Ran Xu, Lorenzo Ferrante, Cedric Briens and Franco Berruti , "Bio-oil Production by Flash Pyrolysis of Sugarcane Residues and Post Treatments of the Aqueous Phase", Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 91, 1, [263-272], (2011).
10. Ester Cascarosa, Jason Becker, Lorenzo Ferrante, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti and Jesus Arauzo , "Pyrolysis of Meat and Bone Meal Blends in a Mechanically Fluidized Reactor", Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 91, 2, [359-367], (2011).
11. Sarah Weber, Murray Gray, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti and Edward Chan , "Stability of Agglomerates Made from Fluid Coke at Ambient Temperature", Powder Technology, 209, 1-3, [53-64], (2011).
12. Federico M. Berruti, Lorenzo Ferrante, Cedric L. Briens, Franco Berruti , "Pyrolysis of Cohesive Meat and Bone Meal in a Bubbling Fluidized Bed with an Intermittent Solid Slug Feeder", Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, Accepted: 2011-12-03
13. Ran Xu, Lorenzo Ferrante, Gareth Chaplin, Franco Berruti and Cedric Briens , "Development of a New Rotary Demister ", Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification, 49, [183-191], (2010).
14. Martin Huard, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti, Thierry Gauthier , "A Review of Rapid Gas-Solid Separation Techniques", International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, 8, R1 (2010).
15. Nestor Cruz, Cedric Briens and Franco Berruti , "Supersonic Attrition Nozzles in Gas-Solid Fluidized Beds", Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification, 49, 3, [225-234], (2010).
16. Federica Portoghese, Lorenzo Ferrante, Franco Berruti, Cedric Briens and Edward Chan , "Effect of the Injection Nozzle Geometry on the Interaction Between a Gas-Liquid Jet and a Gas-Solid Fluidized Bed", Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification, Accepted: 0000-00-00
17. Martin Huard, Franco Berruti, Cedric Briens , "Experimental Study of a Novel Fast Gas-Solid Separator for Pyrolysis Reactors", International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Accepted: 0000-00-00
18. Christina Booker, Rohan Bedmutha, Tiffany Vogel, Alex Gloor, Ran Xu, Lorenzo Ferrante, Ken Yeung, Ian Scott, Kenneth Conn, F. Berruti and C. Briens , "Experimental Investigations into the Insecticidal, Fungicidal, and Bactericidal Properties of Pyrolysis Bio-oil from Tobacco Leaves using a Fluidized Bed Pilot Plant", Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 49, [10074-10079], (2010).
19. Rana Sebouni, Cedric Briens and Franco Berruti , "Comparison of the Impact of Flow Pulsations on the Performance of Various Liquid-Gas Injectors in a Gas-Solid Fluidized Bed", Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Accepted: 2010-12-06
20. Elham Karimi, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti, Sina Moloodi, Tommy Tzanetakis, Murray Thomson, and Marcel Schlaf , "Reduced Red Mud as a Catalyst for the Upgrading of Hemp Seed Pyrolysis Bio-Oil", Energy & Fuels, 24, 12, [6586-6600], (2010).
21. Rana Sebouni, Cedric Briens and Franco Berruti , "Enhancement of the Liquid Feeed Distribution in Gas-Solid Fluidized Beds by Non-Mechanically induced Nozzle Pulsations", Powder Technology, Submitted: 2010-07-16.
22. Sarah Weber, Lorenzo Ferrante, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti, Murray Gray , "Determination of Heat and Mass Transfer in Gas-Liquid-Solid Agglomerates under Evaporating Conditions", Chemical Engineering Science, Submitted: 2010-04-05.
23. Bashar Hadi, Franco Berruti and Cedric Briens , "New Calibration Methods for Accurate Electrical Capacitance Tomography Measurements in Particulate-Fluid Systems", Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 48, 1, [274-280], (2009).
24. Cedric Briens, Matt Dawe and Franco Berruti , "Effect of a Draft Tube on Gas-Liquid Jet Boundaries in a Gas-Solid Fluidized Bed", Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification, 48, 4, [871-877], (2009).
25. Katherine Albion, Lauren Briens, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti, Steven McDougall , "Detection of Oversized Material in a Hydrotransport Slurry Pipe using a Non-Invasive Acoustic Method", Powder Technology, 190, 3, [361-371], (2009).
26. Federico M. Berruti, Matthew Klaas, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti , "Model for Convective Drying of Carrots for Pyrolysis", Journal of Food Engineering, 92, 2, [196-201], (2009).
27. Rohan Bedmutha, Lorenzo Ferrante, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti, Ion Inculet , "Single and Two-Stage Electrostatic Demisters for Biomass Pyrolysis Application", Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification, 48, 6, [1112-1120], (2009).
28. Katherine Albion, Lauren Briens, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti , "Modelling of Oversized Material Flow Through a Horizontal Hydrotransport Slurry Pipe to Optimize its Acoustic Detection", Powder Technology, 194, [18-32], (2009).
29. Aidan Leach, Gareth Chaplin, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti , "Comparison of the Performance of Liquid-Gas Injection Nozzles in a Gas-Solid Fluidized Bed", Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification , 48, 3, [780-788], (2009).
30. Ran Xu, Lorenzo Ferrante, Cedric Briens and Franco Berruti , "Flash Pyrolysis of Grape Residues into Biofuel in a Bubbling Fluid Bed", Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 86, 1, [58-65], (2009).
31. M. Jacobson, L. Ferrante, C. Briens, F. Berruti , "Hydrodynamic Study of Vertical Lift Tubes: Determination of Flow Regime by Signal Analysis", Powder Technology, 196, [74-79], (2009).
32. Nestor Cruz, Cedric Briens and Franco Berruti , "Green Sand Reclamation Using a Fluidized Bed with an Attrition Nozzle", Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 54, 1, [45-52], (2009).
33. Federico M. Berruti, Lorenzo Ferrante, Franco Berruti, Cedric Briens , "Optimization of an Intermittent Slug Injection System for Sawdust Biomass Pyrolysis", International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, 7, Article 84 (2009).
34. Christina J. Booker, Rohan Bedmutha, Tiffany K. Vogel, Ian Scott, Ken Conn, Franco Berruti, Cedric Briens, Ken Yeung , "Characterization of the Pesticide Properties of Tobacco Bio-oil", International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, 8, Article 26 (2009).
35. 7. Ran Xu, Lorenzo Ferrante, John Edwards, Cedric Briens and Franco Berruti , "Flash Pyrolysis of Dried Distiller’s Grains into Bio-Fuel in a Pilot Scale Bubbling Fluidized Bed", Energy & Fuels, Submitted: 2009-11-20.
36. F. Portoghese, F. Berruti, C. Briens , "Continuous On-Line Measurement of Solid Moisture Content During Fluidized Bed Drying Using Triboelectric Probes", Powder Technology, 181, 2, [169-177], (2008).
37. Craig Hulet, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti, Edward Chan , "Experimental and Analytical Study of the Solids Circulation Loop of a Compartmented Fluidized Bed", Powder Technology, 185, [131-143], (2008).
38. Peter K. House, Cedric L. Briens, Franco Berruti, Edward Chan , "Effect of Spray Nozzle Design on Liquid-Solid Contact in Fluidized Beds", Powder Technology, 186, [89-98], (2008).
39. Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti, Vittorio Felli and Edward Chan , "Solids Entrainment into Gas, Liquid, and Gas-Liquid Spray Jets in Fluidized Beds", Powder Technology, 184, [52-57], (2008).
40. Aidan Leach, Federica Porthoghese, Cedric Briens, Franco Berruti , "A New and Rapid Method for the Evaluation of the Liquid-Solid Contact Resulting from Liquid Injection into a Fluidized Bed", Powder Technology, 184, [44-51], (2008).


KEYWORDS: Biomass Pyrolysis; Production of Pesticides, Pharmaceuticals and Fertilizers from Agricultural Residues and Wastes; Fluid Coking; Heavy Oil Visbreaking; Thermal Cracking of Hydrocarbons and Biomass; Gasification; Nozzles Technology


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Contact Info

Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

CMLP,
Rm #: 2331
Telephone: (519) 661-2111 x88771
Email: fberruti@.uwo.ca


I am currently seeking Graduate Students for Research.