Mathew Watson

ProfessorMatt James Watson

Link Rm 31
Internal Phone: 93803
I focus on ChemE applications of 3D printing, energy optimisation, decarbonisation of heavy industry, and domestic production of niche products.

Qualifications & Memberships

Research Interests

My overarching goal is to improve the sustainability of mankind by finding economic ways to eliminate fossil fuels from heavy industry, optimise energy usage, and develop better processes for the circular economy.

My research interests are in high-temperature electrolytic reduction of metals, domestic production of maple syrup, additive manufacturing of structured catalyst and adsorbent supports, mineral extraction from domestic resources, catalysis, and reactor modelling.

I am studying the feasibility of using high-temperature electrolysis to produce titanium metal from iron-sands slag. In addition, I am investigating other metal/ore systems that may benefit from molten oxide electrolysis

I am researching the economic potential, and best locations in New Zealand for maple tree plantations in order to commercially produce maple sap, and investigating alternative processes to vastly improve the energy cost associated with sap concentration to syrup. The research scope will expand to birch and other native tree syrups.

I am investigating optimized structured catalyst and adsorbent supports, for example to increase heat transfer and surface area while minimizing pressure drop, and using additive manufacturing as a means to build and experimentally confirm the structure-property relationships. This investigation is coupled to current research on numerical modelling of steam methane reformers.

I am developing low carbon processes to extract MgO from olivine to be used as a substitute for Portland cement. I am investigating the economic feasibility of direct reduction of iron using hydrogen. Cement and steel combined contribute about 16% of global man-made CO2 emissions.

Recent Publications

  • Ford K., Marshall A., Watson M. and Bishop C. (2023) Limitations of Materials Selection Methodology for Crucibles for Molten Oxide Electrolysis. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science.
  • Hawken M., Reid S., Clarke D., Watson M., Fee C. and Holland D. (2023) Characterization of Pressure Drop through Schwarz‑Diamond Triply Periodic Minimal Surface Porous Media. Chemical Engineering Science.
  • Lee MHK., Yin H., Khan WU., Lam FLY., Watson M., Ok Y., Pang S. and Yip ACK. (2023) A new hydrogenation-coupling approach for supra-equilibrium conversion in a water–gas shift reaction: simultaneous hydrogen generation and chemical storage. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 48(49): 18567-18571.
  • Reid S., Lecarpentier F., Symons D. and Watson M. (2023) Towards an advanced 3D-printed catalyst for hydrogen peroxide decomposition: Development and characterisation. Catalysis Today
  • Robinson J., Holland D., Rennie M., Van den Berg A., Clearwater M. and Watson M. (2023) Examination of embolisms in maple and birch saplings utilising microCT. Micron