Mathew Watson

Associate ProfessorMatt James Watson

Link Rm 402
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

  • Baharudin L., Severinsen I., Yip ACK., Golovko VB. and Watson MJ. (2020) Kinetics and constraints of CO oxidation over hexameric copper nanocluster catalyst supported on carboxyl-functionalised MWCNT at high temperatures. Chemical Engineering Journal 389 124399 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2020.124399.
  • Martin-Treceno S., Weaver N., Allanore A., Bishop C., Marshall A. and Watson M. (2020) Electrochemical Behaviour of Titanium-Bearing Slag Relevant for Molten Oxide Electrolysis. Electrochimica Acta 354 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2020.136619.
  • Reid S., Driller T. and Watson M. (2020) A two-dimensional heat transfer model for predicting freeze-thaw events in sugar maple trees. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 294 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2020.108139.
  • Weaver NJ., Wilkin GS., Morison KR. and Watson MJ. (2020) Minimizing the energy requirements for the production of maple syrup. Journal of Food Engineering 273 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2019.109823.
  • Baharudin L., Yip ACK., Golovko V., Polson M., Aguey-Zinsou K-F. and Watson M. (2019) CO oxidation and the inhibition effects of carboxyl-modification and copper-clusters on multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 262 118265 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apcatb.2019.118265.