Dr Rowena Ball
Areas of expertise
- Applied Mathematics 0102
- Physical Chemistry (Incl. Structural) 0306
- Other Chemical Sciences 0399
- Chemical Engineering 0904
- Interdisciplinary Engineering 0915
- Other Earth Sciences 0499
The origin of life in the primordial soup, Nonlinear and complex dynamical systems, Decarbonation of fuels and flue gases, Endex thermoreactive systems, Combustion theory and modelling, Thermochemical instabilities, Exergy analysis, Entropy generation analysis, Carbon sequestration via charcoal, Global carbon cycles, Quasi two-dimensional flows, Country pub lunches.
- PhD (1997), BSc Hons I + University Medal (1993) Macquarie University
- ARC Future Fellowship 2010–2014
- Lagrange Fellowship in Complex Systems, ISI Foundation Italy 2005
- ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship 2000–2003
- APA, Energy Research Priority Area 1993–1996
- The Australian National University:
ARC Future Fellow, Mathematical Sciences Institute 03/2010–current
Visiting Fellow 05/2009–03/2010
Research Fellow / Senior Research Scientist, RSPE 01/1999–04/2010
Seconded to MASCOS www.complex.org.au 08/2005–08/2006
- Scientific Consultant, Calix Ltd 05/2009–current
- Research Contract (Security Classified), Department of Defence 09/2009–03/2010
- School of Mathematics, University of Leeds, UK:
Postdoctoral Research Fellow 01/1998–01/1999
- School of Chemistry, University of Sydney:
Research Associate 01/1997–01/1998
- Macquarie University:
Tutor/Lecturer in chemistry, maths, and physics 03/1992–11/1996
I am an applied mathematician and physical chemist with broad research expertise in nonlinear and complex dynamical systems. My Endex research was nominated for the 2012 Eni Award.
My ARC Future Fellowship FT0991007 project is titled “The charXive challenge and the clean coal quest: thermokinetic principles and methods for capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide”.
The next 50 years will be the era during which the world's fuels must be decarbonised. Endex thermoreactive principles, which I co-invented in the mid 1990s, are providing a novel technology for separating carbon from fuels and flue gases. I am developing a suite of Endex decarbonation technologies in collaboration with an industry partner, Calix Ltd, and with collaborators from Imperial College London, the University of Leeds, and CanMet Energy.
Endex principles also underpin carbon capture from the atmosphere and have been used by nature for millions of years: the mechanism behind thermal decomposition of biomass is an Endex thermochemical oscillator that governs the distribution of carbon between the global solid black carbon reservoir and the atmospheric CO2 reservoir. My research is elucidating this mechanism.
Oscillatory thermal instability can also initiate thermal explosions. A grave threat to security is the use of liquid peroxide bombs by terrorists, and it seems grimly inevitable that their use as mass murder weapons will increase. My research on Endex systems has found that oscillatory thermal instability is the initiator of thermal runaway in liquid peroxides and also was the primary cause of the Bhopal disaster.
Keywords: Nonlinear and complex dynamical systems, Origin of life, Decarbonation of fuels and flue gases, Endex thermoreactive systems, Combustion theory and modelling, Thermochemical instabilities, Exergy analysis, Charcoal, Fire, Global carbon cycles, Quasi two-dimensional flows, Country pub lunches.
- Second law analysis of carbon capture systems.
- Oscillatory thermal instability in liquid explosives.
- The role of vegetation fires in global carbon cycles.
- The charcoal challenge.
- Topics in applied dynamical systems, stability, and chaos.
- National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (Secondary Investigator)
- The charXive challenge and the clean coal quest: thermokinetic principles and methods for capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide (Primary Investigator)
- Low-order dynamical models for non-linear fluid behaviour in quasi two-dimensional plasmas (Primary Investigator)
- Studies of Turbulence and Coherent Structures in Quasi Two-Dimensional Plasmas and Fluids (Secondary Investigator)
- Turbulence and Anomalous Transport in Magnetically Confined Plasmas: a theoretical and computational study of transport barrier bifurcations (Primary Investigator)