Associate Professor Philip Kwong

 Position Associate Professor/Reader
 Org Unit Chemical Engineering
 Telephone +61 8 8313 0724
 Location Floor/Room 1 ,  Engineering North ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background


    Dr Kwong took up his current teaching and research academic position in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Adelaide in 2009. He is the member of the Center for Energy Technology with specialization in greenhouse gas emission control and the combustion of fossil and biomass fuels, but also works with indoor air quality and sustainable waste management. His research focuses on developing low cost technologies to assist with the transition from fossil to sustainable economy. He is experienced in characterizing the emissions from the combustion of biomass and fossil fuels. His current research projects include the conversion of agricultural wastes into biochar for carbon sequestration using pyrolysis, combustion performance of producer gas for clean energy generation and catalytic oxidation of methane for greenhouse gas emission control. He has published more than 30 articles in high-impact journals and peer reviewed conferences in the above fields. Apart from research, he also draws from his experience in environmental and energy engineering to develop a new course titled Biofuels, Biomass and Wastes for undergraduate and postgraduate sustainability education at the University of Adelaide.

  • Teaching Interests

    Undergraduate teaching

    1. CHEM ENG 1007: Process Engineering I
    2. CHEM ENG 1010: Professional Practice I
    3. CHEM ENG 2013: Advanced Process Modelling
    4. CHEM ENG 2017: Transport Processes in the Environment
    5. CHEM ENG 3036: Unit Operation Laboratory
    6. CHEM ENG 4048: Biomass, Biofuels & Wastes
    7. CHEM ENG 4056: Research Practice

    Postgraduate teaching
    8. CHEM ENG 7036: Air Pollution Engineering
    9. CHEM ENG 7048: Biomass, Biofuels & Wastes


  • Research Interests

    Current Research Projects

    Co-production of biochar and bioenergy from winery residue to improve vineyard water use and renewable energy production efficiencies; Premier’s Research and Industry Fund, Catalyst Research Grant, Department of State Development, Government of South Australia, 2015.


    Improving vineyard water efficiency by addition of biochar derived from grape stalks and vineyard prunings: modelling effects of pyrolysis conditions on biochar water holding capacity; Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation Incubator Project, Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, 2014.


    Co-production of biochar and renewable energy from agricultural residue for carbon sequestration; Interdisciplinary Research Fund (IRF), DVC, The University of Adelaide, 2013


    Potential PhD projects

    Please contact Dr. Kwong ( for further information.

    Project 1: Engineering biochar production and renewable energy generation for agricultural sector

    The proper waste management from agricultural operations can minimize the impact to climate change while increase the primary crop productivity. One mean to achieve this is to develop an integrated pyrolysis system utilizing the residues from agricultural sector for the co-production of renewable energy and solid carbon product (biochar or biomass derived black carbon). The biochar is returned to the same land that the feedstock originated, it not only stores carbon from the atmosphere to the soil, but also increases biomass productivity by improving the physical and chemical conditions of the soil. Despite the significant potential for biochar application in agricultural sector, there is still a lack of detail understanding on how the agricultural residuals can be used effectively to displace existing carbon-intensive energy sources and store carbon in soil. Besides, the environmental and health issues associated with the combustion of complex pyrolysis gases for renewable energy generation and biochar productions are poorly understood. To this end, we will establish the correlations among biochar characteristics, pyrolysis conditions and the associated atmospheric emissions from the conversion of various agricultural wastes. It is expected that the results from this study will provide a full set of optimum parameters for the clean conversion of agricultural residuals into biochar for renewable energy generation and carbon sequestration.


    Project 2: Catalytic combustion system for ultra-lean methane from mine ventilation air

    The development of low-cost technology to mitigate the methane content in coal mine ventilation air remains a challenge. All commercially viable technologies would benefit from the inclusion of a low range combustion system for ultra-lean methane (0.02-1vol%) mitigation, which could improve performance and lower operating costs by as much as 30%. To this end, we will develop a suite of novel ozone catalytic oxidation system and give superior performance for the combustion of ultra-lean methane in air mixtures at low temperature. We will use combinatorial chemistry to ensure optimum catalyst formulation for ozone oxidation reactions, and then evaluate the optimized materials in a porous burner system. This will enable the comparative improvement in performance, especially in ultra lean methane condition, resulting from the incorporation of the catalysts to be determined directly. The results of the study will be of relevance to the development of ultra-lean methane mitigation systems that extending concentration limits and lowering the reaction temperature of the state-of-the-art combustion system. The successful completion of the study will result in a reduction in the capital and operating costs of combustion-based mine ventilation air mitigation technologies.


    Project 3: Chemical looping combustion of solid fuels

    Chemical-looping combustion (CLC) is an innovative process with the potential to deliver efficient, clean and low-cost electricity using coal. CLC involves the use of a solid oxygen carrier (e.g. metal oxides), which has a high amount of lattice oxygen that provides the oxidant for the coal oxidation reactions rather than via the direct combustion of coal in either air or oxygen. The solid oxygen carrier is circulated between two reactors. In the fuel reactor, the fuel is oxidized by the oxygen carrier to produce a flue gas of H2O and CO2. The CO2 is recovered by condensing the water vapour and removing minor impurities, thus eliminating the need for independent pre- or post-combustion CO2 capture. The chemically-reduced oxygen carrier is then circulated to an air reactor, which converts it to an oxidized form for recirculation to the fuel reactor. 


    Current PhD Students

    Ms Tanya Smytheman- Development of low cost catalysts for the conversion of tar into hydrogen-rich synthesis gas during biomass gasification/pyrolysis

    Mr Lewis Dunnigan- Emissions from the co-production of biochar and renewable energy from different agricultural wastes

    Mr Jon Marshall- Engineering biochar to increase phosphorus availability


  • Publications

    1)        Lane, D., van Eyk, P., Ashman, P., Kwong, C.W., de Nys, R., Roberts, D., Cole, A., Lewis, D., Release of Cl, S, P, K and Na during Thermal Conversion of Algal Biomass, Energy and Fuels, 2015 (Accepted).


    2)        Zhu, Y., Piotrowska, P., van Eyk, P., Bostrom, D., Kwong, C.W., Wang, D., Cole, A., de Nys, R., Gentili, F., Ashman, P., Co-gasification of Australian Brown Coal with Algae in a Fluidized Bed Reactor, Energy and Fuels, 2015, 29(3), pp 1686-1700.


    3)        Hu, C., Sedghi, S., Madani, S.H., Silvestre-Albero, A, Sakamoto, H., Kwong, P.C.W., Pendleton, P., Smernik, R. J. Rodrı´guez-Reinoso, F., Kaneko, K., Biggs, M.J., Control of the pore size distribution and its spatial homogeneity in particulate activated carbon, Carbon, 2014, 78, pp.113-120.


    4)        Rohani Bastami, T., Entezari, M.H., Kwong, C.W., Qiao, S.Z., Influences of Spinel Type and Polymeric Surfactants on the Size Evolution of Colloidal Magnetic Nanocrystals (MFe2O4 ,M=Fe,Mn),  Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering,  2014, 8(3), pp. 378-385.


    5)        Huang, H.B., Aisyah, L., Ashman, P.J., Leung, Y.C. and Kwong, C.W., Chemical Looping Combustion of Biomass-derived Syngas using Ceria-supported Oxygen Carriers, Bioresource Technology, 2013, 140, pp.385-391.


    6)        Aisyah, L., Ashman, P.J. and Kwong, C.W., Performance of Coal Fly-ash based Oxygen Carrier for the Chemical Looping Combustion of Synthesis Gas, Applied Energy, 2013, 109, pp. 44-50.


    7)        Huang H., Leung, D.Y.C., Kwong, C.W., Xiong, J. and Zhang, L, Enhanced Photocatalytic Degradation of Methylene Blue under Vacuum Ultraviolet Irradiation, Catalysis Today, 2013, 201, pp. 189-194.


    8)        Hui, K.N., Yin, C.L., Hui, K.S., Lee, J.Y., Li, M., Lee, S.K., Tsui, K.L., Chao, C.Y.H. and Kwong, C.W., Synthesis of Co3O4 Nanowire Arrays Supported on Ni Foam for Removal of Volatile Organic Compounds, Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2012, 12, pp. 3563–3566.


    9)        Wan, M.P., Hui, K.S., Chao, C.Y.H. and Kwong, C.W., Catalytic Combustion of Methane with Ozone using Pd-Exchanged Zeolite X: Experimental Investigation and Kinetics Model, Combustion Science and Technology, 2010, 182, pp1429-1445.


    10)      Hui, K.S., Kwong, C.W. and Chao, C.Y.H., Methane Emissions Abatement by Pd-ion-exchanged Zeolite 13X with Ozone, Energy & Environmental Science, 2010, 3, pp. 1092-1098.


    11)      Kwong, C.W. and Chao, C.Y.H., Fly Ash Products from Biomass Co-Combustion for VOC Control, Bioresource Technology, 2010, 101, pp.1075–1081.


    12)      Kwong, C.W., Chao, C.Y.H., Hui, K.S. and Wan M.P., Catalytic Ozonation of Toluene using Zeolite and MCM-41 Materials, Environmental Science and Technology, 2008, 42, pp.8504- 8509. 


    13)      Kwong, C.W., Chao, C.Y.H., Hui, K.S. and Wan M.P., Removal of VOCs from Indoor Environment by Ozonation over Different Porous Materials, Atmospheric Environment, 2008, 42, pp.2300-2311.

    14)      Chao, C.Y.H., Kwong, C.W., Wang, J.H., Cheung, C.W. and Kendall, G., Co-firing Coal with Rice Husk and Bamboo and the Impact on Particulate Matters and Associated Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Emissions,        Bioresource Technology, 2008, 99, pp.83–93.


    15)      Hui, K.S., Chao, C.Y.H., Kwong, C.W. and Wan M.P., Use of Multi-transition Metal-ion-exchanged Zeolite 13X Catalysts in Methane Emissions Abatement, Combustion and Flame, 2008, 153, pp.119-129.


    16)      Kwong,  C.W., Chao, C.Y.H., Wang, J.H., Cheung, C.W. and Kendall, G., Co-combustion Performance of Coal with Rice Husks and Bamboo, Atmospheric Environment, 2007, 41, pp.7462–7472.


    17)      Kwong, C.W., Chao, C.Y.H. and Hui, K.S. Potential Use of a Combined Ozone and Zeolite System for Gaseous Toluene Elimination, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2007, 143, pp.118–127.




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Entry last updated: Thursday, 12 Jan 2023

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