Fluidization, Reactor Design, Electrostatics, PEM Fuel Cells, Pollution Control, Biomass Processing, Green Engineering
Director, UBC Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC)
CHBE 411
University of British Columbia, 1994, Ph.D.
Tsinghua University, China, 1988, M.A.Sc.
Tsinghua University, China, 1985, B.A.Sc.
Research Interests

Green Engineering, Clean Energy and Sustainability: Green Engineering is the design, commercialization and use of processes and products, which are feasible and economical while minimizing impacts on ecosystems over the full life-cycle. Traditional engineering focuses on the technical and economic aspects of a technology.  In contrast, Green Engineering extends our research and development beyond product manufacturing to include the ecological impacts of a process/product or a technology on the renewability and sustainability of the raw materials, the toxicity and health risks of the product use, and the recycleability and degradability at the end of the product use. We are developing environmental systems and life cycle analysis tools to model and evaluate biomass energy systems, including Canadian wood pellets, BC forest residues, animal wastes, agricultural residues and municipal wastes, as well as integrated impact assessments of biomass combustion, gasification, torrefaction and pyrolysis processes. At the same time, we are developing novel thermo-catalytic technologies to convert biomass residues to bio-fuels, biochar, torrefied pellets and renewable natural gas, with a focus on reactor design and catalyst development. Both clean energy and green engineering are key areas of my research and teaching.

Fluidization and Multiphase Reactors: Fluidized bed reactors have been widely used in industrial processes for conducting both catalytic and non-catalytic reactions, fuel combustion, particulate drying, powder coating and granulation, electrolysis etc. I started my research career on fluidization in 1985, and have conducted research over many areas, including hydrodynamics, flow patterns and flow regimes, heat transfer, mass transfer, reactor performance testing, modeling and simulation, scaling and scale-up, commercial reactor trouble-shooting etc. covering gas-solids, liquid-solids, gas-liquid-solids bubbling, turbulent and circulating fluidized beds. My current fluidization research is focused on electrostatic charging of dielectric particles in gas-solids fluidized beds and novel fluidized bed reactors for biomass thermo-catalytic conversion.

  • Nie, Y, X Bi, Life-cycle assessment of transportation biofuels from hydrothermal liquefaction of forest residues in British Columbia. Biotechnology for biofuels 11 (1), 23, 2018.
  • Fotovat, F, XT Bi, JR Grace, A perspective on electrostatics in gas-solid fluidized beds: Challenges and future research needs. Powder Technology 329, 65-75, 2018.
  • Liu, W, XT Bi, Q Zhu, H Li, Usefulness of multi-solids pneumatic transport bed data for evaluation and validation of binary solids computational simulation models. Powder Technology 327, 70-78, 2018.
  • Fotovat, F, XT Bi, JR Grace. Electrostatics in gas-solid fluidized beds: A review. Chemical Engineering Science. 173: 303-334. 2017.
  • Hejazi, B, JR Grace, X Bi, A Mahecha-Botero, Kinetic model of steam gasification of biomass in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor, Energy & Fuels, 31 (11): 12141–12155, 2017.
  • Badr A Mohamed, Naoko Ellis, Chang Soo Kim, Xiaotao Bi. The role of tailored biochar in increasing plant growth, and reducing bioavailability, phytotoxicity, and uptake of heavy metals in contaminated soil. Environmental Pollution. 230: 329-338. 2017.
  • Fotovat, F., K Gill, JR Grace, XT Bi, Impact of Column Material on Electrostatics and Entrainment of Particles from Gas-Solid Fluidized Beds. Chem Eng Sci, 167: 120-134. 2017.
  • Olga Petrov, Xiaotao Bi, Anthony Lau. Impact assessment of biomass-based district heating systems in densely populated communities. Part II: Would the replacement of fossil fuels improve ambient air quality and human health? Atmospheric Environment. 161: 191-199. 2017.
  • Rahman, MH, XT Bi, JR Grace, CJ Lim, Measurement of solids circulation rate in a high-temperature dual fluidized bed pilot plant, Powder Technology, 316: 658-669. 2017..
  • D Jia, Xi, CJ Lim, S Sokhansanj, A Tsutsumi, Gas-solid mixing and mass transfer in a tapered fluidized bed of biomass with pulsed gas flow. Powder Technology. 316: 373-387. 2017.
  • Farzam Fotovat, John R. Grace, Xiaotao T. Bi, Particle entrainment from gas-solid fluidized beds: Conductive vs. dielectric fines. AIChE Journal. 63(4): 1194–1202. 2017.
  • Jia, D., XT Bi, CJ Lim, S Sokhansanj, A Tsutsumi, Heat transfer in a pulsed fluidized bed of biomass particles. Ind & Eng Chem Res. 56(13): 3740-3756. 2017.
  • Bijan Hejazi, John R Grace, Xiaotao Bi, Andrés Mahecha-Botero. Kinetic model of steam gasification of biomass in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor. Energy & Fuels. 31(2): 1702-1711. 2017.
  • YH Li, Z Chen, P Watkinson, X Bi, J Grace, CJ Lim, N Ellis. A novel dual-bed for steam gasification of biomass. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery. 1-11. 2017li>
  • D Jia, X Bi, CJ Lim, S Sokhansanj, A Tsutsumi. Biomass drying in a pulsed fluidized bed without inert bed particles. Fuel 186, 270-284, 2016.
  • Hejazi, JR Grace, X Bi, A Mahecha-Botero, Coupled reactor and particle model of biomass drying and pyrolysis in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 121, 213-229, 2016.
  • YJ Wang, H Li, BZ Fang, XT Bi, HJ Wang. 2016. Progress in modified carbon support materials for Pt and Pt alloy cathode catalysts in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Progress in Materials Science. 82:445-498, 2016.
  • BA Mohamed, N Ellis, CS Kim, X Bi, AE Emam. 2016. Engineered biochar from microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis of switchgrass for increasing water-holding capacity and fertility of sandy soil. Science of the Total Environment. 566:387-397, 2016.
  • Li, XT., JR Grace, XT Bi, J Campbell, A new pyrolysis model based on generalized extreme value (GEV) distributions and its application to lignocellulosic biomass. Fuel, 184, 211-221, 2016.
  • BA Mohamed, CS Kim, N Ellis, X Bi, Microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis of switchgrass for improving bio-oil and biochar properties. Bioresource Technology, 201, 121-132, 2016.
  • He C. X.T. Bi, J.R. Grace. Comparison of conventional and novel probes for measuring electrostatics and hydrodynamics during fluidization of polyethylene. Journal of Electrostatics. 79: 7–15, 2016.
  • Naimi, L.J., F. Collard, X.T. Bi, C.J. Lim, S. Sokhansanj. Development of size reduction equations for calculating power input for grinding pine wood chips using hammer mill. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery. : 1-9. (2016).
  • Wang, Y.J., N. Zhao, B.Z. Fang, H. Li, X.T. Bi and H.J. Wang. A highly efficient PtCo/C electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction. RSC Adv., 6, 34484-34491, 2016
  • Jalalinejad, F., X.T. Bi, J.R. Grace, Comparison of theory with experiment for single bubbles in charged fluidized particles. Powder Technology, 290, 27–32, 2016.
  • Alsmari, T.A., J.R. Grace, X.T. Bi, Effects of particle properties on entrainment and electrostatics in gas–solid fluidized beds. Powder Technol., 290, 2-10, 2016.
  • Li, X., A Li, A Gulamhusein, C Brereton, JR Grace, CJ Lim, X Bi, M. Wormsbecker, C.A. McKnight. A TCD-based technique for experimental study of mass transfer in a gas–solid fluidized bed with liquid injection. Powder Technology, 290, 83–90, 2016..
  • C He, XT Bi, JR Grace, Decoupling electrostatic signals from gas–solid bubbling fluidized beds. Powder Technology, 290, 11–20, 2016.
  • Wang, Y.J., H. Li, N.N. Zhao, B.Z. Fang, X.T. Bi*, H.J. Wang*, Carbon-supported Pt-based alloy electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells: particle size, shape, and composition manipulation and their impact to activity. Chemical Reviews, 115 (9), 3433-3467, 2015.

For more publications, visit my Google Scholar Profile.

CHBE 345 Unit Operation II
CHBE 484 Green Engineering Principles and Applications for Process Industries
CHBE 561 Particle Technology
CEEN 523 Energy and the Environment
Canadian Academy of Engineering, Fellow
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC), Member
Canadian Society of Chemical Engineers (CSChE), Member
American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE), Member