Dr. Jonathan Mathews is a coal scientist and an ACS fellow. His research interests address the relationship between coal structure and behavior spanning all ranks and nearly all aspects of coal use. He is well known for the creation and use of atomistic representations of coal and char but also employs advanced analytical techniques to inform and constrain the models. It is capturing the structural diversity, in a meaningful way, that has aided improving the rationalization of behavior. He is active in coalbed methane research along with CO2 sequestraion in coal. These investigations make use of image analysis and modeling for cleat structure and diversity, X-ray Computed Tomagraphy, and atomistic representations. He is also acitive in coal pyrolysis, coal combustion, oxy-fuel combustion, coal gasification, and coal liquefaction. He has extensive domestic (universities and National Labs) and international collaborations (China, England, South Africa, and Australia).
Recognizing that the commercial codes were limited in the creation and use of large-scale atomistic representations, we have written a variety of unique image-analysis software and construction tools to aid in the creation of atomistic models that capture the structural diversity and partial ordering that is required to capture coal and char behavior. Large-scale structures are required to permit the inclusion of structural diversity and an appropriate pore size distrbuion. The scale has also required novel visualization, analysis, and simulation capabilities. Mostly they are stand alone Perl or MATLAB scripts. Some scripts however run within the Materials Studio platform for analysis and model manipulation. Full software description and listing is here.
Currently Dr. Mathews teaches the writing intensive class EGEE 411W Energy Science and Engineering Laboratory (typically Spring and Fall) for the Energy Engineering program and a General Education Web class EGEE 101 Energy and The Environment (typically Spring, Summer, and Fall). Periodically, he also teaches the three-semester CAUSE class (EMSc 470W) with colleagues Drs. Elsworth and Eser with international travel to explore energy choices (UK, Iceland, Europe, Scandanavia, and New Zealand. He also teaches a coal structure and behavior course at the graduate level. The movies below are examples from the Energy and the Environment (Web) class).