Personal profile

Research interests

Victor focuses in applied research on complex multiphase flow systems. His group:  xFlow - Complex Flow Technologies, creates process technology and advanced digital modelling tools to support the transition of the manufacturing and energy sectors into a carbon neutral operation.

xFlow's mission is to bringing clean energy, new storage methods and energy vectors into traditional process engineering. They investigate how to implement at scale the direct use of clean energy sources, electrification, looping, CO2 utilization and Power / Waste-to-X processes among other decarbonization strategies. They rethink traditional devices with a rigorous multiscale methodology to create efficient but also responsive units, and bring novel ideas from proof-of-concept (e.g. a vortex reactor, an oscillating reactor, irradiated units) into full-scale. They first study the physics limiting transport phenomena (momentum, heat, mass) in multiphase reactive flows at micro and mesoscale under different stimuli (e.g. deposition, acoustics, sintering, electrostatics) with experimental flow visualization (e.g. PIV) and high-fidelity models (e.g. LES, CFD/DEM). This microscale information is fed into a macroscopic model combining traditional heuristic methods and advanced statistics / machine learning, and the resulting hybrid digital twins are applied to design more efficient and robust devices (e.g. solar powered reactor), and new control, and monitoring tools.

xFlow is structured in three overarching areas of research, Transport Phenomena, Design of Devices, and Systems Integration. Victor's current activities include:

Transport Phenomena:

  • Rheology of cohesive powders and mixtures.
  • Agglomeration, breakage, deposition, removal.

Design of Devices

  • Dynamically structured oscillatory gas-solid reactors.
  • Advanced gas-solid vortex chambers.

Systems Integration:

  • Dynamic fouling (e.g. heat exchanger networks, reactors, furnaces).
  • Digitalization & AI  (i.e. hybrid control and monitoring tools).

Biography

Dr Francia is a chemical engineer from Universidad de Salamanca, 2006, Spain, with several other postgraduate degrees in environmental engineering and international cooperation. He has a professional background in fast-moving consumer goods FMCGs, water and energy sectors. Before joining an academic career, he worked as an engineer in desalinization in Spain, Acciona, and as R&D manager for Procter & Gamble, P&G, UK. In 2009, he started his doctoral studies working with P&G and the University of Birmingham in new research platform describing spray drying in swirling towers, including (characterization of large vortex flows, study of particle/droplet agglomeration, drying and deposition, and scale-up. In 2012/14, Victor joined the Thermofluids division at Mechanical Engineering in Imperial College London to develop multiphase models of full-scale dryers. After his doctoral studies, he worked as consultant for ExxonMobil optimizing the fouling dynamics of heat exchangers at an Imperial spin-off company, Hexxcell Ltd, and later joined University College London, UCL, working on process intensification with Prof Marc-Olivier Coppens to create and commercialise a new type of operation, dynamically structured fluidized beds.

In 2019, Victor joined us at the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering IMPEE, to start up his research group, xFlow - Complex Flow technologies wth the goal of delivering efficient, robust and flexible technical solutions to emerging processes in the energy and manufacturing industries.

Key Research Words/Phrases

Particle flow; Process intensification; Vortex flow; Spray drying; Fluidization; Granular rheology; Agglomeration; Fouling;  Responsive technology;

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

External positions

University College London

20162018

Hexxcel Ltd (Imperial College London)

2015

Imperial College London

20122013

Procter & Gamble (UK)

20092012

Acciona

20082009

Procter & Gamble (UK)

2006

Procter & Gamble (UK)

2004

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics where Victor Francia is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or