expertise in action

Dr Sam Clayton

Group Leader, Process and Greenhouse
Principal Engineering Consultant

Professional  Background

  • Over 15 years' experience in coal, fuel, waste and mineral processing.Over 15 years' experience in coal, fuel, waste and mineral processing.
  • Extensive experience in evaluation and development of utilisation options for coal, wastes and other materials.  Processes investigated include combustion, gasification, dewatering, drying, agglomeration, pyrolysis, minerals reduction, and activated carbon production.
  • Expertise covers practical R&D including pilot and demonstration-scale development, technical reviews, economic assessments, environmental assessments, process modelling and design, equipment design and supplier engagement.
  • Key strength is strong practical research background at bench and pilot-scale including both fundamental and applied research, development of new laboratory methods and techniques, and design, construction and operation of test rigs.
  • Proficient in process modeling using Thermoflow, Aspen Plus and other modeling software.
  • Experienced in energy efficiency auditing and assessment of environmental emissions from different processes.
  • Experienced in process safety, including site dust explosion safety, risk assessments, safety audits, and self-heating of materials during stockpiling and transport.

Areas of Expertise

  • Review and evaluation of fuel and waste utilization options
  • Practical research and development
  • Process modelling and design
  • Techno-economic assessments
  • Detailed feasibility studies
  • Process safety and risk assessments
  • Energy auditing for large industrial facilities

Relevant Project Experience

  • PROJECT | Evaluation of Biomass Co-firing Australian Power Station
    • Evaluated the technical and economic feasibility of biomass co-firing with a focus on estimating potential increases in emissions of NOx, SOx, metals, halides and particulates.
    • Considered relevant state regulations with respect to waste to energy and air emissions.
    • Outcomes included the recommended maximum biomass blend to limit emissions to acceptable limits and for trialing at larger scale.
    • Pilot scale co-firing trials to directly determine concentrations of potential contaminants of concern were subsequently performed.
  • PROJECT | Options Assessment and Process Design for Spray Tower Minerals Industry
    • Reviewed spray tower operation, identified the root cause of operational issues and developed recommendations to improve the spray tower operability and effectiveness.
    • Included site visits to discuss performance issues, process review, process modelling, CFD modelling, and nozzle testing for the existing spray nozzles and alternative nozzles.
    • Provided process support through the detailed design stage for a replacement spray tower including nozzle specification, air and water system specification, PID development, and control philosophy development.
  • PROJECT | Energy Efficiency Audits for Large Industrial Facilities
    • Performed formal Level 2 energy audits according to AS/NZS 3598.2:2014 for large energy intensive industrial facilities including milk processing and ice cream production and cement production facilities.
    • Outcomes included benchmarking of energy use (including breakdown of site energy use and benchmarking against industry practices), and identification and evaluation of energy saving opportunities based on key criteria including implementation costs, energy and greenhouse reductions and payback period.
  • PROJECT | Pilot-scale Assessment of Treatment of PFAS Contaminated Materials
    • Developed and operated pilot-scale test rigs to allow evaluation of thermal treatment of PFAS contaminated materials under conditions representative of commercial facilities.
    • The outcomes assisted clients in assessing the viability of PFAS treatment at commercial scale.
  • PROJECT | Natural Gas Replacement using Waste Biomass Australian Pharmaceuticals Company
    • Technical and management activities in detailed feasibility study to evaluate the technical and economic viability of replacing the existing natural gas boilers with technology utilising waste biomass.
    • The scope of work included biomass characterization, investigation of energy load requirements, technology evaluation, process modelling, liaising with project stakeholders (eg.client, council, utility companies), and economic evaluation.
  • PROJECT | Upgrading of Coal and Other Fuels to Value Added Products
    • Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) gasification study with KHI for value-added products from coal.  Design of dryers, conveyors, pressure vessels, filters and separators.
    • Managed extensive BCIA research project to evaluate options for conversion of Victorian brown coal to value-added products via gasification.  Included technical evaluation as well as market assessment for various products.
    • Managed an extensive program to evaluate the techno-economic feasibility of activated carbon production from brown coal.  Included pilot-scale and commercial-scale trials and financial modelling of business opportunity.
  • PROJECT | Process Safety and Risk Assessments
    • Performed dust handling and safety site audits and risk assessments for coal, grain, pharmaceuticals and toner powder processing facilities.
    • Investigated multiple dust fire/explosion incidents.
    • Delivered training on dust handling safety to clients, internal staff and at a Dust Explosions conference.
    • Performed JSEAs, risk assessments and HAZOP studies for a range of processes.


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Chemical Eng),
    University of Melbourne, Australia, 2002
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical),
    University of Melbourne, Australia, 1998
  • Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry),
    University of Melbourne, Australia, 1998

What Our Clients Say

"Technically competant and service orientated."

Wayne Gason
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Our Certifications


NATA accredited AtS/NZS ISO 17025, AS/NZS ISO 17020NATA Accredited Laboratories number 561

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ISO 9001 Quality Management certified by BSI under certificate number FS605116.