macatamo group
Friday, June 16, 2023

The Chemical Sciences research group, MACATAMO, have secured a place in the National Challenge Fund competition with their project ‘GEOTHERMAL: Sustainable Geothermal Energy as zero-fuel alternative for heat pumping, storage and power generation’. The National Challenge Fund calls on researchers to identify problems related to Ireland’s Green Transition and Digital Transformation and work with those directly affected to solve them. 

The MACATAMO Group says that they are grateful that this research can be conducted with the financial support of the EU Commission Recovery and Resilience Facility under the Science Foundation Ireland Energy Innovation Challenge Grant Number 22/NCF/EI/11270.


Team Lead Dr Matthias Vandichel, University of Limerick

Team Co-Lead Prof Vivek Ranade, University of Limerick  

Team Co-Lead Dr Kara English, University College Dublin 

Societal Impact Champion Bill Kelly, The Urban COOP 

Title GEOTHERMAL : Sustainable Geothermal Energy as zero-fuel alternative for heat pumping, storage and power generation

Subtitle Demonstrating that geothermal energy in Ireland can be a technologically, economically and socially sustainable 

Challenge Description The selected challenges are related to exploiting the abundantly available geothermal energy resources. According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) energy statistics report, geothermal accounts for less than 1% of Ireland's primary energy production. Our project objective is to mainstream geothermal energy in Ireland and to enable the community sector to take the lead in its adoption and deployment. We aim to achieve three main challenges 

1.      District-heating, and heating of buildings utilizing geothermal energy,  

2.      Production of storage chemicals from geothermal energy,  

3.      Production of electrical power from geothermal energy. 

Challenge Solution We aim to develop closed loop geothermal energy solutions to improve the overall heat exchange efficiency between multiphase working fluid streams and the geothermal reservoir. Our project, builds on solid expertise in chemical engineering, thermodynamics and computational fluid dynamics to design and develop suitable technologies maximizing the heat transfer and flows with phase change in heat pumps and other compact heat exchangers required for harnessing geothermal energy reserves. 

Source: GEOTHERMAL - Macatamo Group