James Olson

James Olson

James Olson

Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Industrial Partnerships

B.A.Sc., Ph.D. (British Columbia), Member API, FP Innovations Professor, Member ICICS

phone:  (604) 822-5705
fax: (604) 822-2403
email: olson@mech.ubc.ca
office: PPC 205

Research Interests

My research is at the intersection of fluid mechanics, machine design and material science as applied to the forest bio-products industry.

Current Research Work

  • Mechanical Energy Reduction in Mechanical Pulping: Mechanical pulping uses more than 11% of the electrical energy produced in British Columbia. To ensure the long term competitiveness of the Canadian mechanical pulping industry, we have developed a 5 year, $2.0M multi-disciplinary research program with the goal of reducing electrical energy consumption in mechanical pulping by 20% through scientific discovery and development of new technology. The program supports a shared vision that future mechanical pulp mills will transition to an increased reliance on energy efficient, low-consistency refining and focuses on the development of new technologies that will support the current mills and their transition towards this vision.
  • Modelling turbulent fibre suspensions: This research is aimed at developing a mathematical model of fibre orientation and concentration in turbulent fluids that can be implemented with conventional CFD techniques. The current approach is to develop an Eulerian formulation of fibre orientation and concentration that is computationally efficient and accounts for fibre-fibre and fibre-fluid interactions.
  • High performance screen rotor design: To develop a high efficiency, low energy pulp screen rotors in collaboration with Advanced Fibre Technologies (AFT). The application of multi-element high lift foil technology is currently being investigated. Recent industrial trials of the new technology have demonstrated a 50% energy reduction over current state-of-the-art.

Selected Publications

  • J. MacKenzie, D. M. Martinez, and J. A. Olson, “A quantitative analysis of turbulent drag reduction in a hydrocyclone,” The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 2014.
  • N. Rajabi Nasab, J. A. Olson, J. Heymer, and M. D. Martinez, “Understanding of no-load power in low consistency refiners,” The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, vol. 92, no. 3, pp. 524–535, 2014.
  • A. Elahimehr, J. A. Olson, and D. M. Martinez, “Understanding LC refining: The effect of plate pattern and refiner operation,” NORDIC PULP & PAPER RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 386–391, 2013.
  • J. Gao, C. P. Bennington, D. M. Martinez, and J. A. Olson, “Latency removal of mechanical pulps: Phenomenological observations,” NORDIC PULP & PAPER RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 198–202, 2013.
  • A. Elahimehr, J. A. Olson, D. M. Martinez, and J. Heymer, “Estimating the area and number of bar crossings between refiner plates,” NORDIC PULP & PAPER RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 836–843, 2012.
  • A. Luukkonen, J. A. Olson, and D. M. Martinez, “Low consistency refining of mechanical pulp: Relationships between refiner operating conditions and pulp properties,” NORDIC PULP & PAPER RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 882–885, 2012.
  • A. Madani, H. Kiiskinen, J. A. Olson, and D. Mark Martinez, “Fractionation of microfibrillated cellulose and its effects on tensile index and elongation of paper,” Nordic Pulp and Paper Research Journal, vol. 26, no. 3, p. 306, 2011.
  • X. F. Chang, J. A. Olson, and R. P. Beatson, “A comparison between the effects of ozone and alkaline peroxide treatments on TMP properties and subsequent low consistency refining,” BioResources, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 0099–0111, 2011.
  • A. Madani, J. A. Olson, D. M. Martinez, and A. Fung, “Novel methods to characterize and fractionate papermaking fibres,” Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 448–455, 2010.
  • I. A. AbuYousef, J. A. Olson, D. M. Martinez, and S. Green, “Pumping Performance Increase Through the Addition of Turbulent Drag-Reducing Polymers to Pulp Fibre Suspensions,” in ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, 2010, pp. 709–718.

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