Recycling carbon dioxide to form fuel gives the potential for a carbon neutral fuel cycle – reducing net CO2 emissions and reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Electrolysis using a solid oxide cell has been shown to be an effective way of co-reducing CO2 and H2O to form syngas, the precursor for synthetic fuels. Ideally the source of electricity powering the electrolyser will be renewable to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The majority of work to date uses a continuous electricity supply to power the electrolyser, however with renewable energy this will not be the case.
This project aims to assess the effect of intermittent power on SOC operation and find strategies to avoid any degradation and performance decrease that results. Initially the expected intermittency, based on the predicted UK energy mix, will be assessed. Experiments will be carried out to investigate any degradation. Operating strategies and cell type and design will be varied to assess the improvements in performance. Techno-economic analysis and life cycle analysis will be carried out to assess the overall system performance compared to other state of the art processes.
Training will be provided on all the experimental equipment used, including high temperature electrolysis test stations, scanning electron microscopy, impedance spectroscopy, gas chromatography and all relevant software, specifically Aspen and GaBi.
This project covers many aspects of engineering and is in an exciting and rapidly developing field. Clean energy is becoming increasingly important and the employment prospects at the end of the project are excellent.
Lab consumables and materials for rig development e.g. gases, cell materials. Equipment is already available in my laboratory. Consumables will be funded through grants that I hold and am currently applying for.
Masters degree in chemical engineering or related subject.
If English is not your first language then you must have International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 6.0 in each component.