This PhD scholarship is offered by the Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment; a partnership between the Universities of Durham, Hull, Newcastle and Sheffield. The successful applicant will undertake a PG-Dip training year and will continue their PhD research at University of Hull.
For more information visit www.auracdt.hull.ac.uk. Or if you have a direct question about the project, please email [Email Address Removed] and we will forward the query to the relevant supervisor. Please do not contact the project supervisors directly.
Offshore wind is currently one of the most popular and flexible forms of renewable energy, and can be integrated readily into the grid at a low cost. The United Kingdom currently has a greater capacity to generate energy from offshore wind than any other country in the world, with the potential to grow to over 40GW capacity by 2030. Most of the capacity and short-term growth in the UK is focused in the Humber region.
Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS) technologies are designed to remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere using a combination of either filters or liquid solutions from air that is blown across their vicinity. When the filters reach their capacity, a combination of electricity and heat are required to remove the captured CO2 and begin the entire process again. To make a positive contribution to atmospheric CO2 reduction, DACCS systems must be powered by carbon-free energy. A variety of different types of DACCS systems are being researched by research organization and technology companies (e.g. Clime Works), however, such projects are currently small-scale, energy intensive and economically unviable.
Offshore wind energy capacity has the potential to be integrated into DACCS which can reduce such costs and improve the viability of DACCS. One key challenge to powering DACCS from offshore wind is that very high utilization rates conflict with the intermittency of wind, despite having one of the highest operational capacity factors (50%) of the currently active renewable energy portfolio, indicating a form of intermediate energy storage is necessary. Thus, the opportunity has not been fully explored. However, unused power when production exceeds demand does exist and could be diverted to capture CO2 directly. Energy storage when wind is not available will be explored, allowing for a reliable and consistent energy flow to the DACCS facility. Thus, this project aims to explore the possible addition of a DACCS function in the Humber region that is powered entirely through offshore wind as part of the Net Zero Humber and Teesside’s goal of reducing their GHG emissions by up to 50%. As with proposed CO2 capture at Drax, captured CO2 from DACCS (energy consumer) could be piped directly into subsea geologic storage via the endurance aquifer in the North Sea. There is the potential for the Humber region to achieve net negative emissions through a combination of such technologies.
If you have received a First-class Honours degree or a 2:1 Honours degree and a Masters (or the international equivalents) in Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Sciences, or Chemistry, we would like to hear from you.
If your first language is not English, or you require Tier 4 student visa to study, you will be required to provide evidence of your English language proficiency level that meets the requirements of the Aura CDT’s academic partners. This course requires academic IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in each skill.
The Aura CDT is funded by the EPSRC and NERC, allowing us to provide scholarships that cover fees plus a stipend set at the UKRI nationally agreed rates, circa £17,668 per annum at 2022/23 rates (subject to progress).
Research Council funding for postgraduate research has residence requirements. Our Aura CDT scholarships are available to Home (UK) Students. To be considered a Home student, and therefore eligible for a full award, a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the scholarship (with some further constraint regarding residence for education). For full eligibility information, please refer to the EPSRC website. In addition, a number of Aura CDT Scholarships will be available to International Students across the projects offered by the partner institutions.
How to apply
Applications are via the University of Hull online portal; you must download a supplementary application from the Aura CDT website, complete and submit.
For more information about the Aura CDT including links and detailed instructions on how to apply, please visit the website: https://auracdt.hull.ac.uk/how-to-apply/
For more information why not watch a recording of the webinar we held on 29 November. You will be able to hear the Project Leads from each partner institutions, as well as the question and answer session that followed the presentations.