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  Numerical modelling and design of geothermal heat recovery from subsurface systems


   Department of Chemical Engineering

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  Dr Masoud Babaei  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Sedimentary basins are ubiquitous, naturally porous and permeable, and the geothermal heat in these basins can be extracted with geologic water or CO2 and used to generate electricity. The UK must decarbonise heating for it to meet its commitments on emissions reduction. UK heat demand can be met from ultra-low-carbon, low enthalpy geothermal energy. In the geothermal energy technology, this is a common practice to drill a doublet (i.e. an injection and production well pair) system. The well spacing distance is usually chosen through engineering judgement. There is, however, a need for improved well placement strategies as in view of optimizing the net energy gained through either use of water or CO2

Model based optimization strategies for well location, trajectory and thereby spacing are commonly practiced in the oil and gas industry. Using this background, optimization of well spacing can be extended and implemented for doublet design. Additionally, due to the usually large uncertainty present in the subsurface it is essential to also account for geological uncertainties during optimization. In this framework, geological uncertainties are accounted for through an ensemble of equiprobable geological models. Therefore, a single robust solution of well locations is to be found, which is optimal in terms of an expected objective function value over the ensemble of models. The practice for CO2 geothermal systems will produce guidelines for industry. 

The project benefits from direct collaboration with Schlumberger using ECLIPSE geothermal simulator, and with Durham Energy Institute (Prof Jon Gluyas). 

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in degree in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, or Petroleum Engineering.

Funding 

At Manchester we offer a range of scholarships, studentships and awards at university, faculty and department level, to support both UK and overseas postgraduate researchers. 

For more information, visit our funding page or search our funding database for specific scholarships, studentships and awards you may be eligible for. 

Before you apply 

You MUST contact the lead supervisor for this project - Dr Masoud Babaei [Email Address Removed] - before you apply. 

How to apply 

To be considered for this project you’ll need to complete a formal application through our online application portal

When applying, you’ll need to specify the full name of this project, the name of your PhD (PhD Chemical Engineering and then PhD Multi-scale Modelling), the name of your supervisor, how you’re planning on funding your research, details of your previous study, and names and contact details of two referees

Your application will not be processed without all of the required documents submitted at the time of application, and we cannot accept responsibility for late or missed deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  

If you have any questions about making an application, please contact our admissions team by emailing [Email Address Removed]

Equality, diversity and inclusion 

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact.

We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status. 

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder). 

Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Geology (18)
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 About the Project