Transition to a future society that is not dependent on fossil fuels is becoming an extremely important goal for reducing carbon emissions. Whilst significant investment is being targeted to electric energy systems, there remains significant doubts as to whether batteries will provide cost-effective national energy security over medium duration periods. The UK’s long-term emission target is currently for 78% GHG reduction by 2035 and 100% GHG reduction by 2050 compared to 1990. Meeting future UK carbon budgets will require many challenges of carbon-free energy systems to be addressed. Ammonia (NH3) is a carbon-free fuel, a hydrogen carrier and storage medium because it has high energy density and can be easily liquefied. Moreover, ammonia can be synthesised with an entirely carbon-free process from renewable power sources. Green Ammonia (GNH3) is seen by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as one of the major fuels to be used within the Marine sectors in the next decade.
The use of ammonia as a fuel remains very challenging because the required Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE) is high and very slow burning velocity. The challenges such as slow ammonia kinetics at low temperature, stability problems, and advanced ignition strategies remain unsolved. Studies have shown promising results to make ammonia a viable fuel in combustion engines, it needs to be mixed with other fuels (e.g. hydrogen, syngas etc.) as combustion promoters due to ammonia’s high resistance to auto-ignition. Gas-turbines and marine engines are high-efficiency candidates for use of ammonia and have potential to reduce the cost per kWh produced whilst providing clean, green energy for power generation and propulsion systems. Recent studies have shown that ammonia/hydrogen blends could be burned efficiently with low emissions and high efficiencies, they require optimisation study for choice of fuel composition and development of advanced injection strategies to achieve acceptable NOx level while maintaining high thermal efficiencies.
The aim of the proposed project is to address these challenges by developing novel methods and new fuel ignition strategies for GNH3 engines. Innovative fuel enhancers methodologies will be investigated and proposed including the combination of hydrogen or syngas to be combined with GNH3 for supporting the ignition of ammonia. The project objectives are: (1) Investigating the effects of different NH3 blend ratio and turbulent mixing on ignition and subsequent combustion behaviour and devising the most appropriate ratio and ignition fuel to be used with GNH3 (2) Effects of different GNH3 blend ratio on emission characteristics (e.g. H2, O2, CO, CO2, HC, NOx etc.) and providing mitigation measures at the pre-combustion, combustion, or post-combustion (3) Define and produce new numerical models to predict NOx from different NH3 blend ratio – none exist at the moment. (4) Development of optimisation model for fuel composition and engine input parameters (e.g. fuel injection strategy, inlet conditions, equivalence ratio etc.).
The project will be conducted at Teesside University research lab preliminary on single-cylinder engines with dynamometer and followed by jet engine. The emission characteristics will be investigated using exhaust gas analyser and mass spectrometry. The project has a harbour interested in the technology and a hydrogen business partnering in the development.
Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline. A masters level qualification in a relevant discipline is desirable, but not essential, as well as a demonstrable understanding of the research area. Further details of the expected background may appear in the specific project details. International students will be subject to the standard entry criteria relating to English language ability, ATAS clearance and, when relevant, UK visa requirements and procedures.
How to Apply
Applicants should apply online for this opportunity at: https://e-vision.tees.ac.uk/si_prod/userdocs/web/apply.html?CourseID=1191
Please use the Online Application (Funded PHD) application form. When asked to specify funding select “other” and enter ‘RDS’ and the title of the PhD project that you are applying for. You should ensure that you clearly indicate that you are applying for a Funded Studentship and the title of the topic or project on the proposal that you will need to upload when applying. If you would like to apply for more than one project, you will need to complete a further application form and specify the relevant title for each application to a topic or project.
Applications for studentships that do not clearly indicate that the application is for a Funded Studentship and state the title of the project applied for on the proposal may mean that your application may not be considered for the appropriate funding.
For academic enquiries, please contact Dr Dipal Patel [Email Address Removed]
For administrative enquiries before or when making your application, contact [Email Address Removed].