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  Dr Sile Brennan, Prof V Molkov  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Safe handling of hydrogen and hydrogen natural gas blends requires an understanding of hazards and associated risks arising from leaks. These include (but are not limited to) hazard distances defined by the extent of the flammable cloud, and thermal effects from jet fire. The impact of leak conditions on dispersion must be understood for typical connections. Understanding of the underlying physical phenomena is key as countries move towards a network with hydrogen blends. Work is needed to adjust safety zones to account for hydrogen blends.

The aim of this doctoral study is development of safety engineering tools for hydrogen and hydrogen methane blends. One of key objectives is to expand Ulster theoretical models for unignited and ignited jets to account for methane and hydrogen-methane blends. The effect of buoyancy on the releases should also be accounted for.

The study will focus on a combination of theoretical modelling and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Ulster University has an extensive track-record of using ANSYS Fluent as a CFD engine for development of CFD models and their use for hydrogen safety engineering. The candidate will have opportunity to run numerical simulations using the fleet of powerful workstations available at HySAFER Centre and Northern Ireland High-Performance Computing (NI-HPC) Kelvin-2 facility (

The proposed PhD project is expected to develop leading edge numerical models for analysis of hazards related to hydrogen methane blends, close knowledge gaps and develop engineering tools. The results of this doctoral research will be aligned to HySAFER’s externally funded projects and reported at international conferences. Publication of results in peer reviewed journals is expected.

Architecture, Building & Planning (3) Chemistry (6) Engineering (12)


Molkov V (2012) Fundamentals of Hydrogen Safety Engineering, Part I (ISBN 978-87-403-0226-4) and Part II (ISBN 978-87-403-0279-0), free download e-book,
Brennan S., Molkov V. Safety assessment of unignited hydrogen discharge from onboard storage in garages with low levels of natural ventilation. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Hydrogen Safety, Paper ID 238, 12-14 September 2011, San Francisco, USA.
V.V. Molkov, J.-B. Saffers, Hydrogen jet flames, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 38, Issue 19, 27 June 2013, Pages 8141-8158.
D. Makarov, V. Molkov, Plane hydrogen jets, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 38, Issue 19, 27 June 2013, Pages 8068-8083.
Sile Brennan, Vladimir Molkov, Pressure peaking phenomenon for indoor hydrogen releases, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 43, Issue 39, 27 September 2018, Pages 18530-18541.

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 About the Project