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The implications of new hydrogen technologies for decarbonising domestic heating in the UK

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, February 02, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Converting the natural gas network to carry hydrogen is now being considered as a serious option to help the UK meet its 2050 net-zero target for greenhouse gas emissions. This research project will evaluate a range of hydrogen heating technologies that could be suitable for use in domestic dwellings. The project will developing techno-economic models understand the implications of these technologies from both the perspective of an individual dwelling and the wider energy system, using a case study of Leeds.

In recent years, hydrogen has been the subject of renewed interest as an energy vector for decarbonising domestic heating in the UK. In their hydrogen report, the Committee on Climate Change note that hydrogen could play a valuable role as part of a heating solution for UK buildings. In Leeds, the local gas network operator, Northern Gas Networks, has proposed to replace natural gas in the gas grid with hydrogen, as part of a wider rollout of hydrogen across many parts of the UK.  While significant research has been undertaken by the gas industry into the suitability of natural gas networks for conversion to hydrogen, there has been much less work on the appliances that will use this hydrogen.

Based in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering, this will be an interdisciplinary project, bringing together engineering and economic analysis and will be part of the Sustainable Systems and Processes research theme of the School. It will appeal to a technically numerate individual with some experience of modelling in a software package such as MATLAB or Python. The successful candidate will be joining a vibrant research environment, with a number of researchers and PhD students working on EPSRC-funded projects in related areas. These include projects on pathways for integrated urban heat systems, the future of UK energy networks, and the role of heat storage.

Funding Notes

UK/EU – EPSRC Studentship for 3.5 years paying academic fees and maintenance. UK applicants are eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. EU applicants are eligible for Fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.  Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.

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