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Towards carbonless thermal engines using ammonia as primary fuel


School of Engineering and the Built Environment (SEBE)

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Dr S Tingas , Dr V Onishi No more applications being accepted Self-Funded PhD Students Only
Edinburgh United Kingdom Mechanical Engineering

About the Project

Thermal engines are inarguably the prevalent technology powering the transport sector worldwide, predominantly with fossil fuels. Solid evidence suggest that such engines will maintain a large share of the market for decades to come. Yet, legislation and environmental concerns mandate the drastic reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG), where roughly one fourth currently relates to the transport sector. To this aim, current relevant technology must be decarbonized and replaced by environmentally friendly and financially viable solutions. The introduction of alternative, carbon-free, fuels powering thermal engines which will remain the most viable option for a spectrum of the transportation sector such as Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and ships, seems to be the apparent solution to this direction.

Ammonia is considered as one of the most suitable candidates to replace fossil fuels in thermal engines. In fact, a conventional thermal engine can operate on ammonia with only minor modifications. The use of ammonia in thermal engines has a long history, where it has been mostly used as a blend with other more reactive fuels (typically carbon based or hydrogen) due to ammonia’s low flame speed and high resistance to auto-ignition.

The objective of the current project is to perform a multi-level computational investigation on ammonia operation in conditions relevant to thermal engines, thus, paving the way for the development of a novel, affordable and environmentally friendly technology for internal combustion engines.

Academic qualifications

A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in Mechanical Engineering or closely related discipline with a good fundamental knowledge of computational fluid dynamics, thermodynamics and applied mathematics.

English language requirement

IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:

· Experience of fundamental research skills.

· Competent in working on engineering software like ANSYS, Converge etc

· Knowledge of fundamental principles of internal combustion engines

· Good written and oral communication skills

· Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project

· Good time management

Desirable attributes:

Knowledge of fundamental principles of combustion.

Experience in using non-commercial engineering software.

Experience in programming (Fortran, C++).

Experience of undertaking independent research.



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