Combustion chemical kinetics of ammonia-diesel binary fuels

This joint PhD project will be based at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University with a minimum 12 month stay at The University of Melbourne.  Please note the deadlines associated with SJTU admission eligibility and requirements.

Project description
Ammonia is attracting great interests as a carbon-free fuel and as a carrier for hydrogen energy. Ammonia offers many comparative advantages in these roles, including the high content of hydrogen (which is higher than liquid hydrogen on volume basis), mature manufacturing technology, widely available infrastructure, and most importantly, the carbon-free nature which makes it one of most promising fuels to decarbonize the transport energy use.

Ammonia can be potentially used in both spark-ignition (gasoline) and compression ignition (diesel) engines. Ammonia has an extremely low oxidation reactivity and is thus suitable for a dual-fuel application which has been commonly used in compressed natural gas engines. In these engines, the low reactivity fuel (natural gas or ammonia) is introduced into the cylinder during the intake stroke, compressed to a high temperature and pressure, and ignited by a pilot diesel fuel injected near the end of the compression stroke. This ignition process is highly complex and critically relies on the autoignition of the pilot fuel in a highly stratified thermal and compositional field. The process has profound impact on subsequent combustion processes and overall engine performance.

Key questions: How the stratified temperature and composition field affects the autoignition of diesel-ammonia mixtures in the dual-fuel combustion environment.

Scope of work

  1. Experiments in a rapid compression machine to determine ignition delay of ammonia-diesel surrogate mixtures at low temperature, high pressure conditions.
  2. Experiments in a shock tube to determine ignition delay of ammonia-diesel surrogate mixtures at high temperature, high pressure conditions.
  3. Experiments in a flow reactor to determine species-time histories of ammonia-diesel surrogate mixtures at low temperature, high pressure conditions.
  4. Developing the combustion chemistry model validated for conditions applicable to pilot diesel autoignition in ammonia-diesel dual fuel engine.

The project will be complemented by the project on Decarbonizing future transport with ammonia fueled engines and the collaboration will ensure a successful completion of the project.

Supervision team:

Professor Xingcai Lu, Associate Professor Dong HanShanghai Jiao Tong University)

Associate Professor Yi Yang, Professor Michael Brear (The University of Melbourne)

How to apply

If you are interested in this opportunity, read the application guidelines before contacting the lead supervisor.