Decarbonizing future transport with ammonia fueled engines

This joint PhD project will be based at The University of Melbourne with a minimum 12 month stay at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Project description

Transport is one of the most difficult energy sectors for decarbonization. Despite the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, future transport for aviation, shipping and long-haul trucking will continue to rely on combustion engines. Decarbonization of these sectors is particularly challenging, where the target of zero-carbon emissions is likely only to be met via switching to carbon-neutral fuels, such as green ammonia derived from renewable energy. In this context, green hydrogen is first produced by electrolysis of water using renewable energy and then react with nitrogen to produce green ammonia for various end uses including in combustion engines.

Ammonia has very different combustion chemistry which causes various problems in practical application. This jointed PhD project will investigate the fundamental chemistry behind these problems and provide scientific guidance to solve them. In particular, it will utilize hydrogen as a co-burning fuel to modify ammonia combustion chemistry and solve the problems from the ground up. The kinetic interactions between hydrogen and ammonia will be studied experimentally at conditions representative of practical application and from which a high-fidelity reaction chemistry model will be developed. This project will combine the research expertise at UoM and SJTU and utilize the complementary, world-leading facilities at the two universities. Outcome of these projects will guide the design of ammonia engines for zero-emission transport.

The project will be complemented by the project on Combustion chemical kinetics of ammonia-diesel binary fuels and the collaboration will ensure a successful completion of the project.

Supervision team:

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

Professor Xingcai Lu, Associate Professor Dong Han (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

How to apply

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