• Enhance the resilience of the UK gas networks to meet the future challenges   

    Enhance the resilience of the UK gas networks to meet the future challenges   

    Supervisor: Dr Y Wu, Prof M Pourkashanian, Prof L Ma, Dr K Finney

    The natural gas networks have played an important role in the energy supply to both domestic and industrial users in the UK – and will need to continue to do so.  However as the energy supply diversifies and localized renewable energy production emerges and needs to be integrated into the system, the gas networks face increasing pressure.  Considerable upgrading and adaptations of the network will consequently be required to meet the market changes.  This project will investigate the effect of adding the gas produced from renewable technologies into the network and examine their effects on the network safety level and integrity. The project will involve both experimental investigation and chemical kinetic modelling of mixtures of natural gas, syn-gas and hydrogen.   Case studies will be carried out on a variety of systems, including the wind-to-gas mini grid based in Sheffield.


  • Enhance the resilience of the UK gas networks to meet the future challenges   

    Novel technology to control the fire and explosion hazards of hydrogen fuel

    Supervisor: Dr Y Wu, Prof M Pourkashanian,  K Hughes

    Safe pressure relief systems are essential to protect high pressure storage tanks in emergency situations. Hydrogen fuel has wide flammability limits and very low minimum ignition energy; therefore it could easily be ignited during the pressure release phase using the traditional pressure systems and therefore poses a significant fire and explosion hazard – both to the storage tanks themselves and to surrounding equipment and buildings. This project will develop advanced hydrogen pressure relief systems, incorporating some novel safety measures to prevent fires and explosions during hydrogen tank pressure relief processes. The project will involve experimental investigations and chemical kinetic modelling of the mixtures of hydrogen/hydrocarbon/quenching agent.


  • Enhance the resilience of the UK gas networks to meet the future challenges   

    Turbulence modelling of combustion using Large Eddie Simulations (LES)

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Kevin Hughes, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Janos Szuhanszki 

    Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling is a powerful tool that, due to recent advances in computational power, has become useful in aiding the design and development of advanced power generation technologies with significant climate change mitigation potential. Large Eddie Simulations (LES) is an advanced turbulence modelling approach with the potential to more accurately predict the combustion phenomena that drive the heat transfer, pollutant emissions, and fuel burnout of coal, gas and biomass fired power plants. However, development work based on experimental validation is necessary to make the technique more reliable and commercially applicable to the power generation sector.

    The project will characterise the near burner velocity field of a 250 kW test furnace at the Pilot Scale Advanced Capture Technology (PACT) Facilities using a velocity measurement probe.  This experimental data will be used to develop and validate advanced LES modelling approaches as part of a large CFD group focused on energy research.

    The aim will be to improve the existing LES turbulence modelling methods and drive forward the commercialisation of the approach to the power generation sector.


  • Enhance the resilience of the UK gas networks to meet the future challenges   

    Biomass Combustion

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr W Nimmo

    Biomass Combustion is an important renewable form of energy for power generation. Combined heat and power, CHP, is an efficient way of utilising this energy most effectively in units of 30 to 60 MW. This project will focus on fluidised bed biomass combustion and related problems. There are 3 particular topics in this area that we could support as PhD projects. The students would join a small team working in these areas:

    • Pilot scale experimentation at 200kW. Agglomeration problems associated with ash properties could be studies at pilot scale supported by off-line analysis including electron microscopy.
    • Deposition and corrosion studies related to fluidised bed combustion of biomass. An existing corrosion test facility in our newly refurbished labs is available for part of this work.
    • Heat transfer and phase equilibrium modelling of deposited material within the fluidised bed to predict problem areas associated with distributor design and operation with different fuels. CFD modelling.
  • Enhance the resilience of the UK gas networks to meet the future challenges   

    Initiation and propagation of combustion waves with competitive reactions

    Supervisor: Dr Kevin Hughes

    Ammonium Nitrate based emulsions are a basic component of many materials deliberately manufactured as explosives, and also of many other industrial chemicals, especially agricultural fertilizers, where the possibility of fire or explosion during the production, storage and transport processes is a major safety consideration. Issues still remain concerning the kinetics of the decomposition process, the interaction of fuel, and the effect of additives. This project aims to undertake a theoretical modelling study of these processes in order to improve the understanding of this area.