Energy Use:

Fluid Dynamics

  • Fully Funded PhD Studentship in EPSRC Centre for Doctor Training (CDT) – Resilient decarbonised fuel energy systems

    Fully Funded PhD Studentship in EPSRC Centre for Doctor Training (CDT) - Resilient decarbonised fuel energy systems

    Supervisor: Dr Ehsan Alborzi, Prof. Mohamed. Pourkashanian; Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield. Industrial supervisors: Mr Paul Ferra; Dr Marco Zedda, Rolls Royce, Derby

    Utilisation of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as blend with petroleum-derived aviation fuels or standalone replacements offers an advantageous step towards decarbonised aviation, for foreseeable future, in response to the net-zero emission target by 2050. However, production of SAFs and market penetration is arduous as these fuels are subject to tighter tolerances and more certification hurdles than the petroleum-based aviation fuels due to a number of reasons amongst which safety of operation and compatibility with existing fleets are the most important criteria. For that reason, any new type of alternative fuel needs to be carefully assessed for a number physico-chemical properties. One of these properties is the propensity of aviation fuel to thermally degrade and forms gum and surface deposits in the aero-engine fuel injection system.

    We are seeking a talented and motivated individual to commence a PhD programme in September 2021. The PhD candidate will be exploring the underlying molecular interactions between agglomerated molecules and a stainless steel and nickel alloy during sustainable aviation fuel thermal oxidative degradation. The formation of agglomerated insoluble materials and deposition of these on surfaces of aero-engine fuel injection system is of great concern for both jet engine manufacturers and fuel producers.

    The PhD topic is an interdisciplinary research project which covers the following areas:

    – Ab initio quantum chemistry calculations, in vacuum and for periodic surface systems;
    – Analysis and extension of chemical kinetics mechanism for fuel thermal degradation;
    – Execution of small-scale experimental work for the acquisition of data and validation of the proposed mechanism using available equipment in Sustainable Aviation Fuel Innovation Centre (SAF-IC) at the University of Sheffield

    We are offering an opportunity for a full time, 4 year PhD programme, funded by the EPSRC Centre for Doctor Training (CDT) “Resilient decarbonised Fuel Energy Systems” and Rolls Royce. starting in September 2021. Candidates should have a first or high 2.1 class honours degree in an engineering or science discipline (e.g. chemistry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, or applied mathematics). A strong background in organic reactions (design and data analysis in chemical engineering), numerical work and / or chemical kinetics are desirable but not essential. A good knowledge of Linux for working with the university’s High Performance Computing (HPC) is preferable.

    The PhD candidate will be working alongside a dedicated team of researchers in Translation Energy Research Centre(TERC), Sustainable Aviation Fuel Innovation Centre (SAF-IC). As the project is partially funded by Rolls Royce, the PhD candidate will have the opportunity to work with Rolls Royce experts in Derby. The scholarship on offer (to eligible students) comprises a tax-free stipend of £18,757 (2020/2021) a year for four years, and paid UK/EU tuition fees. Due to funding restrictions, this position is only available for UK candidates.

    Informal enquiries may be sent to Dr Ehsan Alborzi e.alborzi@sheffield.ac.uk
    Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.
    If you are interested, please apply online at: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply/applying

  • Fully Funded PhD Studentship in EPSRC Centre for Doctor Training (CDT) – Resilient decarbonised fuel energy systems

    Char conversion for oxyfuel in CFD calculations

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Professor Derek B Ingham and Dr Alastair G Clement

    The heterogeneous combustion of solid fuel particles is a complex process.  Under oxyfuel conditions for CCS, where fuel is burned in the presence of high concentrations of carbon dioxide and water vapour, this process is more difficult to model due to these gas species competing to react with the carbon surface.  Traditionally, simplified models have been used in CFD calculations to approximate this combustion behaviour, however with more powerful computing resources available, it is now possible to significantly increase the fidelity of models describing reactive particles.  Research work is required to develop and validate these high fidelity methods for practical combustion systems of conventional and oxyfuel fired conditions, to evaluate the impact of these treatments, potentially improving the modelling capability for solid fuel combustion, which will help drive improvements to the efficiency and performance of such systems, providing improvements for future clean combustion systems.

    For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham on d.ingham@sheffield.ac.uk

  • Fully Funded PhD Studentship in EPSRC Centre for Doctor Training (CDT) – Resilient decarbonised fuel energy systems

    Particle motion and combustion in turbulent flows

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Professor Derek B Ingham and Dr Alastair G Clements

    The simulation of solid fuel combustion systems relies on the resolution of particle trajectories within the fluid domain.  The widely used RANS approach to solving the fluid properties of a turbulent flow only resolves time-averaged quantities, which are not representative of the forces applied to the particle trajectories.  Modelling investigations are required to improve methods that apply turbulent fluctuations in the velocity field to the particle motion, as well as methods to resolve gas species concentrations on the heterogeneous reactions of combusting particles, and can be applied to CFD calculations of combustion facilities.

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  • Fully Funded PhD Studentship in EPSRC Centre for Doctor Training (CDT) – Resilient decarbonised fuel energy systems

    Radiative transfer for biomass particles

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Professor Derek B Ingham and Dr Alastair G Clements

     

    The combustion of biomass for energy production is attracting a growing interest academically and industrially as a means to reduce the sector’s impact on climate forcing.  Modelling will play a key role in the design of optimal biomass combustion systems, however there is a need to adapt currently adopted models for solid fuel combustion to take into account the unique challenges that biomass combustion introduces.  Among these is the irregular shapes of biomass particles, which tend to depart significantly from the ideally spherical assumption that is widely adopted.  Studies into investigating the impact of these shape irregularities on radiative transfer to the particle, the dominant mode of heat transfer at combustion temperatures, to better represent the ignition and combustion of biomass.

  • Fully Funded PhD Studentship in EPSRC Centre for Doctor Training (CDT) – Resilient decarbonised fuel energy systems

    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.