Decarbonising future transport with ammonia fueled engines

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Ammonia Manufacturing

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

The main objectives of this project are to:

  • Utilize hydrogen as a co-burning fuel to modify ammonia combustion chemistry
  • Study the kinetic interactions between hydrogen and ammonia experimentally, at conditions representative of practical application Develop a high-fidelity reaction chemistry model of these interactions

This joint PhD project is 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 decarbonisation. Despite the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, future transport for aviation, shipping and long-haul trucking will continue to rely on combustion engines. Decarbonisation 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 reacts with nitrogen to produce green ammonia for various end uses including in combustion engines. However, ammonia has very different combustion chemistry that causes various problems in practical application.

This joint 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)

Other joint PhD projects