Two-Stage Low-Temperature Hydrogen Combustion PhD

Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering
Entry requirements:
3 years
not available
Reference number:
Start date:
1 January 2018
Is funding available?
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
1 December 2017



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in the UK for Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

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Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

Hydrogen (H2) holds the potential to provide a clean, reliable, and affordable energy supply that can enhance the UK’s economy, environment, and security. In the coming decades, the UK will need new energy supplies and an upgraded energy infrastructure to meet growing demands for electric power and transportation fuels. Heating and hot water for UK buildings makes up around 40% of our energy consumption and 20% of our greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve the UK carbon emissions reduction target, one of the feasible technologies to is to decarbonise parts of the existing gas network by converting natural gas into H2. H2 gas is highly flammable and will burn in air at a very wide range of concentrations between 4% and 75% by volume. Combustion temperature peaks around stoichiometric air to fuel ratio, where significant amount of NOx emissions will be generated. The aim of this project is to develop a novel two-stage low temperature hydrogen combustion strategy that has not been done world-wide. Through this project, we will establish rich and lean hydrogen combustion kinetics, CFD flame simulation, and new engineering design concepts for pollutant emissions-free hydrogen appliances. The project will be consists of four key objectives:

  1. experimental investigation of hydrogen rich and lean combustion
  2. detailed rich and lean hydrogen combustion kinetics and combustion temperature and products analysis
  3. CFD analysis on air and fuel mixing, flame propagation and geometry effects
  4. Combustion kinetics enhanced CFD analysis on burner optimization.


Primary supervisor: Prof. Rui Chen
Secondary supervisor: Prof. Gary Page

Find out more

For further project details, contact: Professor Rui Chen.

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Mechanical Engineering, Combustion Chemistry, or Combustion Physics.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

The studentship is for four years sponsored by the EPSRC Centre of Doctoral Training in Fuel Cells and Their Fuels. The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £14,553 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, this is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. In order to qualify for a full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the minimum UK residency requirement, details can be found here. The industrial sponsor of the project is Bosch Thermotechnology Ltd. Additional top-up to the studentship bursary is available subject to the progress of the project.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select ‘Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering. Please quote reference number: AAE-RC-1709b

Application details

Reference number: AAE-RC-1709b
Application deadline: 01 December 2017
Start date: 01 January 2018
Interview date: 08 December 2017