University of Sheffield
This fully funded project presents an outstanding opportunity to conduct research on the development and understanding of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). SAF is derived from sustainable feedstocks such as captured CO2, waste oil and fats, green and municipal waste, and non-food crops. Its chemical composition closely resembles that of traditional fossil jet fuel. By utilizing SAF, significant reductions in carbon emissions throughout the entire life cycle of aviation fuel can be achieved, aligning with the goals of achieving net zero emissions compared to traditional jet fuel.
Given the progressive increase in production and application of SAF, it is crucial to establish a robust theoretical framework for predicting the fuel properties of SAF. Such a model would facilitate fuel pre-screening, offering fuel producers and jet engine manufacturers fast and quantitative information regarding the technical suitability of SAF. The primary objective of this project, therefore, is to develop a predictive model for fundamental fuel properties based on the chemical composition of the fuel. This predictive tool necessitates the construction of a comprehensive database comprising various properties of known surrogate fuels through experimental and theoretical works.
The successful PhD candidate for this project should possess a general understanding of aviation fuel properties and demonstrate a profound knowledge of analytical and organic chemistry. As a member of the research team within the Sustainable Aviation Fuel-Innovation Centre (SAF-IC), the candidate will collaborate with fellow researchers and academics to investigate and implement various numerical and experimental techniques pertinent to the project.
Specifically, the candidate will be involved in utilizing advanced tools such as two-dimensional comprehensive gas chromatography, as well as other relevant instruments designed for precise measurement of fuel properties. Additionally, the candidate will work with chemo informatics packages, including RD kit, molecular dynamics software, and graph neural network, to analyze and interpret data.
The project will be supervised by Dr. Xue Yong & Dr. Ehsan Alborzi in collaboration with partners from Department of Chemistry, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Sustainable Aviation Fuel-Innovation Center (SAF-IC) characterisation lab.
This studentship is funded by the energy institute at the University of Sheffield, and It is open to all students with UK residency.
The selection criteria for the position are:
- A good honours degree (or equivalent experience) in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physical Science, Applied mathematics, or a related subject.
- Enthusiasm for independent research and problem-solving.
- Experience of/willingness to learn Linux, python or other coding languages.
- Good written and oral communication skills, appropriate for disseminating research and communicating with project partners.
- Willingness to collaborate with other researchers, industry and end-users.
How to apply
For information and informal enquiries please contact: [email protected]
This studentship covers the cost of the UK/home tuition fees and provides a standard EPSRC stipend rate of £18,622 (2023/24) tax -free per annum for a period of 3.5 years.
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