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Ignitability, Quenching and Deflagration-to-Detonation-Transition of H2-air mixtures


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Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Friday 29 July 2022
Project start date
Saturday 1 October 2022
Country eligibility
UK only
Competition funded
Source of funding
Research council
Dr Junfeng Yang
Additional supervisors
Prof. Derek Bradley, Dr. Sven van Loo
School of Mechanical Engineering
Research groups/institutes
Institute of Thermofluids
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

The proposed work aims to evaluate ignitability of less known hydrogen-air mixtures, and obtain a greater understanding of Deflagration-to-Detonation mechanism of hydrogen-air mixtures. This is urgently needed for UK nuclear waste disposal sites, e.g. Sellafield Ltd., where hydrogen explosion is a significant safety concern in the decommissioning and storage scenarios. <br /> The project objectives include: <br /> &bull; Evaluate the ignitability of hydrogen-air mixtures and determine their flammability boundary under various conditions; <br /> &bull; Map the regime of hydrogen flame instability and quenching boundary under various turbulence levels;<br /> &bull; Construct a detonation peninsula map and determine the proneness and onset of DDT of hydrogen-air mixtures.<br /> Leeds Combustion group has a range of explosion vessels in Thermofluids lab G50: a world-renowned fan-stirred explosion vessel (MK-II), capable of creating high levels of turbulence; a Rapid Compression Machine (RCM), capable of the accurate measurements of auto-ignition delay times and the optical observation of the auto-ignition processes. The MK-II vessel and RCM will be used to obtain the proposed aims/objectives.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p style="text-align:justify; margin-top:8px">Due to radiation and wide use of reactive metals, the nuclear industry has always to be mindful of the generation of flammable gases, principally hydrogen. Hydrogen explosions can lead to deflagration and transition to detonation (DDT) with destructive effects. As NDA estate goes into decommissioning and long term storage new challenges in managing hydrogen are being met where better informed safety cases can be used to remove conservatisms, reduce cost, timescales at Sellafield, Dounreay and Magnox sites.</p> <p>Leeds detonation map consisting of dimensionless groups is widely used to predict the DDT of flammable gases. This technique offers a convenient means of studying hydrogen detonation in ducts with complex geometries linked to scenarios within nuclear plants. Therefore, with the addition of the ability to study quantitatively a wider range of conditions than the existing work, it is the method adapted for the present proposal.</p> <p>This project will lead to a greater understanding of hydrogen ignition mechanisms within nuclear facilities and an improved numerical model for predicting hydrogen detonation.&nbsp; The Flammable Gases Centre of Expertise (FGCoE) from Sellafield Ltd. will benefit by having immediate access to the data and will exploit the results to enable more accurate predictions of ignition and detonation of hydrogen within nuclear facilities. The FGCoE holds quarterly meetings and brings together all the relevant Sellafield projects as well as attendance from all those in the NDA estate, with interest in hydrogen issues. Attending and presenting at these meetings will improve university engagement with the industry and facilitate adoption of any research findings by the estate. In addition, research findings may be considered for inclusion to the Hydrogen Technical Guide, the nuclear industry standard guidance.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <em><strong>PHD Mechanical Engineering FT</strong></em> and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is<em>&nbsp;<strong>Ignitability, Quenching and Deflagration-to-Detonation-Transition of H2-air mixtures</strong> </em>as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr. Junfeng Yang</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</strong></p> <p><strong>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 29 July 2022:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</strong></li> <li><strong>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</strong></li> <li><strong>CV</strong></li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p class="MsoNoSpacing">A highly competitive EPSRC CASE Competition Studentship in partnership with Sellafield Ltd, consisting of the award of fees with a maintenance grant of &pound;16,062 for session 2022/23 for 3.5 years with an additional Top-Up of &pound;3,000 per year.<br /> <br /> This opportunity is open to UK applicants only. All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC CASE Competition Studentship Award Competition and selection is based on academic merit.<br /> <br /> Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals starting from September/October 2021.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions:<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>, t: +44 (0)113 343 5057.</p> <p>For further information about this project, please contact Dr Junfeng Yang:<br /> e: <a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>
<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>