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Reducing greenhouse gas and air pollutants emissions from hybrid vehicles


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Monday 29 April 2024
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
UK only
Competition funded
Source of funding
Doctoral training partnership
Dr Hu Li
Additional supervisors
Professor John Plane (Chemistry), Dr Alexander James (Chemistry)
School of Chemical and Process Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

This project is to investigate the co-benefits of cleaner fuels and novel exhaust aftertreatment systems on the mitigation of emissions from hybrid vehicles. The aim is to reduce carbon and air pollutant emissions from transport and off-road vehicles/machines simultaneously. <br /> <br /> While the pace of electrification in the transport sector is accelerating, it is still a major challenge for heavy duty vehicles including marine sectors to decarbonise. It is expected that liquid fuels will continue to be used in heavy duty vehicles for the foreseeable future. These liquid fuels could be bio or synthesised low carbon fuels. <br /> <br /> As the legislation on tailpipe emissions is getting stricter with the EURO 7 to be implemented from 2025, highly effective exhaust aftertreatment systems are required. However, it becomes a challenge to comply with the emission legislation simply depending on one technology. <br /> <br /> The project is to explore the combined use of clean low carbon fuels and effective exhaust aftertreatment systems to meet stringent emission legislation and simultaneously reduce carbon emissions. The project will use a novel patented catalyst (for NOx and CO reduction) developed at the University of Leeds and the state of the art engine and vehicle emission research facilities, to investigate interaction between low carbon fuels and exhaust catalytic conversion systems. A key feature of the patented catalyst is the capability to convert NOx at lower temperature (&lt; 200&deg;C) when the engine is at low load and cold operation, which is a major source of urban pollutions from vehicles when travelling at low speed and frequent stop/start. The project will investigate the real world driving emissions using a hybrid research vehicle. <br /> <br /> You&rsquo;ll be working with a group of enthusiastic researchers and industrial partners and able to enrich your experiences with hand on skills, instrumental and data processing skills and many more. The prospective sectors for your future career will be transport, engine and vehicle manufacture, environment, fuels and regulatory bodies etc.

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

<p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left:28px">&nbsp;</p> <p>Air pollution is a major cause of premature death and disease and is the single largest environmental health risk in Europe, according to a 2021 report published by the European Environment Agency. In the EU, 40400 premature deaths were attributed to chronic nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exposure in 2019. Out of total NOx emissions, about 34% were from transport in 2019. To reduce adverse health impacts of air pollution, the EU has set up a zero pollution plan, including a target to reduce premature deaths caused by air pollution by more than 55% by 2030.</p> <p><strong>Aims:</strong></p> <p>Develop an optimised solution for simultaneous reduction of GHG and air pollutants from hybrid vehicles by maximising the benefits of low carbon fuels and low temperature catalyst.</p> <p><strong>Objectives:</strong></p> <p>1.&nbsp; Establish an assessing tool for the screening of low carbon fuels, including sustainability, affordability and combustion behaviour etc.</p> <p>2.&nbsp; Determine the operational characteristics of hybrid vehicles under various real world driving.</p> <p>3.&nbsp; Investigate the catalytic performance of the low temperature catalyst.</p> <p>4.&nbsp; Measure emissions of hybrid vehicles using low carbon fuels.</p> <p>5.&nbsp; Determination of maximum potentials for carbon and air pollutant reductions by optimised combination of low carbon fuels and the low temperature catalyst.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

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

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">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>EPSRC DTP Engineering &amp; Physical Sciences</strong></em> (if you do not apply to this programme code, your application will not be considered) and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is&nbsp;<em><strong>Reducing greenhouse gas and air pollutants emissions from hybrid vehicles</strong></em> as well as <a href="">Dr Hu Li</a> as your proposed supervisor. Please state in the Finance section that the funding source you are applying for is <em><strong>EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership 2024/25:&nbsp; Chemical &amp; Process Engineering</strong></em>.</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><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p>Applications will be considered after the closing date. &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.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 29 April 2024:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</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, preferably from a Mechanical or Chemical Engineering background. 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. A full UK driving licence is also required.

<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 style="margin-bottom:11px">A highly competitive EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship offering the award of fees, together with a tax-free maintenance grant (currently &pound;18,622 for academic session 2023/24) for 3.5 years.&nbsp; Training and support will also be provided.</p> <p>This opportunity is open to UK applicants only.&nbsp; All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.</p> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

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

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">For further information about this project, please contact Dr Hu Li by email to&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email to <a href=""></a></p>

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