Future transport will be powered by a mixture of on board electrical energy storage and sustainable chemical fuels. To be sustainable, the fuel must originate from a sustainable source and not emit harmful emissions during the chemical transformation process to motive power on the vehicle.
A number of solutions have been proposed, including the use of hydrogen derived from the electrolysis of water, bio derived fuels and synthetic fuels (sometimes referred to electrofuels). All these options have merits and demerits and may be present in the sector side by side fulfilling different needs.
In this project, the opportunity to use the emissions from the waste industry will be investigated. Gaseous emission, mainly methane from the decomposition of various waste streams have a very high greenhouse gas signature and in contribute significantly to global warming. Conversion of these waste products to a fuel has the potential of delivering a sustainable energy source that is net carbon negative.
A systems approach will be taken, investigating the total impact of the waste stream, conversion process and end use to provide a robust impact assessment of various options. Process modelling techniques will be used to investigate waste treatment options including energy, capital and operational costs. Opportunities for innovative system level solutions to enhance the process will be identified and may lead to laboratory work to further investigate potential solutions.
This project covers a broad subject and the interplay of complex system concepts. A candidate will be expected to be able to think at a systems level and be comfortable in both the simulation and laboratory environments.