FEIT Research Project Database

Combustion chemistry of hydrogen-natural gas mixtures

Project Leader: Yi Yang
Collaborators: Mohsen Talei, Michael Brear
Primary Contact: Yi Yang (yi.yang@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: air pollution and emissions abatement; chemical reaction kinetics; combustion and emissions; hydrogen; renewable energy
Disciplines: Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering,Mechanical Engineering

The rise of renewable energy produces a pressing need for energy storage: what to do with the excess electricity generation when the grid demand is low.

A promising solution is to use the electricity to produce hydrogen via water electrolysis and store the produced hydrogen in natural gas pipelines. This approach offers enormous renewable energy storage capacity compared with alternative means such as Snowy Hydro. However, hydrogen and natural gas have very different combustion properties. For example, the flame speed of hydrogen is 7 to 8 times that of natural gas, and hydrogen is more likely to explode at lower pressures. This causes potential problems for home burners and industrial appliances, but the solutions are not well known.

This PhD project is to carry out an experimental study and chemical kinetic simulation of hydrogen-methane mixtures in a high-pressure flow reactor. The results will be used to develop accurate chemical models of these admixtures for practical applications.