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Centre for Integrated Energy Research

Environmental and Performance Impacts of Alternative Fuels

Novel Catalysts for Emission Reduction; CIER Lead - Dr Hu Li (fuehli@leeds.ac.uk).

Currently we have a joint EU project between Schools of Chemistry and Chemical and Process Engineering: Low Cost Material for Exhaust Catalysis (LowCat). The project is to develop a low cost catalyst for simultaneously reducing CO and NOx emissions in the vehicle exhaust aftertreatment systems, with an aim to replace PGMs (Platinum Group Metals).

Biofuels for Transport Applications; CIER Lead - Professor Alison Tomlin (a.s.tomlin@leeds.ac.uk) and Dr Hu Li (fuehli@leeds.ac.uk).

In the short term, an effective way to lower the carbon footprint of the transport sector is the use of renewably generated bio-derived fuels. There are many available liquid fuel energy carriers including biodiesel, bio-alcohols, vegetable oils, etc. It is important to understand how fuel choices and their potential blends with traditional fuels affect the performance of engines in terms of efficiency, knocking characteristics, carbon footprint and emissions of relevance to air quality. A range of different studies are being carried out to assess the suitability of different biofuels from the molecular scale all the way to full engine/vehicle scale in collaboration with colleagues in the Schools of Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry at Leeds. Particular interests include the assessment of real world emissions and the development of low knock fuels for modern boosted engines. Advanced fuels such as hydrogenated vegetable oil and gas to liquid fuels are being assessed for their combustion and emissions performance.

Alternative Fuels for Diesel Generators and Micro Grids; CIER Lead - Dr Hu Li (fuehli@leeds.ac.uk).

Diesel generators play an important role in many developing countries such as sub-Sahara African countries, where electrification rate is typically below 30% and there is no access to electricity in many rural areas. Researches are being carried out to widen fuel choices for diesel generators to enable utilisation of locally available biomasses. This is linked to a newly awarded GCRF project “Creating Resilient Sustainable Microgrids through Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems” (£1.5m) between Schools of Geography, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Chemical and Process Engineering at Leeds involving three African and one Asian partners. The aim of the project is to develop a diesel generator and solar energy integrated micro grid system to provide a sustainable, reliable and flexible electricity for remote villages.

Real World Driving Emissions; CIER Lead - Dr Hu Li (fuehli@leeds.ac.uk).

Vehicle tailpipe emissions are regulated by the emission standards measured from legislated test cycles. However, it is well known those test cycles are not representative to real world driving emissions. The EU has developed a RDE (Real Driving Emission) regulation trying to better represent the real world driving situations. The research at Leeds is being carried out to investigate real world driving emissions from hybrid vehicles and other vehicles and assess the difference in fuel consumption and emissions between real driving and legislated driving cycles.