Skip to main content Skip to navigation

PhD in Green Hydrogen Based Steel Manufacturing

PhD in Green Hydrogen Based Steel Manufacturing

Project Overview

An enthusiastic individual is being invited to join a team of researchers to work on the EPSRC funded Future Manufacturing Research Hub project SUSTAIN ( SUSTAIN is an exciting collaborative project between Universities of Warwick (WMG), Sheffield and Swansea working with the UK steel industry. This project will link to the first grand challenge in the SUSTAIN hub “Zero Waste, Carbon Neutral Iron and Steelmaking”.

Hydrogen is an environmentally cleaner source of energy to end users without the release of pollutants, such as particulate matter and carbon dioxide at the point of end use. Significant development of renewable energy enables the production of pure hydrogen by water electrolysis (instead of reforming natural gas) without environmental impact (i.e. green hydrogen), although substantial work (e.g. cost, storage, distribution infrastructure) needs to be done to overcome the challenges for H2 to be a major economy factor. The production of direct reduced iron (DRI) by using renewable energy (electricity)-generated hydrogen will be an ultra-low or zero CO2 emissions alternative ironmaking technology. The DRI produced by this technology can be used for scrap replacement in BOF (basic oxygen furnace) steelmaking, and will be an ideal dilution additive for (high residual) steel scrap in the EAF (electric arc furnace) route (DRI + scrap-based EAF) to produce high quality steels at low cost. Globally several major initiatives are underway, however, substantial fundamental understanding is required for the realisation of this concept and its integration with steelmaking.

This PhD research, through theoretical simulation, experimental research and advanced characterisation, will focus on some of the challenging and unsolved areas such as mechanisms to accelerate the reduction process, hydrogen utilisation efficiency, product qualities from DRI process and its impact on steelmaking. The research will advance fundamental understanding in the use of hydrogen in steel manufacturing and help realise the fossil-free steel manufacturing.

The research will be carried out by using the world-leading research facilities at the Advanced Steel Research Centre (ASRC) of WMG, the University of Warwick. A range of equipment directly relevant to the project include: (1) a specifically-designed high-temperature reactive gas furnace for safe and controlled investigation under replicated industrial atmospheres (H2, natural gas and other simulated gases); (2) a mass spectrometry for in-line analysis of the reacted gases; (3) a high temperature confocal laser scanning microscope (HT-CLSM) for in-situ observation of reactions of iron ore by hydrogen; (4) furnaces to melt DRI and other metal materials; (5) an advanced material characterisation suite for pre- & post-experiment sample examination; (6) a modelling suite (multi-physics, fluid dynamic and thermodynamic); and (7) facilities for sample preparation and composition analysis.

This project provides an outstanding opportunity to be involved in cutting-edge research of the next generation sustainable steel manufacturing, and gives valuable exposure to the UK steel industry and collaborating universities.

Essential and desirable criteria

We are actively seeking an enthusiastic individual to join the Advanced Steel Research Centre at WMG, the University of Warwick with the following entry requirements and expectations:

  • A 1st or 2.1 undergraduate (BEng, BSc, MEng) and/or postgraduate masters’ qualification (MSc) in a science and technology field such as Metallurgy, Materials Science and Engineering, Manufacturing, Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering.
  • A passion and enthusiasm to challenge the state-of-the-art and to apply the world leading research facilities for the creation of critical knowledge and its industrial applications.

Funding and Eligibility

Funding of £17,668 plus industrial top-up £3,000 for 4 years.

Funding is available to eligible Home fee status and UK domicile EU students.

To apply

To apply please complete our online enquiry form and upload your CV.

Please ensure you meet the minimum requirements before filling in the online form.

PhD in Green Hydrogen Based Steel Manufacturing

Key Information:

Funding Source: DTP

Stipend: £20,668

Supporting company: Sustain

Supervisor: Professor Zushu Li

Available to Home fee status and UK domicile EU students

Start date: February 2023