The overall aim of our hydrogen engine research program is to develop the most efficient hydrogen engine to date, targeting heavy duty applications in transportation (e.g. ships and trucks) and power generation. We have already demonstrated an engine [1] for which the thermal efficiency exceeds the real world efficiency of a fuel cell by exploiting some of hydrogen's unique combustion properties, while providing a more robust power plant that is resistant to thermal and mechanical shock, and enabling the operation on hydrogen containing impurities. The bigger picture is in a possible future where Australia would export hydrogen to countries such as Japan which has not got enough solar energy to supply their own needs. Our project diversifies the possible end uses for hydrogen.


Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Research Area

Hydrogen, combustion, engines

Combustion research group involving 2 PhD students and 4 post-docs

The main aim of the Taste of Research project is to improve our understanding of hydrogen combustion in engine-relevant conditions by developing and validating a numerical model of hydrogen combustion based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD). If we are able to develop a successful model, we can use it to help understand how to improve the combustion strategy in the engine. The work will involve developing the model, and comparing results from it to experimental data. We expect that the initial model will not perform very well, and that work will need to be done to improve its performance. The outcomes will be an improved understanding of the ability of CFD to predict hydrogen combustion, with a stretch goal to find ways to improve its performance. The Taste of Research project would be an excellent preparation for a BE thesis or PhD thesis in this area, when more ambitious goals could be pursued. Example publications from previous similar work are provided in [2,3].

[1] Liu X., Srna A., Yip H.L., Kook S., Hawkes E.R., Chan Q.N., “Performance and emissions of hydrogen-diesel dual direct injection (H2DDI) in a single-cylinder compression-ignition engine,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 46:1302-1314, 2021;

[2] Wang, Y., Evans, A., Srna, A., Wehrfritz, A., Hawkes, E.R., Liu, X., Kook, S., Chan, Q.N., “A numerical investigation of mixture formation and combustion characteristics of a hydrogen-diesel dual direct injection engine”, SAE Technical Paper 2021-01-0526, 2021, doi:10.4271/2021-01-0526;

[3] Evans, A., Wang, Y., Wehrfritz, A., Srna, A., Hawkes, E.R., Liu, X., Kook, S., Chan, Q.N., “Mechanisms of NOx production and heat loss in a dual-fuel hydrogen compression ignition engine”, SAE Technical Paper 2021-01-0527, 2021, doi:10.4271/2021-01-0527;