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Postgraduate research project

A holistic approach to the analysis of fuel deposits and precursors using hyphenated high resolution mass spectrometric techniques

Fully funded (UK only)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree (View full entry requirements)
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

Emissions from internal combustion engines (ICE) continue to have a major impact on climate change and health issues worldwide.

The decarbonisation and electrification of such powertrains continues apace, but many estimates say that in 2040, internal combustion (IC) will still be the most widely used engine technology in light passenger vehicles, and will feature heavily in off-road, heavy-duty and marine applications. Therefore, it is imperative that long-term, efficient, operation of IC engine components is ensured and there continues to be research-driven focus on improving all aspects of the IC engine to mitigate emissions.

This study will employ a wide range of hyphenated chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques to characterise gasoline fuels, the deposits and precursor molecules that have had a detrimental effect on performance of the gasoline direct injection engine (GDI). Data from this research will deliver new knowledge that will be used to inform mitigation strategies leading to reduced emissions and improved fuel economy.

By working with Innospec, the student will have access to additional instrumentation not available at Southampton, will spend time with the industrial partner as defined during the project, and will assess the transferability of their findings with the research teams at Innospec. Dr Jim Barker, senior research fellow at Innospec, will also join the project's supervisory team.

This project is well-suited to those with strong skills and a keen interest in analytical chemistry, and its application to the petrochemical industry.  An interest in analytical and physical-organic chemistry is desirable. The student will be expected to present posters and orals at national and international conferences.

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