Synchrotron and surface studies of the influence of soft metals on lubrication and corrosion in engines

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Chemical and Process Engineering


The operation of modern internal combustion engines requires increasing presence of polar molecules (e.g. water, organic acids) that may corrode non-steel components, which may result in vehicle failure. This project explores the relevant corrosion chemistries on copper, with the aim to design strategies by which corrosion can be mitigated by the use of additives in the lubricant and/ or by passivating the metal surface. The chemical composition, valence and binding of the metal will be studied before, during and after exposure to a corrosive environment. Laboratory methods will be designed to combine standard laboratory corrosion tests with fundamental in-depth surface analysis. In addition, the role of corrosion inhibitors in such systems will be investigated. The overall aim is to understand the key attributes of the corrosion mechanism and to design potential solutions. The actual research work is mostly experimental and will focus on surface chemistry, with some complementary molecular and solid-state modelling where required. State-of-the-art surface analysis techniques will be used throughout the project, drawing heavily on resources at Diamond Light Source and in the Leeds VXSF Royce facility - XPS, XAFS, NEXAFS, XRD, surface diffraction and SAXS. The student will be based at the Harwell campus and work closely with the research teams at the nearby Infineum site.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513258/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2175181 Studentship EP/R513258/1 01/10/2018 31/05/2022 James Michael Bucag