Designing the materials for production of tailored and sustainable aviation fuels from waste CO2 and water

Lead Research Organisation: Northumbria University
Department Name: Fac of Engineering and Environment


Development of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) from renewable resources is critical to help UK to
transition to a low carbon future. This project aims to produce sustainable and tailored jet fuels by
designing novel materials (photo-electrocatalysts) using renewable energy from industrially
sourced CO2. For the aviation industry, it is vital that the jet fuel should comprise of single and
tailored hydrocarbon instead of a mixture or blend of fuels to maximize the fuel efficiency which
is a grand challenge for scientific community. In this project, twostep process will be carried out
to obtain "tailored" jet fuel molecules. In the first step, CO2 will be converted to C1, C2 molecules
using binary copper alloys (CuIn, CuSn) and then novel catalyst materials will be designed (multimetallic)
to "stitch" C1,C2 compounds together to obtain tailored SAF. For this purpose, an
integrated materials design (bottom-up method to develop novel Copper based photo-electrodes)
and engineering for reactor design (top-down method to tailor heat and mass transport
parameters influencing reaction conditions) approach will be implemented towards tailored and
sustainable jet fuel production.
Following key skills will be gained during this project;
1. Materials Synthesis (Copper based binary and ternary compounds): Electrochemical, Softchemistry
2. Materials characterisation: Electron Microscopy, AFM, Electrochemical techniques
3. Analytical: GC (TCD, FID, BID), HPLC
4. Reactor design: 3D printing, COMSOL simulations
This multidisciplinary project unites leading Universities (Northumbria, Newcastle) and industry
(Airbus) to conduct transformative research on SAF which will have a strong impact on society
and economy, particularly in the energy sector and associated materials and process industries.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023836/1 01/04/2019 30/09/2027
2283256 Studentship EP/S023836/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Ian Brewis