University of Sheffield is making zero carbon transport a reality

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University of Sheffield’s new Energy Institute is revolutionising transport and breaking down the barriers standing in the way of zero-carbon transport.

By U2B Staff 

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Researchers from the University of Sheffield’s new Energy Institute are revolutionising transport of the future and breaking down the barriers standing in the way of accessible and viable zero-carbon transport.

The team has developed new intiatives that will help tackle climate change and decarbonise UK travel with the introduction of cutting edge vehicles, such as hydrogen fuelled cars.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the research will see scientists focus on developing new, low-carbon liquid fuels as well as electric and hybrid aircraft technologies that are crucial to the future of the aviation industry.


Aviation and aerospace is a vital sector in the UK, contributing more than £22 billion a year to the economy, but it is responsible for 12 percent of CO2 emissions from transport sources, globally.

“Decarbonisation of the aviation industry is a top priority for the world,” Head of the Energy Institute at the University of Sheffield, Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, said in a statement.

zero carbon transport
Computer generated image released by electric aircraft start-up Zunum Aero on April 4, 2018 shows a Zunum Aero’s hybrid-electric regional aircraft flying. – Zunum Aero, a start-up partly financed by US aeronautics group Boeing, works to bring a hybrid plane to the market by 2022. Source: Zunum Aero / AFP

“Engineers at the University of Sheffield are working collaboratively with industry and other academic institutes to find solutions to the barriers that face the adoption of low carbon, synthetic fuel to enable commercial aviation to achieve the industry’s climate goals from sustainable alternative aviation fuels.”

Collaboration is central to the success of the second project, working closely with industry and government to design solutions that can help to decarbonise the transport industry. DecarboN8 network of universities, as the project is called, will focus on tackling surface transport emissions, which form 26 percent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.


The network is led by the University of Leeds, and comprised of experts from the N8 Research Partnership – a collaboration of the eight most research-intensive universities in the North of England, as well as experts from government and industry.

“The network is a really exciting opportunity to bring together academia and industry to tackle the challenge of decarbonising transport,” Dr Danielle Densley Tingley from the University’s Urban Flows Observatory and Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, said.

“Key to our approach will be considering the whole life impact of different solutions – which will include emissions from the material and maintenance demands of different infrastructure solutions as well as the direct emissions from operation.”