Utilisation of waste hydrogen and heat for efficiency improvement at Cogent HTCA process

Key Information

At Cogent Power Orb Electrical Steels, the HTCA process is performed in electrical multi-stack annealing furnaces.  The whole HTCA process (i.e. heating-up, soaking and cooling) lasts up to one week. Being one of the critical parts of the process for production of GO steels, lines need to be constantly running, meaning annual energy consumptions that exceed £10M per year. Although the process is highly energy intensive and vast amounts of waste gases are produced, none of these are either recovered or re-used, decreasing overall efficiency and augmenting costs. Thus, COGENT is exhaustively searching for options to recover these waste streams (heat and gases) to increase efficiency, reduce cost and maintain product quality.  

Project Aims

This project aims to perform exploratory analyses of all the different options available for the recovery of the waste streams, with emphasis on hydrogen and heat, available from the HTCA process. Using advanced software, bespoke experimental rigs and state-of-the-art measuring techniques the project aims to determine the best strategy for both recovery and utilisation of gases and heat to increase efficiency at the HTCA, thus enabling the reduction of energy costs while decreasing turnover times between lines. Moreover, the use of these streams will be evaluated to produce other expensive resources, i.e. ammonia that are used across the facility and currently have a high impact on the final operational cost.

Suitable Candidiate

This project would suit an Engineering graduate with the following:

Mandatory Modules - Energy Systems, Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer. Ideally also experience of - Hydrogen/Alternative Vectors analyses, Energy Management for Efficiency improvement, Modelling tools.

Academic Supervisor:

Dr Agustin Valera-Medina (Cardiff University)

Sponsoring Company Cogent Power Ltd. (Tata Steel) Newport

Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience.

Our funders require applicants to also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a UK or EU citizen (i.e. eligible for ‘home’ tuition fees at the University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of your studies.
  • You must be resident in West Wales and the Valleys at the point of enrolment and throughout the duration of your studies.
  • You must not be financially able to participate without the award of grant funding.

Further information regarding eligibility criteria can be found at: http://www.materials-academy.co.uk/eligibility

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation.



The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a.

Closing Date 28 February 2018

Start Date October 2018

Apply Now

Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk