Professor Yongliang Li

Professor Yongliang Li

School of Chemical Engineering
Professor in Thermal Energy Engineering
Exchange students tutor

Contact details

School of Chemical Engineering
The University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Yongliang Li is a Chair in Thermal Energy Engineering in the School of Chemical Engineering. His research interests focus primarily on thermal energy processes and systems including thermal energy (heat and cold) storage, refrigeration and air conditioning, carbon capture and storage, process and system simulation and optimization. His research work has been supported by EPSRC, British Council, and industrial companies.


  • PhD in Chemical and Process Engineering, School of Process, Environmental and Materials Engineering, University of Leeds, UK, 2011
  • BEng in Energy and Power Engineering, School of Astronautics, Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics (BUAA), PR China, 2005


Professor Yongliang Li was trained as a thermal engineer first at Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in China, and then as a process engineer at the University of Leeds. Following the completion of his PhD in 2011, Professor Li took a postdoctoral position at the same institution until the end of 2013 when he was appointed as a lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham.

Professor Li has been working on thermal energy processes and systems since 2007 with extensive research experience in cryogenic fluids, flow and heat transfer, carbon capture, process intensification and integration, systematic analysis and optimisation. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed journals and book chapters as well as 2 patents. He has won several prestigious awards including the Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award (EPSRC/Highview, 2007), China National Award for a Self-Financed Chinese Scholar (China Scholarship Council, 2011), and Collaborative Development Award (British Council, 2014). His current research interests cover a wide range including thermal energy (heat and cold) storage, refrigeration and air conditioning, carbon capture and storage, process and system simulation and optimization. He receives funding from the EPSRC and British Council in these fields as well as from major industrial companies including Air Products, SGRI and CSR. He has received over £2.5M in funding over since he joined Birmingham in 2014.


Introduction to Transport Phenomena and Thermodynamics (Level C)
Efficient Heat Engines and Heat Pumps (Level I)

Postgraduate supervision

Principal supervisor of:
  • Ciprian Negoescu
  • Sidra Rama

Co-supervisor of :

  • Chuan Li
  • Xiaodong Peng
  • Yaoting Huang

Dr Yongliang Li is interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Thermal energy (heat and cold) storage
  • Refrigeration and air conditioning
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Process and system simulation and optimization

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Dr Yongliang Li on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email:


Research themes

  • Thermal energy (heat and cold) storage
  • Refrigeration and air conditioning
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Process and system simulation and optimization

Current Research Projects

EPSRC (EP/N032888/1): £4,013,527 (co-investigator), Multi-scale Analysis for Facilities for Energy Storage (Manifest), Jul 2016-Jun 2020.

The Royal Society (IE150598): £12,000 (Principal investigator), A hybrid approach for thermal design and management of lithium-ion battery packs, Apr 2016-Mar 2018.

EPSRC (EP/N021142/1): £609,488 (Principal investigator), Adsorption Cooling-energy Conversion with Encapsulated Sorbents (ACCESS), Mar 2016-Feb2019.

EPSRC (EP/N000714/1): £934,275 (Principal investigator), Cryogenic-temperature cold storage using microencapsulated phase change materials in slurries, Oct 2015-Sep2019.

CSR QINGDAO SIFANG CO LTD: £449,073 (co-investigator), A novel air-conditioning technology based on energy storage for high-speed trains, Oct 2015-Jun 2017.

AIR PRODUCTS PLC: £67,000 (Principal supervisor), Flow and heat transfer of air under supercritical conditions (PhD studentship), Apr 2015-Mar 2018.

SGRI EUROPE GMBH: £430,000 (co-investigator), Key phase change based energy storage technologies for effective renewable energy utilisation, Dec 2014-Oct 2016.

British Council: £31,680 (co-investigator), Collaboration with India - Nanostructured materials for solar thermal applications with distributed systems, May 2014-April 2016.


Selected Publications

Y. Li, Y. Huang, J. Radcliffe and Y. Ding, Cryogenic Energy Storage, a chapter for Handbook of Clean Energy Systems, Wiley, 2014.

Y. Ding, Y. Li, C. Liu and Z. Sun, Solar electric energy storage overview, a chapter for Solar Energy Storage, Bent Sørensen eds, Elsevier BV, 2014.

E. Barbour, I.A.G Wilson, J. Radcliffe, Y. Ding and Y. Li, A review of Pumped Hydro Energy Storage development in different international electricity markets, Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, in press.

E. Barbour, D. Mignard, Y. Ding and Y. Li, Adiabatic compressed air energy storage with packed bed thermal energy storage, Applied Energy 155 (2015) 804-815.

L. Tong, A. Zhang, Y. Li, L. Yao, L. Wang, H. Li and Y. Ding, Exergy and energy analysis of a load regulation method of CVO of air separation unit, Applied Thermal Engineering 80 (2015) 413-423.

Z. Ge, Y. Li, D. Li, Z. Sun, Y Jin, C. Liu, G. Leng and Y. Ding, Thermal energy storage: challenges and the role of particle technology, Particuology 15 (2014) 2–8.

Y. Li, H. Cao, S. Wang, Y. Jin, D. Li, X. Wang and Y. Ding, Load shifting of nuclear power plants using cryogenic energy storage technology, Applied Energy 113 (2014) 1710-1716.

Y. Li, X. Wang and Y. Ding, A cryogen-based peak-shaving technology: systematic approach and techno-economic analysis International Journal of Energy Research, 37 (2013) 547-557.

Y. Li, X. Wang and Y. Ding, An integrated solar-cryogen hybrid power system. Renewable Energy 37 (2012) 76-81.

Y. Li, X. Wang, Y. Jin and Y. Ding, An optimal design methodology for large-scale gas liquefaction. Applied Energy, 99 (2012) 484-490.

Y. Li, Y. Jin, H. Chen, C. Tan and Y. Ding, An integrated system for thermal power generation, electrical energy storage and CO2 capture. International Journal of Energy Research 35 (2011) 1158-1167.

H. Chen, Y. Ding, Y. Li, X. Zhang and C. Tan, Air fuelled zero emission road transportation: a comparative study. Applied Energy 88 (2011) 337-342.

Y. Li, H. Chen, and Y. Ding, Fundamentals and applications of cryogen as a thermal energy carrier: A critical assessment. International Journal of Thermal Sciences 49 (2010) 941-949.

Y. Li, H. Chen, X. Zhang, C. Tan and Y. Ding, Renewable energy carriers: hydrogen or liquid air/nitrogen? Applied Thermal Engineering 30 (2010) 1985-1990.

H. Chen, T.N. Cong, W. Yang, C. Tan, Y. Li and Y. Ding, Progress in electrical energy storage system: A critical review. Progress in Natural Science 19 (2009) 291-312.