Skip to main content

Direct capture of iodine on solid adsorbents


Key facts

Type of research degree
4 year PhD
Application deadline
Monday 31 July 2023
Project start date
Sunday 1 October 2023
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
Centre for doctoral training
Professor Bruce Hanson and Dr Timothy Hunter
School of Chemical and Process Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

We are looking for an enthusiastic graduate with 1st class honours or a 2:1 in an Engineering, Materials Science or related discipline, for a 4-year funded joint PhD, as part of the Doctoral Training Centre in Growing skills for Reliable Economic Energy from Nuclear (GREEN CDT). You will join the University of Leeds Nuclear Engineering Group within the School of Chemical and Process Engineering ( As part of one of the most prominent nuclear research groups in the UK, you will have access to world leading research facilities in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, as well as the opportunity to undertake an industrial research placement with the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL).<br /> <br /> As the UK prepares to invest in new operational nuclear power plants, industry and research organisations are looking towards the next generation of fuel recycling operations, where uranium, plutonium and other precious metals are separated. In such processes, a number of toxic gases arise from fuel dissolution, two of which are NOx and (gaseous) Iodine. Taken individually, current technologies exist that are effective, however, their combination together raises additional requirements for materials to remove these species. In addition, whatever is used to capture Iodine must lead to a suitable wasteform for final disposal, which has meant a move away from liquid scrubbers to (ideally) solid absorbents. This PhD project will work alongside leading teams within the University of Leeds and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) to investigate the next generation of solid gas-capture technologies for future fuel cycles. Specifically, we will firstly study the performance of silver impregnated zeolites for iodine removal in conjunction with NOx, and look to optimise iodine capture rates while generating solids that are safe for disposal. Secondly, there is increasing interest in developing new types of adsorbents based on metal organic frameworks (MOFs), where significant work is still required to fabricate MOFs in a suitable form for gas adsorption, which will also be a focus of the PhD. Work will additionally involve the use of unique pilot-scale gas scrubber facility available within the nuclear engineering group at Leeds.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">For further information on this opportunity &ndash;&nbsp;please visit the <strong><a href="">GREEN-CDT</a></strong> website. The GREEN CDT is in collaboration with Manchester University, and all GREEN PhDs include an integrated Diploma in Nuclear Energy (conducted within the first six months). Also, please see The <a href=""><strong>Nuclear Engineering Group</strong> </a>website for more information on the type of work we conduct at Leeds on nuclear waste management.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <em><strong>EPSRC Nuclear Energy &ndash;&nbsp;GREEN</strong></em> and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Direct capture of iodine on solid adsorbents</strong></em> as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr Timothy Hunter</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents by no later than the closing date of 28 April 2023:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> <li>Funding information:&nbsp; EPSRC CDT Nuclear Energy &ndash;&nbsp;GREEN</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">This is a&nbsp;highly competitive funded PhD from the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy (GREEN-CDT) consisting of&nbsp;the award of fees with a UKRI standard maintenance grant for session 2023/24&nbsp;indexed for 4&nbsp;years.<br /> <br /> This opportunity is open to UK applicants only. However, there are additional eligibility requirements for international applicants, stipulated based on the Centre of Doctural Training (CDT) cohort requirements. All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship and selection is based on academic merit.</p> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about your application,&nbsp; please contact Doctoral College Admissions:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about this project, please contact Dr Timothy Hunter: <a href=""></a> or +44 (0)113 343 2790.</p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>