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Electrochemical synthesis using flow-reactor technology

PGR-P-677

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Friday 17 April 2020
Project start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Country eligibility
UK and EU
Funding
Competition funded
Source of funding
Research council
Supervisors
Professor Nik Kapur and Dr Charlotte Willans
Schools
School of Chemistry, School of Mechanical Engineering
Research groups/institutes
Process Research and Development
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Electrochemical synthesis of organic, inorganic and organometallic compounds has undergone a renaissance over the last decade. Electrochemistry uses electrons as reactants, offering a mild and atom efficient route to oxidative and/or reductive transformations. Flow chemistry has also become prominent in recent years. Electrochemical synthesis in flow enables the combination of reagents and electrons in a continuous system which can have several advantages over batch such as faster and cleaner reactions, integrated synthesis, analysis and optimisation, in addition to the potential for easy scalability.

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

<p>Through collaboration between our groups we have developed electrochemical reactors in both batch and flow for the synthesis of organometallic and organic products. During this work we have recognised that there are many aspects of both the technology and the specific reaction that affect the outcome of an electrochemical reaction. Variables such as reactor channel shape, frequency, type of reaction, mechanism etc. have a profound influence on the reaction, which ultimately impacts upon factors such as reproducibility, predictability and scale-up.</p> <p>This project will investigate the fundamental aspects of electrochemical synthesis in flow, with the variables described above being examined in depth. Students working on this collaborative project will gain skills in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry, electrochemistry, flow-chemistry and reaction engineering. In addition, a variety of analytical tools will be used including NMR and UV spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, LCMS and GC. The outputs from the work will appeal to a broad audience working in organic synthesis, organometallic catalysis, electrochemistry and flow chemistry, and will influence both academic research and industry. The project aligns with the EPSRC physical sciences, engineering and manufacturing the future themes, and will add significant knowledge that facilitates a step change in our ability to deliver molecules quickly and efficiently.<br /> &nbsp;</p>

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

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/chemistry-research-degrees/doc/apply">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &lsquo;Electrochemical synthesis using flow-reactor technology&rsquo; as well as <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/chemistry/staff/4201/dr-charlotte-willans">Dr Charlotte Willans</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>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<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.

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

<p><strong>UK/EU</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;Engineering &amp; Physical Sciences Research Council Studentship&nbsp;for 3.5 years. A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (&pound;4,600 in Session 2020/21), together with a maintenance grant (&pound;15,009 in Session 2019/20) paid at standard Research Council rates. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.&nbsp;&nbsp;Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.</p>

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

<p>For further information please contact Doctoral College Admissions,<br /> e: <a href="mailto:phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk">phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk</a>. t: +44 (0)113 343 5057</p>


<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>