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Porous solids for carbon capture and catalysis


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Friday 17 April 2020
Project start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Country eligibility
UK and EU
Competition funded
Source of funding
Research council
Dr Sean Collins and Dr Javier Fernandez-Garcia
School of Chemical and Process Engineering, School of Chemistry
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Porous and microporous solids are key platforms for heterogeneous chemical reactions, separations, and waste stream processing. Amines, immobilized within zeolites or metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) or functionalized as part of linker molecules in MOFs, are a particular target for carbon capture strategies as well as in aldol reactions. This project will take a microscopic through to reactor design approach to examine the roles of multiscale chemical organization for heterogeneous reaction performance.

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

<p>The student will develop porous inorganic or metal-organic solids using hydrothermal synthesis approaches and modification of commercial materials. The student will use advanced electron microscopy techniques to probe the microscopic mechanisms of amine immobilization and functionalization. These microscopic studies will be applied first to established systems with known catalytic performance for new insight into e.g. the extent of infiltration of amines in porous solids or the spatial distribution of amine groups in MOFs, in turn enabling alternative synthesis and processing modifications to be explored. These synthetic and characterization approaches will then be integrated into reactor systems for carbon capture and catalysis, so catalytic performance will be tested and therefore product optimization will also help to determine the optimal process performance.</p> <p>The student will use a broad range of analytical and characterization tools as well as setting up and optimizing reaction testing. The student will also have the opportunity to participate in external facilities research, including at the electron Phyiscal Sciences Imaging Centre at the Diamond Light Source (Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK) and at SuperSTEM, the EPSRC National Facility for Advanced Electron Microscopy (Daresbury, Cheshire, UK). The project will be embedded within a multidisciplinary environment across the School of Chemical and Process Engineering as well as the School of Chemistry and the Bragg Centre for Materials Research.</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 research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &lsquo;Porous solids for CO2 capture and catalysis&rsquo; as well as&nbsp; <a href="">Dr Javier Fernandez-Garcia</a>&nbsp;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.

<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>UK/EU &ndash; Engineering &amp; Physical Sciences Research Council Studentships paying academic fees of &pound;4,600 for Session 2020/21, together with a maintenance grant of &pound;15,285 for Session 2020/21 paid at standard Research Council rates for 3.5 years. 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. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.</p>

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

<p>For further information please contact the Doctoral College Admissions by email:&nbsp; <a href=""></a> or by telephone +44(0)113 343 5057.</p>

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