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3D printed photocatalytic membranes for water purification

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, May 01, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The accumulation, in the environment and in human food supply chain, of organic micropollutants, drugs, hormones or endocrine disruptors, represents today one of the biggest challenges to public health and the environment in the EU and elsewhere. Legacy technology comprising the majority of water treatment plants in the EU and other developed countries cannot remove micropollutants. Photocatalysis is considered the leading technology to treat micropollutants, but suffers from a twin-set of limitations that have hindered more widespread adoption so far: Photocatalytic nanoparticles slurries can effectively degrade micropollutants but require costly downstream retention of the particles to avoid their leaching into the environment. Immobilised photocatalysts, on the other hand, have significantly lower activity due to lower contact area and higher light scattering.

The accumulation, in the environment and in human food supply chain, of organic micropollutants, drugs, hormones or endocrine disruptors, represents today one of the biggest challenges to public health and the environment in the EU and elsewhere. Legacy technology comprising the majority of water treatment plants in the EU and other developed countries cannot remove micropollutants. Photocatalysis is considered the leading technology to treat micropollutants, but suffers from a twin-set of limitations that have hindered more widespread adoption so far: Photocatalytic nanoparticles slurries can effectively degrade micropollutants but require costly downstream retention of the particles to avoid their leaching into the environment. Immobilised photocatalysts, on the other hand, have significantly lower activity due to lower contact area and higher light scattering.

This 3-year PhD project is provided as part of FoAMM, a 5-year EPSRC Established Career Fellow in Water Engineering awarded to Prof Davide Mattia. In this project, the challenge of safe micropollutant removal will be addressed by creating novel photocatalytic nanostructured anodic metal membranes – or FoAMMs - combining the high surface area of slurries and the stability of immobilised systems requiring no downstream removal.

The PhD project will focus on the design, fabrication and testing of 3D printed metal and metal oxide membranes for micropollutant removal via photocatalytic degradation. Working within a team of 5 researchers, you will design, commission and test an experimental apparatus and membrane module to simultaneously degrade micropollutants under UV irradiation and filter out by-products to produce clean water.

Due to funding limitations, only UK/EU applicants can be considered. Applicants should ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or equivalent overseas qualification) in chemical engineering, materials science/engineering or chemistry. English language requirements must be satisfied in advance of an offer of funding, by IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with an overall band score of 6.5 and a minimum of 6.0 per skill.

For inquiries please contact Prof Davide Mattia:
phone: +44(0)1225-383961, email: ,
web: http://www.bath.ac.uk/chem-eng/people/mattia/index.html, and https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/persons/davide-mattia.

Expected start date: 30 September 2019

Funding Notes

A UK/EU award will provide full tuition fees, an annual Training Support Fee of £1,000, and a tax-free maintenance payment of £15,009 (2019-20 rate) for up to 3 years.

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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