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4 year PhD in Structure and Performance studies of Zeolite Catalysts

   School of Chemistry

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Our studies of zeolites are directed towards understanding the structural chemistry that determines their performance in a wide range of chemical conversions.

In this project, which is part of the St Andrews EaSICAT program of post-graduate research in catalytic chemistry, we aim to investigate the role of framework aluminium in determining the solid acidity and stability of known and novel zeolite materials. There are two kinds of acidity in these materials, Bronsted acidity associated with bridging framework hydroxyls, and Lewis acidity associated with coordinatively unsaturated aluminium (or other) cations. In this PhD, which will be undertaken in collaboration with an industrial partner, we will investigate the behaviour of Al in zeolite frameworks by advanced diffraction, multinuclear NMR and other characterisation methods, and determine how it controls the stability, activity and selectivity of zeolite catalysts for reactions that are important in sustainable processes, with a view to optimisation of catalyst performance.

 Keywords: Zeolites, Solid-state NMR spectroscopy, Structural changes, Hydrothermal stability, Lewis acid catalysis

Students interested in undertaking a PhD in the Wright group in this research area should register their interest as soon as possible. Informal enquiries can be made to Professor Paul Wright

Funding Notes

Funding is available for 4 years. Although there is no deadline, the position is available for a September 2022 start.


Designed Synthesis of STA-30: A Small Pore Zeolite Catalyst with Topology Type SWY, R. G. Chitac, J. Bradley, N. D. McNamara, A. Mayoral, A. Turrina and P. A. Wright*, Chem. Mater. 2021, 33, 5242-5256
Site‐Specific Iron Substitution in STA‐28, a Large Pore Aluminophosphate Zeotype Prepared by Using 1,10‐Phenanthrolines as Framework‐Bound Templates A. E. Watts, M. M. Lozinska, A. M. Z. Slawin, A. Mayoral, D. M. Dawson, S. E. Ashbrook, B. E. Bode, A. I. Dugulan, M. D. Shannon, P. A. Cox, A. Turrina, P. A. Wright*, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 1-6
Facile, Room-Temperature 17O Enrichment of Zeolite Frameworks Revealed by Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy S. M. Pugh, P. A. Wright, D. J. Law, N. Thompson, S. E. Ashbrook, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 900-906
Elementary steps in the formation of hydrocarbons from surface methoxy groups in HZSM-5 seen by synchrotron infra-red microspectroscopy I. B. Minova, S. K. Matam, C. R. A. Catlow, M. D. Frogley, G. Cinque, P. A. Wright, R. F. Howe ACS Catalysis, 2019, 7, 6564-6570

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