About the Project
Focus of the research programme will be on the plasma-catalytic conversion of methane towards higher hydrocarbons via non-oxidative coupling at low temperatures . A combined experimental and computational approach will be followed, with specific research objectives further defined based on the skills, experience and interests of the candidate. The experimental work will utilise a dielectric barrier discharge reactor setup and aim at elucidating reaction pathways and identifying most promising catalytic materials for the reaction. Optical Emission Spectrometry will be used to detect plasma phase reactive intermediates. The modelling work will benefit from an already developed elaborate plasma-chemical kinetic model for methane conversion and will focus on extending the latter to account for catalytic effects. Microkinetic modelling will specifically be utilised to allow the systematic consideration of all elementary reaction processes taking place in the plasma phase and on the catalyst surface and the explicit description of the interactions between them.
The project forms part of wider research in our School in the field of plasma-catalysis and will greatly benefit from and contribute to these efforts. The excellent research facilities and world-class expertise will provide a very attractive opportunity for a highly motivated PhD student looking to progress a career in the exciting field of chemical reaction engineering at the interface of plasma science.
Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Chemical Engineering or a related discipline.
• Knowledge in reaction kinetics analysis and/or kinetic and reactor modelling.
• Experience in the operation of experimental apparatus and/or in the preparation and characterization of catalysts.
• Experience in programming using e.g. FORTRAN or MATLAB.
• Familiarity with methane conversion processes.
• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form
When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:
• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV
Informal inquiries can be made to Dr P Kechagiopoulos ([email protected]), with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ([email protected])
 C.E. Stere, W. Adress, et al., ACS Catal. 4 (2014) 666–673.
 H.L. Chen, H.M. Lee, et al., Environ. Sci. Technol. 43 (2009) 2216–2227.
 J.C. Whitehead, J. Phys. D. Appl. Phys. 49 (2016) 243001.
 T. Nozaki et al., Catal. Today 211 (2013) 29–38.
 P.-A. Maitre, M.S. Bieniek, P.N. Kechagiopoulos, React. Chem. Eng. 5 (2020) 814–837.
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