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Biomass/CO2 Conversion to Chemicals and Energy

Project Description

Fossil fuels coal, petroleum crude oil and natural gas, as sources of thermal energy, fuels and chemicals, have been predominant in the world’s energy supply. It is known that as long as millions of years are required to form fossil fuels on the earth; therefore their reserves are finite and subject to depletion as they are consumed. The continuously increasing demand of energy and the consequent high consumption of natural resources have already resulted in serious environmental degradation and fossil energy reserves concerns. It is thus imperative for human beings to utilise biomass as an alternative energy resource, which are large enough, natural and renewable. The formation of biomass involves the capture of solar energy via photosynthesis, during which CO2 is converted to organic compounds. Overall CO2 neutrality exists while converting biomass to no matter fuels (to release energy) or to chemicals for daily uses.

This project targets at converting bio-derived feedstock and/or CO2 to valuable chemicals or energy (H2) through novel catalytic solutions. In this work, the successful student will investigate the synthesis and characterisation of catalytic materials (supported metal catalysts, biocatalysts), catalyst evaluation (in hydrogenation and/or oxidation reactions), kinetic/mechanistic analysis and process development.

The successful candidate should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering.

Knowledge of: Heterogeneous and enzymatic catalysis, reaction engineering, physical chemistry, catalyst characterisation, kinetic/thermodynamic analysis.


Formal applications can be completed online: You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct person for processing.


Informal inquiries can be made to Dr X Wang () with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ().

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. It is for self-funded students only.

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

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

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