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Catalyst development for low-cost large-scale sustainable hydrogen production from seawater and renewable energy

Project Description

Application details:
Reference number: CG-WFL-1906
Start date of studentship: 01 October 2019
Closing date of advert: 31 August 2019
Interview date: 06 September 2019

Primary supervisor: Prof Wen-Feng LIN
Secondary supervisor: Dr Darren Walsh

Applications are invited to undertake a 4 year EPSRC funded CDT PhD studentship at Loughborough University. The successful applicant will join the new Centre of Doctoral Training (CDT) in Sustainable Hydrogen.

CDT Sustainable Hydrogen

The Universities of Nottingham, Loughborough, Birmingham and Ulster have joined forces to become a national CDT in Sustainable Hydrogen. The CDT is collaborating with over 40 companies and organisations to provide a new integrated PhD experience. The CDT offers a training programme which supports the cohort throughout their PhD journey providing the multidisciplinary training you’d expect, but also developing entrepreneurial, project and management skills along with the skills needed to communicate your ideas to a wide range of audiences. Further information can be found at the CDT website:

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
Find out more:

Benefiting from the expertise and experience of the Chemical Engineering Department’s staff, our thriving community of postgraduate research students are provided with an intellectually challenging and rewarding experience during their time with us.

Full Project Detail

Hydrogen is a promising clean energy carrier for the 21st century due to its high specific energy and environmental friendliness. It is a clean and desirable way to produce pure hydrogen at the cathode via electrolysis of water driven by renewable energy, however, the water splitting is highly dependent on having an efficient and stable oxygen evolution reaction (OER) at the anode, to counterbalance the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) at the cathode.

Furthermore, if water splitting is used to store a substantial portion of the world’s energy, water distribution issues may arise if vast amounts of purified water are used for hydrogen fuel production. On the other hand, seawater is the most abundant aqueous electrolyte feedstock on Earth but its implementation in the water-splitting process presents many challenges, especially for the anodic reaction. This project aims to develop highly efficient OER catalysts with low overpotential, as well as highly efficient and low cost HER catalysts such as doped carbon nanomaterials.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have 2.1 honour degree in Chemistry, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering or a related subject. A relevant Masters’ degree would be advantageous.

Contact details

Name: Prof Wen-Feng LIN
Tel: +44 (0)1509 222506

How to apply

All applications should be made online at

Please quote the project title and reference number: CG-WFL-1906

Please also send a copy of your CV and a cover letter to and

Funding Notes

The CDT studentship covers UK/EU tuition fees and provides a tax-free stipend of £16,677 per annum. The studentship eligibility criteria are defined by the EPSRC. Funding is provided to cover travel and subsistence costs related to the CDT training and research activities.

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