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Closed-loop generation of electricity from salinity gradient and low temperature heat

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Prof S Brandani
    Dr G Santori
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for an early stage postgraduate research position leading to a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering in the Institute for Material and Processes within the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.

Background: This PhD position is offered under the RED Heat to Power research project which aims to demonstrate the generation of electricity from salinity gradients using Reverse Electrodialysis with artificial saline solutions in a closed-loop.
Salinity gradient power is attracting attention for wide application in the 2030 to 2050 timeframe. Reverse electrodialysis shows promising results for exploiting this resource. Artificial solutions can be used on a closed loop and their salinity difference can be restored through the use of low temperature heat from 40°C to 100°C. The overall objective of RED Heat to Power research project is to prove this revolutionary concept, develop the necessary materials, components, process configurations and know-how for bringing it to the level of a lab prototype.

Aim and programme of research: The project to be carried out at the University of Edinburgh is focused on the regeneration section of the closed loop system and it is oriented to modelling and experimental development of innovative regeneration strategies, also involving the use of adsorption/desorption processes. The research topic of this studentship will be focused on the study of various separation options which will require to study also the thermodynamics of fluid phase equilibria of electrolytes in water and organic compounds. A combination of mathematical modelling and experimental investigations will be required.

Funding Notes

The contract is 3 years in duration with an annual salary in the first year of £19,259, updated in the subsequent years according to inflation. The salary includes annual tuition fees (at UK/EU rate). There is no mobility allowance.


To undertake this research, we are seeking a motivated candidate with a first class degree or upper second (or equivalent for non-UK students) or a combination of qualification and professional experience equivalent to that level in Chemical Engineering.

Some knowledge and experience in at least one among these fields will be particularly beneficial:
- Thermodynamics of salt/solvent systems
- Adsorption equilibrium and kinetics

Independent work, self-motivation, good team spirit and excellent communication skills are important assets of the successful candidate.

English language entry requirements are here:

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in General Engineering?
(joint submission with Heriot-Watt University)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 91.80

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

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