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Conversion of captured CO2 under hydrothermal and solvothermal conditions

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, January 29, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

This project seeks to utilise captured carbon dioxide as a resource for the production of chemicals and fuels through direct hydrogenation with water. This therefore provides a sustainable route to such products and improves the economic viability of carbon capture schemes, a key tool in tackling the climate emergency.

Previous work in our research group has shown that CO2 can, in the presence of a solid catalyst, be hydrogenated to longer-chained oxygenates using only water as the hydrogen source. This is achieved under hydrothermal conditions where water is in a sub-critical state. We have also shown that waste biomass can provide an additional source of hydrogen in these processes. These studies have demonstrated the exciting potential of these processes; however the mechanism of reaction is yet to be defined and there is significant scope for process optimisation. You will therefore tackle these two challenges through, e.g. modifying the reaction conditions, investigating different solvents and catalysts etc. You will also investigate CO2 captured from different sources.

This is an experimental based project which will involve reaction testing and analysis, using techniques such as GCMS. It is well suited to applicants with a good knowledge of chemical engineering or chemistry.

The chemicals sector underpins UK and global manufacturing. This project will provide the skills necessary to enter a range of roles in those sectors or in the broader sustainability field.

The student will be working as part of larger research group in a well-resourced lab dedicated to developing sustainable engineering solutions to global challenges.

Funding Notes

Entry Requirements:
Good honours degree in chemistry, chemical engineering or a related subject.


The student will be working as part of a larger research group in a well-resourced lab dedicated to developing sustainable engineering solutions to global challenges. For further details please contact Dr. James McGregor directly via

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