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Developing an innovative inkjet printing technique to fabricate a cost-effective electrode for renewable hydrogen production via ammonia electrolysis

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, May 18, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

A 3.5 year PhD studentship, fully funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), is available at the Functional Materials Group, Coventry University. This fully-funded studentship is available to UK/EU/International candidates.

Hydrogen is seen as the perfect eco-friendly fuel to replace polluting traditional fuels however, 95% of the world hydrogen production is derived from steam reforming, which consumes fossil fuels and contributes to millions of tons of greenhouse gases emitted annually. Therefore, it is urgent to implement technology to produce hydrogen from renewable sources to cut carbon emissions to zero. Ammonia electrolysis is considered as a greener approach to hydrogen production as it consumes renewable sources and only emits nitrogen and heat as the by-products. However, the high cost of precious metals (iridium, platinum), which are the key components used in electrodes, hinders the commercialisation of the technology. To address this critical issue, this PhD project will seek to develop an innovative inkjet printing technique for fabricating high-performance and cost-effective electrodes with reduced consumption of precious metals. Various inkjet printing parameters will be investigated and optimised to produce highly porous, nanostructured morphology presenting a large specific surface area. Electrode performance and durability will be assessed in a laboratory-scale electrochemical flow reactor.

Start Date: September 2020

Duration of Study: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Training and Development


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.
All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. A personal development budget of £3,000 is available for the successful candidate to attend national and international conferences.

Successful applicants will have:
• A minimum of a 2:1 first degree (second class honours upper division) in one or more of the following: Materials Science, Chemistry, Additive Manufacturing or a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
• A Masters Degree in one or more of the following: Materials Science, Chemistry, Additive Manufacturing or a relevant discipline/subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with minimum overall marks at merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a minimum mark at merit level (60%).
• A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).
• The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
• A background in one or more of the following would be extremely advantageous: Water/Ammonia Electrolysis, Inkjet Printing, Electrochemical Flow Reactor, Electrocatalyst
• Knowledge of electrochemical analysis techniques
• Knowledge of electron microscopy techniques

For further details see: https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-opportunities/research-students/making-an-application/

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Liang Wu,

To apply on line please visit: https://pgrplus.coventry.ac.uk/

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.


Funding Notes

Bursary (c.a. £15,000/year) plus tuition fees for a UK/EU/International candidate for up to 3.5 years. Stipend rates will be equivalent to those set by UKRI and will rise annually with a projected average increase of 1.25% per year. Coventry University fees are adjusted yearly in line with the rates set by UKRI.

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