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EPS2021/20: Model development and simulation of novel processes for CO2 direct air capture from the atmosphere – PhD in Chemical Engineering

School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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Assoc Prof M.W. van der Spek No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Heriot-Watt University has now created scholarship opportunities in the School of Engineering & Physical Sciences for 2021-22. 


All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MSci, MEng or equivalent degree by Autumn 2021. Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or via Microsoft Teams). Most of these scholarships are only open to UK/EU applicants and for

students who meet residency requirements set out by EPSRC

https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/guidance-on-epsrc-studentships/eligibility/  For some projects, applications may be accepted for exceptional overseas applicants.

Short project description: mathematical/numerical modelling of cyclic adsorption-desorption processes for direct air capture of CO2. Process design and simulation.

Long description: The direct capture of CO2 from the atmosphere is a technology that will become essential to combat climate change. This can be done using either liquid solvents or solid adsorbents, where the solid adsorbents seem to present a number of advantages compared to solvents. The solid sorbent materials used for direct air capture of CO2 are mostly reactive materials, such as amine enhanced silica or alumina. There are currently a handful of start-up companies worldwide, who pioneer direct air capture with the use of solid, chemical adsorbents.

Standard adsorption-desorption cycles for direct air capture have been developed and are commercialised, but the investigation of direct air capture processes is just in its infancy. This implies that there is much room to develop more efficient or fit-for-purpose adsorption processes. An established way to do this is through mathematical modelling and simulation. During the PhD, the candidate will develop these models and will use them to investigate innovative cycles, which may lead to better performance in terms of energy consumption and costs. Work is based at Heriot-Watt, but some visits to industrial/academic partners may be necessary. More information on the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions: https://rccs.hw.ac.uk

How to Apply

1. Important Information before you Apply

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:

(a) in ‘Study Option’

You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Chemistry PhD, Physics PhD, Chemical Engineering PhD, Mechanical Engineering PhD, Bio-science & Bio-Engineering PhD or Electrical PhD as appropriate and select September 2020 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)

(b) in ‘Research Project Information’

You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the potential supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.

2. Applications

Applications must be made through the Heriot-Watt on-line

application system, https://www.hw.ac.uk/study/apply/uk/postgraduate.htm

3. Closing Date

All applications must be received by Sunday 14th February 2021. All successful candidates will usually be expected to commence their studies in September/October 2021.

Funding Notes

There are a number of scholarships available. Generally these offer an annual stipend payment of approx. £15,000 per year and cover fees for between 3 and 3.5 years
* Please note that full fee funding for DTP studentships is only available to UK applicants. If you are unsure of your funding status, please contact the project supervisor, before submitting an application.

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